You will be considering the appropriate mechanism whereby the presently vacant council seat will be filled. I ask that you consider the following points when making your decision.
1. Given the small size of the new Council, the replacement of a single member is a crucial and strategic decision.
2. It is imperative that the process be transparent and accountable.
3. The process must be unencumbered by undue external influence – for example, the letter from PRATAC to its members is clearly intended to influence the process.
4. Given the potential for suspicion, accusation, undue influence and manipulation, it is vital that the whole community is confident that the outcome is fair and without challenge.
5. We do not want a return to the climate of suspicion, unnecessary conflict and accusation that accompanied the last election and the campaign that preceded it.
For the above considerations, I think that a free, open and fair by-election be the choice of this Council. It will cost taxpayers dollars but it is an investment in truth, honesty, transparency going forward and would ensure the involvement of the whole community. I believe that John Levis’ legacy of an Almonte/Mississippi Mills for all, dictates that we follow the only path that ensures that. It also provides an opportunity for all Councillors to show that they are committed to a way forward that truly represents all citizens. This cannot be done by a secret process – it is not democratic for Council to fill a position on a properly elected legislative body which purports to represent the will of all people.
A by-election is the ethical and courageous road for Councillors to take. Now is the opportunity to fulfill your election promise of transparency and fairness.