Huntsville council has decided that the cost is just too high to hold a by-election to replace the Stisted, Stephenson, Port Sydney ward representative, Chris Zanetti, who resigned suddenly from council in January.
At an estimated cost of over $57,000, the by-election in which there are approximately 1500 eligible voters, would have cost more than half of what last year’s municipal election cost.
Many councillors said they had been prepared to vote in favour of a by-election until they heard the final estimate of the cost from Town CAO Denise Corry.
Somewhat conflicted about the decision Mayor Scott Aitchison told council, “As the CEO of this corporation thinking about the cost of a by-election I cannot help but favour the idea of appointing someone to fill the vacancy on Council, but I am a passionate believer that we cannot go wrong by giving the people who make up this community their choice. The democracy we govern ourselves with is not our system because it is the cheapest form of government… It is our system because it is the best form of government.”
Rather than a by-election Council has opted to appoint a person to the position. How that person will be chosen will be discussed at the next general council meeting on Monday March 23.