The Town of Smithers will start accepting nominations for mayor and probably at least one council seat on Sept. 1.
At a special meeting July 29, council decided to call the mayoral byelection for Saturday, Oct. 17. The nomination process will be advertised starting Aug. 19 to give current councillors time to throw their hats in the ring.
Current councillors who intend to run for mayor must resign their seat by Aug. 12 so the Town will know how many council seats will be on the ballot.
Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill, who has been filling in since Taylor Bachrach stepped down to become Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, is so far the only person on council or otherwise to publicly state an intention to seek the mayor’s job. On Aug. 6, she confirmed she will be resigning from her council seat effective Aug. 11.
Nomination binders will be available at Town Hall. Prospective candidates must fill out the forms, garner signatures of 10 nominators and return the paperwork by Sept. 11.
Meanwhile, the Town is looking for people, preferably with experience, to serve as election officials on general voting day Oct. 17 and at two advance polls Oct. 7 and 14.
Eligible individuals have until Aug 21 to express interest to chief election officer Dianna Plouffe or deputy chief election officer Jane Stevenson at 250-847-1600.
Bachrach resigned Nov. 3, but the Town decided to put off the byelection pending a decision on a grant for the new library/art gallery project for which there would have had to be a referendum.
By March, they could not put it off any longer and election officers were appointed for a byelection in May, but it was cancelled March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.