City appoints official to run by-election

City appoints official to run by-election

Term will begin on Aug. 2, by-election for vacant council seat must occur by 80-day deadline.

Following the resignation of councillor Tom Shypitka last week, Cranbrook mayor Lee Pratt announced the city will be appointing a Chief Electoral Officer by the beginning of August to coordinate a by-election for the now-vacant seat.

Pratt said the city has a Chief Electoral Officer in mind, with the term officially beginning on Aug. 2. Following that, there is an 80-day period for nominations and a campaign before the vote, which will occur on a Saturday yet to be scheduled, according to the Local Government Act.

Since it is not a municipal election year, a by-election must be held. Under provincial legislation, council has the authority to decide whether or not to hold a by-election if a council seat is vacated after Jan. 1 of an election year.

Shypitka resigned in order to focus on his MLA duties, as he won the Kootenay East riding in the May 9 provincial election for the BC Liberals.

Pratt lauded Shypitka’s input at the city council and RDEK table, noting he was a dedicated councillor who did his research on the issues and kept the public’s interest at the forefront.