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Brock council changes course on method of filling the mayoral vacancy

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for the Standard

BROCK: Brock Township council has decided to switch to a different method to fill their mayoral vacancy.

At a special council meeting, on Monday, March 8th, councillors voted to rescind a previously passed motion to hold a by-election, and decided to instead fill the vacancy through appointment.

“When we originally made a decision to hold a by-election, it seemed absolutely the most appropriate and best response we could come up with. But after that, we learned our municipal clerk is leaving the township, and she would be leaving before the by-election could be concluded. We do not have, at the township, sufficient or qualified staff to hold a by-election right now, and the costs we anticipated [for a by-election] would now be much greater,” Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill explained.

Part of the motion passed at the special meeting was to have the clerk reach out to 2018 election runner up John Grant, to determine his interest in taking on the role and his eligibility to hold the position.

“If we’re going to appoint someone, I think the next most fair, transparent and democratic person to appoint is the runner up from the 2018 municipal election,” Ward 1 Councillor Michael Jubb said.

Noting Mr. Grant has previously served as Brock’s mayor, Councillor Pettingill stated “the transition would be very smooth.” Regional Councillor Ted Smith said Mr. Grant was “a very good mayor during his term.”

If everything checks out with Mr. Grant, a special council meeting will be held next week to officially appoint him to the mayor’s seat. Then staff will take steps to allow the newly appointed mayor to take the declaration of office.

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