Bylaws to enable White Rock’s upcoming byelection are now in place – and there are changes to the rules that those considering taking a run at the council seat need to know.
At the suggestion of city clerk Tracey Arthur, council voted unanimously last week to require that candidates have at least 10 people backing their nomination, and that each candidate make a $100 nomination deposit when filing their papers.
Requiring 10 nominators (municipalities may set the number at 10 or 25 instead of two, the minimum required by legislation) ensures that each candidate has been out in the community and is committed, Arthur said.
She noted that in the past two elections, there have been candidates who did not follow through after filing their intent to run.
The $100 deposit is “to ensure candidates are serious,” she said, adding the money will be refunded after campaign financial disclosure papers are filed.
In addition to supporting the concept of a deposit, Coun. Grant Meyer suggested that in the future, such deposits be non-refundable.
“Just food for thought,” he said.
The byelection is required to fill the seat of longtime-councillor Mary-Wade Anderson, who died June 26 following complications from a heart-valve replacement.
In the interest of reducing the cost of holding the byelection – projected at $40,000, with funds to come from the city’s contingency budget – Arthur proposed reducing the number of advance voting days to two, from the three held last year.
Other “housekeeping” amendments were also made.
The bylaws received first, second and third reading at the July 16 meeting.
That same night, Arthur was appointed chief election officer; and Maureen Connelly, who is the city’s new deputy clerk, was appointed deputy chief election officer. Both of those appointments take effect on Aug. 17.
General voting day is to be Nov. 3, with voting locations set up at the White Rock Community Centre, Centennial Arena and Kent Street Activity Centre.