With the only other councillor who has expressed an interest in the position of mayor pulling out of the race, citing disenchantment with the process, Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano is set to be officially sworn in as Huntsville’s first female mayor at a special council meeting on Tuesday morning (December 17, 2019).
Terziano has been doing the job since former Mayor Scott Aitchison took a leave of absence to run for the position of member of parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka. She will continue in the role until the next municipal election, set for October 23, 2022.
According to a staff report to council, holding a byelection would have cost the municipality just over $100,000 in unbudgeted expenditures as well as staff time. Community members have been divided on the issue – some calling for fiscal restraint while urging the deputy mayor to fill in as the mayor for the remainder of the term. While others, particularly Councillor Tim Withey who has expressed interest in the position and unsuccessfully ran for council’s top job in 2014, have argued that you cannot put a price on democracy.
With Terziano being officially appointed by council as Mayor of Huntsville, her ward seat will be declared as vacant and council will once more be required to make a decision about how to fill it.
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