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Council tonight passed a bylaw governing how a Council vacancy would be filled. With the recent resignation of Theresa Rickerby, Council selected Aaron Burchat without the benefit of a spelled out policy but now they have one. And they may be using it before long – Larry Sherwin confirmed to me that his house in Cobourg is up for sale and IF it sells, he will quit both his job and council and move to Kingston where he would be nearer family.

Larry SherwinLarry SherwinThe process to fill a vacancy is defined to some extent by Provincial Law (Municipal Act, S.O. 2001) but the new by-law provides more specifics for the case where a vacancy is filled by appointment.

The initial idea was to “choose to appoint the Candidate who received the most number of votes in the previous municipal election and deemed by Council to be significant enough to warrant appointment of the Candidate to Municipal Council.” This is open enough to include all candidates who ran, whether for council, mayor or deputy-mayor. After discussion, the process was revised so that the first option would be to consider only those who ran for Council and if that did not result in a candidate with significant votes, then it would be opened up to all candidates.

Council did not seem to favour a by-election. As Councillor McCarthy pointed out, Cobourg’s participation rate at the last election was 52% whereas she said Municipal by-elections had typically a 15% participation.

If Larry sells his house (listing here), this by-law will be needed.


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