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Council to fill vacant seat by appointment

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FORT FRANCES—In the wake of Tannis Drysdale’s sudden resignation back on Sept. 17, Fort Frances town council officially declared a vacancy Tuesday and will begin the process to fill her seat.

During a special committee of the whole meeting at noon, the mayor and council passed a resolution to fill the seat by appointment.

They will be chosen from the candidates who ran for council that were not successful in the 2006 election.

Council directed clerk Glenn Treftlin to contact all five of the unsuccessful candidates from the last election—Ken Perry, Todd Hamilton, Allan T. Bedard, Nick Wihnan, and Neil Kabel—to see if they want their name to stand in the appointment process.

Council decided to take this first step before deciding exactly how the candidate will be chosen because, as CAO Mark McCaig noted, theoretically only one (or even none) of the unsuccessful candidates may be interested in the filling the vacancy.

Once it’s determined who wants to fill Drysdale’s seat for the next three years, council will decide the means of selection.

This could range from picking the candidate with the most votes from the last election to council voting amongst themselves—using a point system—and appointing the candidate who gets the highest total.

(For the record, Perry came in seventh last November with 1,593 votes, followed by Hamilton with 1,552, Bedard with 1,389, Wihnan with 1,355, and Kabel with 1,285).

As well, if none of the five lets their name stand, council will have to decide what to do then.

After a brief discussion, council formed a consensus not to go for a byelection—given both the high cost ($20,000) and the fact that, historically, any council vacancies have been filled without having to do so.

The committee of the whole will meet again next Wednesday (Oct. 3) at 4 p.m. to discuss Treftlin’s findings and decide what to do from there.

According to the Municipal Act, council has 60 days from officially declaring a vacancy to fill the seat.

(Fort Frances Times)

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