Council Sets Date for Byelection


Robert Thomas

The date for the upcoming byelection has been set and Moose Jaw residents are headed to the polls Wednesday October 17th.

The byelection is being held to fill the vacancy created with the resignation of former mayor and long time City Councillor Don Mitchell. Coun Mitchell resigned on June 30th. He felt he could not put in the required effort on Council to do a proper job with family issues at home and decided to resign.

As part of declaring the byelection five days of advance polls at City Hall were also declared.

Advance voting takes place on October 3, October 4, October 11, October 13 and October 15. The advance poll will be open from 5 pm to 8 pm daily except for Saturday October 13 when the advance poll will run from noon until 5 pm.

The call for nominations will begin August 27th with all nominations filed by 4 pm on Wednesday September 12th.

In order to help people get to the polls there will also be free transit service on Election Day. The cost to the taxpayer is estimated at $1300. Free transit service was seen as a way to alleviate any financial impediment for voters wishing to cast their votes.

The main reason Administration recommended holding the byelection in mid-October was to allow the Councillor-elect the opportunity to take part in the budgeting process.

The civic budget was moved forward from its usual December introduction to allow a new budgeting structure - Priority Based to be used for the 2018/2019 budget. Priority Based Budgets are based upon establishing priorities within an established amount of available funds then budgeting by assigning funds based upon their priority. It could mean some previously budgeted items receive more, less or no funding at all based upon their priority.

Previously the City used a  budgeting structure which automatically adjusted budgeted items based upon a percentage approach of tax increases.

A recommendation was also made by Administration not to require candidates to undergo a criminal record check in order to run.

Check this week's Rhino's Ramblings: Who is Running in the Byelection