Ladysmith council seat to remain vacant until election

Ladysmith council seat to remain vacant until election

A chair around the Ladysmith city council table will continue to sit empty in the lead-up to the fall general election.

Carol Henderson resigned last month a few days after the last council meeting citing personal reasons.

Councillors were unanimous in their decision at Monday’s meeting not to spend an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 to hold a byelection with residents already set to go to the polls on Oct. 20.

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Staff recommended the move and noted in a report that the “fixed costs for election workers, statutory advertising, ballot printing and other related costs are very similar to the costs of running a full general local election.”

“I believe this is an appropriate decision given how close we are to the election,” said Councillor Steve Arnett. “Byelection is extremely expensive so we’re winning on both counts and people will be able to have their say to replace that seat pretty quickly.”

The Local Government Act states that if a resignation occurs after June 1 in a year of the local election that it’s the town’s discretion whether it wishes to hold a byelection.

Mayor Aaron Stone will appoint alternates to sit on any committees seats also left vacant as a result of Henderson stepping down.