DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog has decided to go with an application process to decide who the next Scugog Island representative on Council will be.
On Wednesday, June 30th, Scugog councillors voted to declare the Ward 3 council seat vacant and fill the vacancy through appointment with an “Open Call for Qualified Applicants” format.
Council had to declare the vacancy after, now-former Ward 3 Councillor, Angus Ross resigned because he and his family moved out of the Township.
The Township will accept applications from Monday, July 5th until Friday, July 23rd, from those interested in holding the role. Those who are interested will have to provide an application for appointment form, a $100 administrative fee, identification which proves they live in or own land in Scugog, and a two-page letter explaining why they are the best candidate for the role.
However, while it is not required for the applicant to be a resident of Scugog Island, just a resident of the Township, some councillors noted, Scugog Island residency could give an applicant a leg up in this process.
“I think the island has very unique attributes. I feel they’re a very strong group of individuals who are looking for representation [from someone] who understands what it is like to live on the island,” Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido opined.
Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall questioned, if being a Scugog Island resident could be an elevated factor as part of the eligibility criteria.
“Through the recommendation of option one, staff would not recommend any stipulations be put in place with respect to individuals [having] to live within Ward 3. However, that certainly can be part of Council’s decision or discussion during the [August] special council meeting, as to who they feel is the best candidate,” clerk Becky Jamieson responded.
The Township will hold two virtual open houses, Thursday, July 8th, at 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, July 14th, at 2 p.m., for people who want to learn more about the position and the appointment process.
A special council meeting will be held, on Monday, August 9th, to select the next Scugog Island councillor. A report from Ms. Jamieson states, the appointed individual will serve in the role for 14 months before the 2022 municipal election.