Morinville councillor resigns
Byelection to follow Van De Walle's departure
By: By Ryan Tumilty
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 06:00 am
Coun. Ben Van De Walle has resigned from Morinville town council, prompting the town council to pursue a Sept. 20 byelection.
Mayor Lloyd Bertschi told a specially-called council meeting that Van De Walle has been diagnosed with leukemia and has had to step down to focus on his health.
Van De Walle was not at the meeting, which took place Tuesday afternoon. Only four members of council were available, with Coun. Paul Krauskopf and Mayor Lloyd Bertschi participating by phone.
Under the Municipal Government Act, Morinville is not required to hold a byelection because current councillors have less than 18 months remaining in their terms and there will still be six councillors.
After announcing Van De Walle’s resignation, council debated whether to hold a byelection or to allow council to remain with six members until the general election in 2013.
Most councillors said they initially favoured not having a byelection, which is expected to cost around $4,000, but had changed their minds on the subject.
“There are some good people who have said they would be interested [in running for the seat],” said Krauskopf.
Coun. Gordon Boddez said it makes sense to have people go to the polls.
“For the amount of money that is involved, in my view we would be better to have the election,” he said.
Coun. Lisa Holmes put forward a motion to forego the byelection but changed her mind and voted against her own motion.
After agreeing to hold the byelection, council also voted to set the date and appoint the town’s legislative officer Jennifer Maskoske as the returning officer.
Van De Walle was in his second term on council, having first been acclaimed in 2007 and then elected in the final council spot in 2010.
Nomination day for the byelection is Aug. 23, when nominations will be accepted between 10 a.m. and noon at the town’s offices.