Alberton residents will head back to the polls on Sept. 9 to choose four new town councillors in a municipal byelection.
Alberton Town Council has been functioning with just mayor David Gordon and veteran councillors Kelly Williams and Blair Duggan following a series of four resignations in June.
Five residents are in the running for the four vacant seats.
Former mayor Mike Murphy and former town councillor Alan Curtis are looking to get back on council. They both lost their seats in the regular municipal election last November. Three newcomers to municipal politics have also filed nomination papers. They are Holly Gordon, who is a daughter of the current mayor; Mary Jean O’Brien and Chester Adams.
Since the byelection falls on Sept. 9, the regular Alberton Town Council monthly meeting night. Council decided in July that, should a bye-election be needed, the monthly meeting would move to Sept. 16.
Resignations started the night of the June monthly meeting when Claudia Gallant announced she’d be resigning at the end of the month because she was leaving town. David Cahill, who was deputy mayor and who chaired the June monthly meeting, resigned the following day citing health reasons, and Donnie Bernard, who joined council in November, announced his resignation on June 13, effective June 30, also citing health reasons.
Then, during a special meeting on June 27, with representatives from the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs in attendance to offer guidance on proceeding with less than a quorum, second-term councillor Connie Bernard announced she was resigning because of concerns about important information not being made available to council at the appropriate time. She has not disclosed what that information was.
In the midst of all those resignations, the town’s long-time chief administrative officer, Susan Wallace Flynn, advised council on June 10 she’d be going on vacation June 21 and subsequently retiring.
Council has since hired Donna Thompson as an interim administrator.
With Thompson being new to the job, council has hired Tignish chief administrative officer Chancey Gaudette as municipal election officer for the Sept. 9 byelection. Thompson is the deputy municipal election officer and former Tignish CAO, Karen Gaudet-Gavin is the returning officer.