Residents of the Rural Municipality of Ritchot will be going to the polls July 19th.
A by-election has been called, following the resignation of Mayor Jackie Hunt and councillors Jeannot Robert and Ron Mamchuk. This resulted in there no longer being quorum of council. In the interim, the province has appointed Roger Bouvier as Administrator. Bouvier will be relieved of those duties at noon on July 20th.
Any candidates wishing to run in the July election must file their nomination papers on either June 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th or 13th. Papers will be received on those days between 9 am and 4 pm. On election day, polls will be open between 8 am and 8 pm.
Ritchot is made up of four wards. Residents will be voting for one councillor for each ward plus a Mayor at large. Any of the councillors from the previous council are allowed to run in the July 19th election.
Meanwhile, Bouvier says things are going well for him in his temporary role with the municipality. Bouvier says his big task right now is to make sure the election happens and to take care of the day-to-day affairs of the municipality. That includes making sure bills and staff are paid and general work continues including maintenance of roads and drainage.
But Bouvier says some things are now on hold. For example, council had scheduled its financial plan hearing for this week. That now will not happen until the new council is elected. In fact, Bouvier says any public hearings that had been advertised will now be postponed until after July 19th.
"It's going to slow down a few developers, unfortunately," says Bouvier. "But that's just the way it's going to have to be. We're not going to be doing any major graveling of roads and any new drainage construction projects that may have been projected."
Bouvier says any matter that would have required council's approved through the budget is delayed at this point.