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TBM passes 'lame duck' bylaw

Extra authority given to three senior staff during municipal election period
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The Blue Mountains council has passed a 'lame duck' bylaw.

At its regular meeting on July 4, council approved the lame duck bylaw that allows town staff to continue to conduct municipal business during the municipal election period from August 19 to October 24. The term "lame duck" refers to a situation where less than three-quarters of a council's current membership are not seeking re-election, or are running for different positions on council.

Councils around Ontario pass lame duck bylaws to delegate authority to senior staff members to conduct certain business during the lame duck period. Lame duck councils are not allowed to sell land valued at $50,000 or more or spend unbudgeted amounts of $50,000 or more.

The Blue Mountains council approved a bylaw that delegates lame duck authority to the CAO, the director of legal services, and the director of finance and IT.

The bylaw requires staff to report to council at its next meeting anytime they exercise the authority.

“It allows things to happen in the lame duck period,” commented Mayor Alar Soever, who noted that he had raised concerns about Grey County’s lame duck bylaw, which appoints authority to the CAO only and requires a report back to council within six months if the authority is exercised.

“This is much tighter,” he said.

At this point in time, only two incumbent councillors filed nomination papers for the election.

Coun. Andrea Matrosoves will be running for mayor and Coun. Paula Hope is seeking a councillor’s seat.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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