Smithers Town Hall. At their Oct. 22 meeting, the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Alan Harris said they have three dates being looked at to hold a mayoral by-election. All the dates are in the New Year. In the interim, Councillor Gladys Atrill is serving as deputy mayor for the Town. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Town waiting until 2020 for mayoral byelection

Smithers’ CAO Alan Harris said the Town has three dates that are being looked at to hold an election

With Taylor Bachrach being elected as the MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley on Oct. 21, Smithers Town Council is set to get a bit of a shakeup.

At their Oct. 22 meeting, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Alan Harris said the Town is looking at three potential dates to hold a mayoral byelection.

READ MORE: Bachrach takes leave of absence as mayor to focus on campaign

He said that they are all 2020 dates and that the Town didn’t want to run the election during the holiday season.

“We’re looking at into the New Year because running the byelection over Christmas because the number of holidays that are there — it could create some concerns from people.

“We think we have a date picked out to move forward but we just wanted to double check with everything.”

Harris said that whether or not the Town has to hold just a mayoral byelection or a mayoral byelection and a subsequent byelection to fill a number of councillor positions depends on if (and how many) councillors decide to run for the position.

“It all depends so if one member, two members three members up to six members of council wanted to run for mayor we would have to have a whole election for all the positions.”

Additionally, if even just one councillor ran for the position and was successful, a subsequent byelection would be necessary to fill their spot.

READ MORE: Play-by-play: Bachrach new MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, all 219 polls reported

At Council’s Aug. 27 meeting Bachrach requested a leave of absence from his mayoral duties beginning at the end of August so that he could focus full-time on his federal campaign.

He went on to win the riding, beating Claire Rattée of the Conservative Party, by a final total of 16,670 to 13,637 — a 40.9 per cent share of the popular vote to Rattée’s 33.4 per cent.

Bachrach takes over for former NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who has represented the region since 2004 and decided not to run again this election.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

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