Carbonear residents on the hook for two byelections
Voters in Carbonear will be going to the polls not once but twice in the coming months to fill vacancies triggered by a provincial byelection last fall.
The additional byelection was made necessary because former deputy mayor George Butt waited until the last minute to resign from his council position to run for mayor in a Feb. 18 byelection. A subsequent byelection has been scheduled for April 21 to replace the deputy mayor.
Butt, who is seeking to replace newly elected Liberal MHA Sam Slade as mayor in Carbonear, told CBC News he did nothing wrong.
"Council felt I should run for mayor if I [wanted] it, so that's why I'm running," he said.
The extra byelection, which could cost as much as $10,000, has come in for criticism from The Compass, the regional newspaper in Conception Bay North.
Butt said he doesn't think staying in his council position was a mistake.
"Council had two opportunities in December to move me up as mayor and they didn't do it so that caused an extra byelection. So they [did] what they felt they had to do, and I done what I had to do," said Butt.
'Never, ever entered my mind'
Some have suggested Butt stayed on to keep earning his council wage, but he denies it.
"Remuneration never, ever entered my mind," said Butt.
"I don't think it would be right to judge as to whether he made the right move or not," he said in an interview.
"Personally, I do have an opinion on it, but I think it would be more appropriate for me to keep that to myself for the time and the citizens will decide how they feel about it."
Slade stepped down as Carbonear's mayor days after winning the provincial byelection in Carbonear-Harbour Grace in November. That byelection was made necessary when former finance minister Jerome Kennedy left politics to return to his law career.