At Monday’s meeting, City Council will be voting to approve the process of holding a civic by-election for a new Ward 8 Councillor following Ted Zurakowski’s resignation after having served in the position for nearly two decades.
To fill the vacancy, the vote of the Ward 8 electors will take place on Wednesday, May 31, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Arthur Pechey School has been recommended as the designated polling place on election day.
Mobile poll applications for voters who are homebound and/or physically disabled will be accepted until Wednesday, May 17, to allow the elector to vote in their own residence. A one-hour hospital poll will also be established at Victoria Hospital to allow electors who are receiving care to vote in the election.
Mail-in ballots will be offered as an alternative choice for voters who expect they will not be unavailable to vote at the designated location. Ballots will be accepted until the close of polls on Election Day.
As Returning Officer for the City, City Clerk Terri Mercier wrote in a report to Council that it is her intent to set at least two days for an Advanced Poll, which will be determined at a later date.
In Mercier’s report, she recommended that the 2023 Ward 8 by-election be conducted in a similar manner as Prince Albert’s last general election in Nov. 2020. The report states this will be both more time-effective and cost-efficient for the City, as a by-election was not included in the 2023 budget.
The City will be responsible for the full cost of the by-election, as neither of the school boards in Prince Albert need to fill any vacancies at this time.
The estimated cost of the by-election is $37,000, which will be funded from Fiscal Stabilization. Some of the projected expenses include rental of the building and voting equipment, payment for election workers, and operating supplies.
The total does not include the cost of City Staff time, which is estimated to cost approximately $15,000, as these salaries are budgeted within the General Fund Budget.
The nomination period for the Ward 8 councillor position will run from April 11 until April 26, with nomination packages expected to be available shortly after Council’s approval. The packages will include forms to be completed by the candidates. They will be publicly posted once Mercier accepts them.
If the date is approved, the official results of the 2023 Ward 8 by-election will be made available at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 2, in the City Clerk’s office at City Hall.