By Angelica Ingram
Nov. 22 2016
Following the resignation of Ward 2 councillor Derek Knowles at the end of October Dysart councillors have made the decision to appoint former councillor Dennis Casey to the position.
The decision was made unanimously by council who had the option of either holding a byelection to fill the vacancy or appoint a member of the public.
According to Dysart clerk Cheryl Coulson in accordance to the Municipal Act council would have to declare a byelection within 60 days of declaring a vacancy on council or appoint an individual within 60 days.
“Council may choose to fill the vacancy by appointing any qualified individual as outlined in Section 256 of the Municipal Act 2001. There is no criteria outlined on how this selection is made” wrote Coulson in her report to council.
The clerk reported that a byelection would cost $3.70 per eligible voter with the ward having close to 4000 voters.
A rough estimation of the cost of a byelection for that ward would be slightly more than $14200 wrote Coulson.
Dysart Reeve Murray Fearrey told council he was leaning more towards an appointment due to the costly nature of a byelection.
Other councillors agreed with councillor Susan Norcross believing the decision on how to fill the vacancy should not be deferred as there was currently a contentious issue affecting residents of that ward.
Fearrey said his “gut feeling” was that he was leaning towards appointing Casey who served as the prior Ward 2 councillor and ran for the position of deputy- reeve in the last election.
Fearrey said Casey has served on a number of council committees and has shown interest in the position.
Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts thought this was an “excellent decision.” Other councillors agreed.
In the last election there were three candidates vying for the position of Ward 2 councillor with Knowles followed in votes by David McKay and Steve Dunec.
McKay and Casey were both in attendance at the council meeting.
A resolution to appoint Casey was passed.
The appointee will be sworn in as councillor at the December meeting of Dysart et al.