Essex To Hold By-Election To Fill Vacant Council Seat (VIDEO)
Residents in Essex will be heading to the polls come November.
Council voted 4-2 in favor of holding a by-election to replace ward 3 councillor Bill Caixeiro.
He suddenly resigned his seat two weeks ago.
Councillor Sherry Bondy advocated strongly in favour of a democratic solution.
A report presented to council estimates the election will cost between $12,000 and $15,000, but Bondy says the cost of the election shouldn't be the focus of debate.
"We have that money in the contingency budget for 2017 so we're not stealing Peter to pay Paul," she says. "We're using the money that could have been used for something else, but this is democracy and this is what councils should be putting money into."
She told AM800 News it will take at least two months to fill the seat, but it's not about how long it will take to fill the vacancy.
"In Essex I think we're going to be judged no matter what we do at this point, but we've heard from the people that they want a by-election, I'm not comfortable going to the fourth name on the list," says Bondy. "It's really giving the power back to the people, there's still enough time to run a by-election and to have that seat filled with somebody chosen by people of that ward."
Mayor Ron McDermott and ward 1 councillor Steven Bjorkman, were the lone holdouts.
Bjorkman says he isn't opposed to the election, but missing an extra set of eyes and ears could be a problem with budget talks coming up before a vote can take place.
"What I do think is a problem, is you don't have that seventh pair of eyes and that seventh mind who looks at things from their perspective and adds something to the conversation," says Bjorkman.
Nominations will begin Sept. 22 with the election to follow in Nov. 6 if the town doesn't fast track the by-election process, according to a report brought before council.