Business Items    Item #   10. b.            
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 05/13/2019  
Title: 2019 Municipal By-election - Pungur-Buick
Department: Corporate Services

Request for Decision Summary
A by-election is necessary to fill the vacancy on Council. Administration is requesting a by-election date of July 10, 2019 and that a Returning Officer and a Substitute Returning Officer be appointed. As there is no approved budget for this by-election, Council is requested to approve the proposed budget which is required to provide the necessary resources to undertake the administration of the by-election. 

Proposed Motion
That July 10, 2019 be established as Election Day for a by-election to fill one vacant position of Councillor; and

that Christopher Belke be appointed as Returning Officer and Carolynn Grey be appointed as Substitute Returning Officer for the July 10, 2019 by-election. 

A vacancy was created on Council on April 23, 2019 by the resignation of Councillor Turton. The Municipal Government Act RSA 2000 cM-26 (the MGA) is prescriptive in its requirements for council resignations, vacancies, and municipal by-election dates. Council is required to set the election date by resolution, and in accordance with the MGA the date set for the by-election can be no later than 90 days after the date that the vacancy occurs. In this case, the by-election must be conducted no later than July 22, 2019. 

Administration recommends a July 10, 2019 Election Day, which would allow Administration sufficient time to prepare information packages and receive nominations and meet its statutory advertising requirements. Administration had originally indicated a July 8, 2019 was possible; however, in reviewing statutory requirements this needed to be adjusted by two days.  It will also provide time to make appropriate arrangements with vendors, suppliers and facilities, and to hire and train staff to work in voting stations for advance votes and on Election Day. It would also allow sufficient time for voters to educate themselves on issues and candidate platforms, and for candidates to campaign. The returning officer will work to schedule advance votes in late June to provide voting opportunities for electors who may be away on vacation, or otherwise unable to vote on Election Day.

Recommended Project Timelines
 Set Election Day  May 13
 Nomination Period  May 14-29
 Nomination Day  May 29
 Declare Election  May 30
 Advance Votes (3)  Three will be scheduled between June 25 and July 6
 Election Day  July 10
 Declare Election Results  July 15
 Deadline to conduct election  July 22

In the case of a by-election, the Local Authorities Election Act requires that the returning officer and a substitute returning officer be appointed in the resolution that fixes the day for the by-election. In order to accommodate the deadline to conduct this by-election, the City Clerk's Office has engaged Christopher Belke to assist in the implementation of this election. Administration is recommending that Christopher Belke be appointed as Returning Officer and that the City Clerk, Carolynn Grey, be appointed as the Substitute Returning Officer for this by-election. 

Council could establish a different date for the by-election, however an earlier date is no longer an option if we are to meet our statutory advertising requirements for Nomination Day. If a later date is chosen, it must be no later than July 22 in order to comply with the MGA requirements.
 The City Clerk’s Office is working with the Corporate Communications Department to develop a comprehensive communications plan for the 2019 by-election.
Passage of the recommended motions would allow staff to make the necessary preparations for the by-election and for the City to comply with the legislated timelines established for holding a by-election when a vacancy occurs on Council.

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
By their nature, by-elections are unplanned events and as such, there is no budget in place to fund a by-election. It is anticipated that the by-election will cost approximately $105,000, which is offset by the savings in remuneration for the vacant council position, which is approximately $20,000 plus honouraria. An additional $8,500 will be required for Council Orientation, which will include team building and training. Funds for the by-election will be taken from surplus. 

There will be no financial impact from this by-election beyond the current year’s budget.