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Two open spots at the council table could be filled this week

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jun 23, 2014 - 4:53 PM |
Depending on how they choose to proceed, city councillors could fill vacancies in wards 1 and 8 at a special meeting on Wednesday. File photo.

Depending on how they choose to proceed, city councillors could fill vacancies in wards 1 and 8 at a special meeting on Wednesday. File photo.

Vacancy in Ward 8 – and maybe in Ward 1 -- will be filled Wednesday

At a special meeting Wednesday, city councillors are expected to hear from 13 candidates interested in representing Ward 8 in the months leading to the Oct. 27 municipal election.

And, depending how they choose to proceed, they could also pick a replacement for outgoing Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino at the same time. Cimino is vacating his seat following his election win June 12, and is now the New Democratic MPP for Sudbury.

Under the Municipal Act, a vacancy on city council must be filled, unless the vacancy is declared 90 days before local elections. With Cimino's seat officially being declared vacant June 24, there's a little more than 120 days left before the election. So the city is required to replace him.

Rather than repeating the process used to find candidates in Ward 8 – made necessary with Fabio Belli's sudden death in April – a staff report says they could pick two councillors from the 13 who applied for the Ward 8 vacancy. 

“Rather than going through a wide-open public process, and in recognition that there is not much time remaining in the council term, council may wish to truncate the process of filling the vacancy in Ward 1,” the report says.

Most of the applicants don't live in Ward 8 anyway, the report says, although “caution should be exercised as there may be other individuals who are only interested in the Ward 1 vacancy who did not apply to the Ward 8 vacancy and who would be excluded should this option be selected.”

City council will decide Tuesday whether to start the process again, or appoint two councillors at the special meeting Wednesday. If they go that route, staff would ask all of the Ward 8 applicants whether they are interested in the Ward 1 vacancy, as well.

“If this option is selected, the nominating committee would deal with an addendum at their meeting of June 25, which addendum item would be the filling of the vacancy in Ward 1.”

Among those who have applied include four people who live in Ward 8, three from Ward 10, three from Ward 7, and one each from wards 4, 2 and 1.

If city council decides to seek nominations for the Ward 1 vacancy, the nominating committee meeting would be held Aug. 11. That means the replacement councillor would only attend a handful of meetings before the October election.

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Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer


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