Morinville – The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) is calling on Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes to call a special meeting of Council immediately in order to fill the chair left vacant by the passing of Mayor Paul Krauskopf.
In a press release issued Monday night, Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce President Simon Boersma said while the Chamber recognized the mayor’s passing put the community in a difficult time, but the business organization feels the Town requires clearly defined leadership. “Council needs to find the strength to lead right now,” Boersma said in the release. “Given the timeframe, Council needs to end the leadership crisis immediately and appoint a mayor or let the people decide in a snap by-election. They must act.
The matter of the Council vacancy was discussed at the July 3 Chamber meeting. As a result they are encouraging the Town to think about good governance as any company would do during a troubling and difficult period.
MDCC Director and Policy Chair David Marshall said a good governance model requires someone to be both in charge and responsible. “That’s why the Chamber, given the current political reality, took the position that a snap by-election was the best and fairest way to fill the vacancy,” Marshall said in the release.
Morinville Town Council held a special meeting July 11 at which time they voted 3-2 in favour of deferring the appointment of a new mayor until the Aug. 27 meeting, their first after the summer break.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes said Council had received a letter from the Chamber prior to the July 11 special meeting. That letter requested a by-election be held. Holmes said a by-election was not selected as an option for Council because of the proximity of the swearing in ceremony at the beginning of September and the Nomination Day for the fall election on Sept. 23. Holmes said with the time that has passed since the special meeting, the date between swearing in and Nomination Day would be even narrower.
Holmes said Council decided to wait until the Aug. 27 meeting to appoint a mayor, but in the interim Council does have someone in charge. “It needs to be made clear that Council does have someone in charge and responsible,” Holmes said. “The role of the Deputy Mayor is to assume the duties of the Mayor in their absence and I have done that under Council’s direction and will continue to do that until the next Regular Council Meeting.”