Saskatchewan urban residents prepare for municipal elections

Residents of towns and villages who may be thinking about serving their community by taking a role in municipal government have only a few short weeks to ponder that possibility before nominations will be open to find candidates in the municipal elections being held across the province this fall which will culminate with polling on November 9.

The election, which is to determine the persons to serve as mayors and councillors for the next four years, is being held with consideration for appropriate precautions being taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nomination papers must include a criminal record check and a public disclosure statement, similar to the disclosure statements that elected officials file which identified a nominee’s employer, corporate interests, partnerships, business arrangements, property holdings and contracts and agreements.

At Kamsack, the call for nominations begins on September 22 and ends with the nomination day which will be October 7, said Laura Lomenda, returning officer for the election. Nominations may be withdrawn until 4 p.m. on October 8 with no consequence.

Because of the COVID threat, Kamsack council has approved three advance polls being held in the council chambers on October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; October 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and November 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Voting in Kamsack on polling day, or “election day” will be held at the Broda Sportsplex because the usual building, the OCC Hall, is being used for another purpose.

Precautions relating to COVID-19 will continue to be finalized and will include social distancing, use of hand sanitizer and use of different doors for entering and leaving the polling station, Lomenda explained. A decision on mandatory masks usage will be made closer to the election day.

Currently serving on Kamsack town council are: Mayor Nancy Brunt, who is completing her first four-year term as mayor after having served as a councillor for four years; councillors Claire Bishop and Maria Nahnybida, who are completing their second four-year terms; Councillor Karen Koreluik, who is completing a four-year term after having served from 2006 to 2009; councillors Mark Foster and Jason Pennell, who are completing their first four-year terms, and Councillor Karen Tourangeau, who won a seat on council at a byelection held last year.

Council will have an orientation meeting on November 12, and then its first regular meeting will be held November 16, Lomenda explained.

At Togo, where voters will mark and deposit their ballots at the village office located at 225 Main Street, council has not yet decided on the date of the advance polls, said Rita Brock, returning officer.

On the Togo village council are Mayor Loretta Erhardt, who has served as mayor since 2009 and has been a member of council since 2006, and councillors Michael Ruf and Doug Laviolette who have been on council since 2012 and 2009 respectively.

The election will be held with social distancing, sanitizing and no sharing of pencils, Brock said. Each voter will be provided with his or her own pencil to mark the ballot.

The call for nominations at Pelly will open on September 17, said Frances Olson, returning officer. An advance poll will be held October 31 from 9 a.m. to noon at the community Hall.

Currently serving on the Pelly council are Mayor Trevor Auchstaetter, who after serving on council for many years was elected to complete the term of Sharon Nelson, who resigned in 2018. Also serving are councillors John Llewellyn, Kevin Krotenko and Steve Lenaghan, who was also elected in a byelection in 2018.

Council currently has one vacant seat since the resignation of Brian Clough at the end of June.

The call for nominations at Norquay begins on September 22, said Denise Sorrell, returning officer, who was still in the process of determining the advance poll date. The polling location will be the Norquay town office.

On the Norquay council are: Mayor Don Tower, who has served as the mayor since 2006 and has served as a councillor before that; Councillor Loretta Perrick, who has served since 2000; Councillor Rick Dahlin, since 2003; Councillor Ken Newell, since 2012, and councilors Laura Dahl and Ken Paluck, who have served since 2016.