Friday, January 29, 2016

Plans in motion to move forward with School District 52 byeletion

The City's Corporate Administrator
outlined the path ahead Monday
night towards a by-election for SD52
School District 52 officials will no doubt be relieved to finally see some progress on their desire to hold a by-election to find a replacement for departed trustee Judy Carlick-Pearson.

On Monday evening, City Council began the process of revising its Local Elections Bylaw (page 56 of the Monday Agenda), with Council changing the wording of the bylaw to reflect the new terms of four years, as opposed to the previous three year cycle.

Adoption of the new bylaw would be  the first step that is required to install a Chief Election Officer as well as an assistant Elections Officer, who will then be tasked to oversee the election process for the School District.

The City's Corporate Administrator Rory Mandryk introduced the path ahead for Council on Monday night, providing some background on why Council needs to change the Bylaw and offering up some detail on the new approach that the City will be taking to conduct the School District by-election.

As Mr. Mandryk explained it, the City is required to provide the services for the local school board's by-election requirement and as they moved forward on that requirement, the City had determined that they did not have sufficient staff on hand at City hall to conduct the by-election, putting the process out to tender in December and awarding that tender to Joe Zelwietro.

The explanation noting of a lack of staff in house to conduct the by-election, might raise a few eyes from those that have been following the flow of job opportunities found on the careers page on the City website over the last year. With a number of new staff positions created and filled through the last six months through City Hall, a topic of conversation that a few Council members have made note of in recent months..

Both Mr. Zelwietro and a Deputy Elections officer to be named shortly, will be appointed to their position at the February 9th Council session, where one imagines the School District will perhaps finally receive word as to when the actual by-election vote may take place.

The adoption of the new bylaw took place at a Special Council session held on Wednesday.

Mr. Mandryk also provided some background on the cost of the election process for Council, noting that when the City provides staff for elections, the cost of a by-election runs at 25,000 dollars.

Though it was not outlined on Monday evening what the cost for the by-election required this year might be estimated at using the new approach of putting the process to tender.

According to background information from the School District, they will be paying the City for their services in conducting the by-election as is required under the School Act.  However, the length of time that it has taken however to get to this point has been something that has made for frequent conversation at the School District level.

In their minutes from their December 9th meeting School District officials noted their frustration at the pace of the by-election request and how it would mean that they would not be able to fill the position in the time period expected. They also  expressed some concerns over the use of a service provider to conduct the by-election.

(click to enlarge)

The lengthy delay proved to be a theme that was raised again during the course of the School District's January 12th gathering.

On Monday, Councillor Mirau did make mention of the time sensitive nature of the process, with both he and Mayor Brain inquiring as to the process ahead for the City to get towards a By election date.

You can review Mr. Mandryk's presentation to Council from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the 1  hour 58 minute mark.

For more items related to City Council Discussions see our archive page here.

More background on developments with School District 52 can be found on our archive page here.

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