An election date has been set for Saturday, Nov. 28, to fill one empty city council position in Rossland.
City council has been down one councillor since January when Scott Forsyth announced his resignation from the position. While the by-election was planned for April, it was delayed by the B.C. government due to health concerns around the COVID-19 crisis.
Mayor Kathy Moore said if residents want to put their name forward for the council position, they should fill out and send their nomination papers to the city as soon as possible.
Residents are also encouraged to complete advance advance voting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Wednesday, Nov. 25, to avoid excessive lineups during the crisis.
The city hopes to complete all of the general and advanced voting at Rossland Miners Hall, however nothing is for certain yet.
This by-election could be more costly than elections in year’s past, according to Moore.
“Since we’ll have to increase cleaning procedures and implement physical distancing protocols during the by-election, it could end up costing more. However, we’re hoping this won’t be the case,” said Moore.
“One advantage of holding this by-election at the miners hall is that it’s really big and implementing these physical distancing protocols shouldn’t be a problem.”
Moore is confident that city council will operate more efficiently when they fill the position.
“While we’ve done well with six councillors, we really do need that seventh councillor to help us,” said Moore.
“Every once in a while, council would have trouble making a decision because we’d get stuck in a 3-3 vote. We weren’t able to go forward in these scenarios unless someone ended up changing their mind.”
One time where a split vote was an issue was when city council was trying to decide on whether to allow a second cannabis shop in the city. While city council tried passing three different motions to allow, deny or put stipulations on the cannabis shop, the decisions kept getting split 3-3 and struck down.
City council ended up allowing the cannabis shop to operate in the city at a later meeting in August.
The seventh councillor will be in their position for two years until another general election is held.