Council decides to fill mayor’s seat from within

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By Nick Seebruch
Council decides to fill mayor’s seat from within
The City of Cornwall flag outside of City Hall (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council has decided to fill the vacant Mayor’s seat from one of their own number, rather than selecting another member of the public or going to a by-election.

Councillor Dean Hollingsworth summed up why he opposed holding a by-election.

“Number one, we are talking about basically a tad more than 12 months,” he said. “Having a municipal election takes a fair chunk of time and resources. Because it is one position for such a short amount of time, I am reluctant to have an election.”

Councillor Glen Grant and Acting Mayor Todd Bennett both said that few members of the public have approached them to have a by-election.

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“There is only one person who brought up an election,” said Bennett. “99 per cent of people I spoke to did not want an election and for multiple reasons.”

“A lot of people feel it wouldn’t be fair to ask a candidate to spend a couple thousand dollars then ask them to do that again in a couple of months,” Bennett added.

Councillors Justin Towndale and Eric Bergeron were the only members who voted in favour of a by-election.

“To me this is the where we go,”  he said. “I truly believe that the people of Cornwall have the right to choose their Mayor.”

According to the Clerk, a by-election would cost around $180,000 with no final result until October.

Councillor Maurice Dupelle also voiced his opinion that Council should consider the person who received the next most amount of votes in the Mayoral election of 2018, David Murphy, but that idea was also rejected.

Councillor Claude McIntosh expressed his desire to restrict the pool of potential Mayors to Council.

“I don’t believe if everyone came in with a name on July 12 that we would all come to an agreement,” he said.

Cornwall has seen a Mayor not complete their term twice in its history and both times a member of Council was appointed to the position.

Ultimately, Council voted in favour of meeting again on July 8 to pick from among themselves who would be next Mayor for the remaining 16 months of the current term.

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