The Village of Burns Lake is planning to hold a byelection to elect a new councillor on Jan. 20, 2018.
According to the Local Government Act, the chief election officer must set a general voting day for the byelection no later than 80 days after the date of appointment, and general voting day must only be held on a Saturday.
Considering that Dec. 30 is not an ideal time to hold a byelection, last week council decided to appoint the chief election officer on Nov. 1, 2017 in order to hold the byelection on Jan. 20, 2018.
The village’s chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing will be appointed as the chief election officer while city clerk Rebecca Billard, who started working for the village earlier this year, will be the deputy chief election officer.
According to a village staff report, experience and knowledge of election procedures are key qualifications to consider when appointing election officials.
“They should be credible experts on all aspects of the election process,” reads the report.
Worthing has been appointed the chief election officer for the past nine elections/byelections/referendums.
According to the village, appointing staff members as election officials saves considerable costs given that the preparation work is done during regular working hours. Additional charges apply to extended hours for advance voting day and general voting day.
Total costs for the 2018 byelection are expected to be approximately $5000. Expenses include wages, cost of election supplies and advertising.
The byelection will seek to replace former councillor John Illes, who resigned effective Sept. 15, 2017. According to the village, he has recently accepted an employment position at the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) which required his resignation.
Illes represented the Village of Burns Lake on the RDBN board. With his resignation, Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach now sits on the RDBN board.