The Town of Collingwood council table is full again.
Chris Carrier was appointed to the council seat left vacant by Coun. Tina Comi. He won the seat on Thursday night with a council vote of 6-2, with Coun. Kathy Jeffery and Coun. Steve Berman opposed.
Carrier previously served on Collingwood council for four consecutive terms, from 1998 to 2010 as both a councillor and as mayor for his last term.
“I’ve been an avid political watcher for a very long time and have kept up with many local issues,” said Carrier in his speech to councillors. “My motivation to put my name forward is my desire to serve with you for the remainder of the term, and help you with the goals that you – the elected council – determined were the priority.”
Carrier said he will not be running in the fall municipal election, and will not be working on any other political campaign.
He said his highest priority within the next eight months will be seeing the ball move forward on the affordable housing issue.
“I think it’s the most critical thing we’re facing in our community right now,” he said.
Eleven of the 14 citizens who applied for the vacant seat gave five-minute speeches on Thursday night: Christopher Baines, Christopher Carrier, Derrick Cummins, Cam Ecclestone, Tim Fryer, Joseph Gardhouse, Stephen Grasby, Paul Ireland, Stephen Johns, David Martin and Timothy McNabb.
Stuart Beeston, Brian Bolshin and Carene Davey, who had applied to run by the Feb. 28 deadline, had since rescinded their intention to put their names forward for the seat.
Ecclestone, Fryer, Gardhouse, and McNabb have all been on past Collingwood councils.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Brian Saunderson put forward a motion to reconsider the voting mechanism for the appointment. Instead, councillors went in-camera after the speeches by the candidates and discussed their thoughts on who would be best for the position.
After emerging from in-camera, the group put forward one name, and councillors voted in favour or against that one name. If that name did not receive at least half the vote (or, 5 of 8 votes), the group would move on to another name.
“A number of council members have expressed concerns about the (voting system) – not the integrity, but the impacts of it for all our applicants,” said Saunderson.
Council unanimously voted in favour of reconsidering and adopting the new voting method prior to the speeches.
Carrier will need do the Oath of Office at the next regular meeting of council. He would fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term, which expires Nov. 15.