Council opts to go to the voters to fill vacancy left by Mike Ciolfi's passing
On Monday, May 4, 2020, Pelham Town Council voted to fill the Ward 1 seat left vacant by the death of Councillor Mike Ciolfi in mid-April.
Only residents within Ward 1 will be eligible to vote. Candidates, however, are not required to live in the ward, as is true in any Pelham municipal election.
The vote to declare a by-election must be enacted within 60 days of the seat being declared vacant, according to a Town statement released May 7.
Nomination day must be between 30 and 60 days of the declaration, and voting must take place 45 days after nomination day. This puts election day anywhere between mid-July at the earliest and mid-September at the latest.
The Town says that these deadlines are subject to extensions as permitted by the Provincial Orders issued during the current pandemic, and under the Municipal Elections Act in the event of an emergency.
“A by-election during this pandemic will not be without its challenges," said Town Clerk Nancy Bozzato, "but our staff will ensure that a by-election is completed safely and securely. As the process unfolds, we will ensure the community is kept apprised of the steps required for nominees and voters.”
According to the Town, specific health and safety precautions will be developed and incorporated to run the by-election, ensuring physical distancing is maintained throughout the process if the pandemic is not yet concluded.
"Town officials will monitor the situation and adjust to the changing pandemic landscape accordingly."
A by-election must be conducted under the Municipal Elections Act in the same way as the 2018 election. This means that the Clerk is required to schedule advance polling opportunities and conduct at least one polling station voting on election day. In Ward 1, during a regular election, two polling stations are traditionally used.
The Town says that the cost of a by-election is estimated between $10,000 and $15,000 in addition to "soft costs" related to staffing, and that the Election Reserve would accommodate this expense.
As information such as dates, timelines, and candidate information becomes available, it will be posted the Town’s website at: www.pelham.ca/by-election-2020
RELATED: Pelham Councillor Mike Ciolfi dies