With the announcement of Councillor John Rempel resigning at the end of October, a by-election has been called for Dec. 15. Under Alberta legislation a municipality has 90 days to hold a by-election when a position opens up on council. It was felt trying to hold the election in early January could be tough with people possibly away on holidays.
“The reason we’re doing it before Christmas is because a lot of people leave after Christmas, or they’re gone on holidays,” said Municipal Clerk for the town Jennifer Sawatzky. “We’re trying to do it before Christmas but not too close to Christmas, so we thought the 15 would be good and then working back, I have strict deadlines in regards to advertising of the election and an advanced vote and nomination day.”
Nomination papers are available now at the Town of Strathmore office, and nomination day is Nov. 17, which is exactly four weeks before the election, and is the minimum allowable time between nomination day and Election Day.
Nomination forms must be signed by five electors over the age of 18 who live in the Town of Strathmore, and who have also lived here for at least six months. The fee is $250, and the nomination hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Forms are to be brought into the town office in that time frame, not a minute later.
“Those hours are very strict, so if they come in at one minute after 12 noon or even a few milliseconds after, I can’t accept the applications, that’s legislation,” said Sawatzky.
Candidates don’t have to bring in the forms personally on Nov. 17, but they are required to have them signed before a Commissioner of Oaths. The forms can also be signed in front of Sawatzky, who is a Commissioner of Oaths.
“After nominations have closed, which is 12 noon, people can come in and inspect the nominations, but no one can inspect them before,” said Sawatzky.
“I assume several people will run. We normally don’t have quite as big a turnout at a by-election, but we certainly encourage people to come and vote,” said Chief Administrative Officer Dwight Stanford.
The advanced poll will be held on Dec. 8, with the election itself taking place on Dec. 15 at the Civic Centre. All voters must be 18-years-old, Strathmore residents and must have ID.