Kingsville Town Council in session on September 11, 2017. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Kingsville To Go Next In Line For Council Vacancy

The Town of Kingsville has decided how to fill an empty seat on town council.

Council voted 4-2 Monday night on a plan to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Councillor Sandy McIntyre that involves going “next-in-line” among losing candidates in the last election.

With five people on council, McIntyre’s seat will be offered to the candidate who finished sixth in the 2014 municipal election. McIntyre told in August that she was leaving council for health and personal reasons.

Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos says the candidate will get a formal invite to take the council seat, and will be subjected to an eligibility check for age and residency requirements. Santos says he hopes to have the process completed by the next council meeting, which is scheduled for September 25.

“At the next regular meeting of council we’ll be able to invite that member with their correspondence insuring it [eligibility],” says Santos. “We will then allow for the swearing-in ceremony for that member of become a full-fledged member of council.”

Councillors Tony Gaffan and Susanne Coghill voted against the motion.

According to the official results of the 2014 municipal election, the sixth vote-getter in the council race was John Dreidger. There were 23 candidates for town council on the ballot four years ago.

An option to hold a by-election was rejected almost immediately. Santos says the price tag was too high for the municipality to spend at the moment.

“Because of a by-election, the cost for an at-large for a municipality would be a $55,000 estimate, along with the timelines that are required by a public notice and a voting period that is stipulated within the Municipal Act,” says Santos.

Timing was also a factor in rejecting a by-election, since the earliest a winner would sit on council would be February 2018. The next municipal election is October of next year.

An open application process was the third option to fill the seat that was discussed and rejected. It would have allowed residents to apply for the opening and be evaluated, with councillors selecting a winner and appointing them to fill McIntyre’s term.