By-election ruled out to fill Cornwall mayor’s seat

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall City Council has ruled out a by-election to fill the vacant mayor’s seat after the departure of Bernadette Clement.

That option was voted down after an intense debate Monday night. Many on council suggested the short amount of time left before the next municipal election and the cost did not make it a good option.

The final vote was 8-2 with Couns. Eric Bergeron and Coun. Justin Towndale voting for the by-election.

Several councillors, including Glen Grant and Carilyne Hebert, say they haven’t heard any appetite in the community to go to the polls.

Instead, council will appoint someone currently serving on council during a special council meeting. The final vote was 7-3.

The meeting date will be Thursday, July 8 at 5 p.m. That will allow time for councillors to speak with the community and also lobby for fellow councillor’s support while giving more time around a holiday weekend.

A by-election would have cost taxpayers around $180,000 and a vote wouldn’t have happened until October based on the clerk’s timeline.

Once a councillor is appointed, the process will start all over again to declare the successful councillor’s seat vacant and decide how to fill that position.