With about five weeks left until the deadline for nominations for the Oct. 25 municipal and school board elections, few people here have filed their names so far.
But those thinking about running for office are encouraged to attend an election candidate information session next month to learn more about what the position entails, election finances, and more.
The session will be held Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 7-9 p.m. in the committee room at the Civic Centre.
“It’s being hosted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing,” noted Fort Frances Clerk Glenn Treftlin.
“They’re going to provide attendees with information on topics such as the role of council and staff, nomination process, [and] financial filing,” he explained.
The session also will cover the campaign period, as well as candidate duties and responsibilities, followed by a question-and-answer period.
Treftlin said the session is applicable to those planning on running for municipal council or school board, whether they are new to the process or seeking re-election as there were changes to the Municipal Elections Act earlier this year.
It’s intended for anybody thinking about it, or those who have already committed and filed nomination papers, he added.
While the session is being held in Fort Frances, it is meant for “all of the potential candidates in all of the municipalities,” not just those from the Fort Frances area, Treftlin stressed, noting a similar session will be held Aug. 23 in Atikokan for residents in that end of the district.
To register, attendees are encouraged to contact their respective municipal clerk prior to Aug. 19. For prospective school board trustees, call Treftlin at 274-5323.
As previously reported, anyone interested in running for mayor, council, or the school boards should keep in mind they must file their papers with the clerk at the Civic Centre (or their respective municipality) prior to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.
Withdrawal of any nominations also must be made by then.
Nominees must pay a $200 fee to run for head of council (mayor) or $100 for any other position (i.e., councillor or trustee).
They also must be a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older, and either be a property owner, someone who leases property, or the spouse of someone who owns/leases property.
Election day will be held Oct. 25—a change from the second Monday in November in past years after reforms to the Municipal Elections Act earlier this year.
Polls will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on election day. And once again, the town also will be using a vote-by-mail system.
The first day of the new council term will be Dec. 1.
Municipal terms are four years, after being increased from three just prior to the 2006 election.
In related news, Treftlin reported no new people have filed their names at the Civic Centre anytime recently.
Coun. Sharon Tibbs remains the only person who has filed to run for council while Dan Belluz, Dave Kircher, and Michael Lewis (Atikokan) are running for trustee positions on the Rainy River District School Board.
“They’re in no hurry, I guess,” said Treftlin.
“It’s still the summer,” he reasoned. “People don’t get into this groove until probably mid- to late-August.”