WESTLOCK – It’s déjà vu all over again as the Village of Clyde looks to fill another vacant council seat.
At the March 13 regular council meeting, councillors discussed two possible dates for a spring byelection following Coun. Starla Sydia’s resignation March 2, and voted 4-0 to call the byelection May 15. Nominations will close April 17 at noon.
It is the fourth byelection called in the village in about a year and a half, as Jerry Austin resigned just weeks after the October 2021 municipal election. That was followed by the resignation of then deputy mayor Patricia Hamaluk in January 2022 — a byelection originally called for March 22 did not receive any nominations, so council continued with four elected representatives.
A third byelection was called for in July after Municipal Affairs minister Rick McIver sent a letter stating the village had to hold another byelection by a July 15 deadline. Coun. Alma Cruise Irwin was the sole candidate to put her name forward and was acclaimed in June.
Mayor Charis Aguirre said they are sad to say goodbye to Coun. Sydia but are “looking forward” to working with whoever fills the vacant spot.
“It’s a good working atmosphere and a good team to be a part of,” said Aguirre, adding that she has no concerns over whether or not the spot will be filled and that with several new developments in the village it’s an exciting time to be on council.
“It’s also a great opportunity to learn about municipal politics and what we have to do to make a village work. (It’s) another level of understanding about how things work, not only in our village but also in the region and provincially as well,” she said.
CAO Jaye Parrent provided council with two possible dates for the byelection, including the May 15 date and noted that “given that there’s a provincial election at the end of May” suggested having the byelection prior to that. The other date provided was one week after the provincial election on June 5.
Council also voted to fill spots on village committees that were left vacant by Sydia, including the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) committee, Westlock Regional Water Services Commission (WRWSC) and the emergency, fire and village safety committee — with each councillor agreeing to take on one more committee. In a second request for decision, council voted to provide a special mail-in ballot to residents should they not be able to vote May 15.