An action to cheer a local Democrat

ballotboxThe last time this happened Cobourg Council wimped out. This time they are being adventurous and daring. We applaud them.

What we are talking about is a Councillor replacement process. When Cllr. Rickerby resigned Council appointed the now Cllr. Burchat. When Cllr Sherwin announces his resignation on Monday night Council will be ready with a brand new replacement policy. This policy was written in response to the discussion about Cllr. Burchat’s appointment. Some people wanted an election but Council said it would be too costly, the BR disagreed but Council proceeded anyway with an appointment. Citing that the loser with the most votes had gained a “significant” number of votes and therefore merited an appointment.

Not only as Council acted on its own policy but also has taken away another debating point by defining what “Significant” is in the eyes of policymakers. A copy of a part of the report to Council (read it here) states:

Option 1:
A review of the Council Candidate who received the most number of votes in the previous 2014 Municipal Election after the recent appointment of Aaron Burchat to fill the last Council Vacancy was conducted. Based on the review, the next candidate received substantially less than 50% of the number of votes received by the lowest elected Councillor. Therefore, it was deemed that the number of votes received was not significant enough to warrant appointment.
This in itself is significant!
OK so much for the facts now for the opinion. Firstly this is a great move, and one the BR can support. Our first preference would have been, as it was the last time this ocurred, to have an election. But this is a good second best. But the process is not without its faults. First of all any successful candidate will have to have the confidence of the Council as they go into the process.
The process is:
  1. Read the local newspaper in the next two weeks and answer the advertisement.
  2. Pick up, fillout and return the proper application form by 4pm Wednesday January 18th 2017.
  3. Attend the Special Council Meeting to be held at 4pm on January 23rd 2017.
  4. Speak to the asssembled Council and in ten minutes explain why you want to be on Council and impress Council.
  5. Watch Council as they vote for one of the assembled candidates.
  6. Watch as Council appoints the first candidate to get a quorum of votes from the Council.

So is this a perfect answer to an election – NO but it comes close. The difference is that instead of getting more votes from Cobourg Citizens than the other candidates one has to get four votes of seven from a Council.

Putting on our cynic’s hat it is obvious to us that if Council has gone this far it is inconceivable that they don’t have a preferred candidate already and who has already been prompted by the Mayor, or his best buddy, to get their name in. The telling points in this are: just who will be applying for the position¬† and, in the round of voting, will all of Council vote for the same person.

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