Byelection shot down by Windsor council
Ward 7 seat to be appointed
City council has shot down a call to hold a byelection to fill the seat left vacant when Percy Hatfield was elected MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh earlier this month.
After several motions were defeated Monday night, council finally settled on appointing someone.
Councillor Bill Marra made the motion to hold a byelection but it was defeated seven to three.
"Clearly I’m disappointed," Marra said.
The process to appoint someone to council is unclear.
Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac asked council to look at how Toronto is filling a vacancy by appointment.
"They've referred it to a committee in Etobicoke, Ont.. They will look for community input in terms of people that they feel would represent them best, whether that be a previous councillor, just a member of the community that they feel is very active. That will then come back to Toronto council as a recommendation and they'll vote on it," she said.
Angelo Marignani said he'll seek the appointment. He is a downtown businessman who was the runner-up in Ward 7 during the municipal election in 2010.
"I really wanted a byelection. I thought that was the way to go, in all reality, because that is the purest form of democracy," said Marignani, who lost to Percy Hatfield by 2,000 votes in 2010. "But if the people of Ward 7 wanted an appointment as a result of saving cash, the numbers that they're using was based on the 2010 election, so it probably went up. It's going to be close to $100,000."
Mayor Eddie Francis supports a byelection, but could not vote for the motion the way it was worded.
"It would have rushed the time period leading to a vote," he said.
"I got elected in a by-election. What I did not agree with was a shortened time window because i think that only lends to the favour of those who have an organization so I’m in favour of a longer byelection period," said Francis.
The administration will prepare a report for council on the process to follow in appointing someone to fill the vacant seat.
Council has 60 days to make the appointment. The next general municipal election is slated to be held in October of next year.