Another voice on Deputy Mayor selection process

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my concerns about the process to find a replacement for the position of Deputy Mayor in Mississippi Mills.

The criteria for the process to replace the DM should be marked by transparency, fairness, and democracy.  Ideally, there would be another election. If that is not seen as desirable, due to cost, then I believe the council must return to the last election and offer the position to the runner-up in the race for DM. This seems to be the most transparent, fair and democratic course of action.

I have seen the letter sent to PRATAC members. The letter speaks for the need for the candidate for the vacated DM position to be compatible with the Councils of Mississippi Mills and Lanark County.  What does compatible with the present Council mean? The candidate must try to work with other council members, they must try to find common ground but to suggest that they be of a similar mindset (alluded to in another part of the letter) is just wrong. Mississippi Mills is a rich, diverse community.  This is a strength and should be reflected on Council. Council members must be independent-minded and clear thinking certainly; they need not and indeed, should not, all share the same mindset.

The letter also suggests that in choosing a new DM the Council must be “fully cognizant of Mr. Levi’s mindset and the mindset of the people that voted for him”. Does this mean that the Council, in the task of choosing a new DM, can somehow see into the minds of the former DM and those who voted for him?  How is this possible?  People vote for candidates for a variety of reasons.  It is impossible to choose a replacement based on the unknowable mindset of the individual voters. What we do know, based on the vote count for the 2018 election, is that a majority of those who voted for the position of DM did not vote for Mr. Levis.  (Mr. Levis won the election with 47% of the vote). If Council chooses to select the runner-up, it would at least reflect the will of a significant number of voters (35%).

I urge this Council to choose the replacement for the position of DM in the most transparent, fair and democratic method possible. The person should not be selected based on some perception that they are compatible with the current members or sharing the same mindset.  It must be a candidate that best represents the will of the electorate.  The ideal way to find a new DM is through a new election and if not that, by choosing the runner up.

Patty Carson