WESTLOCK – The Village of Clyde remains one candidate short of forming a full, five-seat council after a week of nomination deadline extensions.
Following the initial nomination deadline of Sept. 20, only a single candidate had stepped up to the plate. The deadline was then extended throughout the week and is slated to reopened today, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon, as a last-ditch effort to drum up interest in the remaining position.
When the fifth candidate is found, the village will have an almost entirely new council as Patricia Hamaluk, Charis Logan, Starla Sydia, and Gerald Austin will all be first-time Clyde councillors.
But if they aren't able to find a fifth today, village CAO Ron Cust says they will be consulting with Municipal Affairs on what to do next.
Lack of interest in the position could be the result of a variety of factors according to Cust, although it is not an uncommon issue in small centres like Clyde, which has a population of 325.
“Insufficient candidates are a fairly common issue in low-population areas, or places where the people are satisfied with the government,” he said.
Term length is another issue that could play a factor in low candidate turnout as the length of terms increased from three to four years for the 2013 municipal election.
“The incumbents have all served for many years, so their comfort level for serving another four years isn’t quite there. Council used to be two- or three-year terms, and even in the 1960s it was one-year terms, so the commitment has really grown.”