Markham's ward#7 councillor Logan Kanapathi won a seat as a MPP for the Markham-Thornhill riding in the June 7 Ontario Provincial election. To most Markham residents, his ward councillor seat was expected to be filled in the upcoming municipal election on Oct 22, 2018 given the very short time frame between the two elections.
Apparently, the City Clerk had other ideas based on the City's “Council Vacancy Policy” and the “Ontario Municipal Act”. This caused a presentation item to appear on the General Committee Meeting Agenda for June 12 immediately. According to the City Clerk, if a provincially elected Councillor resigns following the release of unofficial election results on June 7th, Markham City Council must declare their seat vacant at its next meeting - June 12, 2018. Hence, the presentation supposedly informs the General Committee of possible next steps to deal with the consequences.
The Ward#7 councillor was not required to resign his seat in order to run for Provincial Parliament in Ontario and he had not resigned. Technically, he is also not a MPP until the publication of the election results in the Ontario Gazette (section 260 of the Municipal Act). At that point, the councillor is deemed to have resigned his seat that day and Markham City Council must declare the seat vacant at its next meeting (the Gazette publishes on the following dates in June: 9, 16, 23, 30).
Since this Council vacancy occurs after March 31 in a Municipal Election year, the City is required to fill the seat by appointment & NOT through a by-election (Section 65(2) of the Municipal Elections Act). The City is not required to fill a Council vacancy that occurs within 90 days before Voting Day of the 2018 Municipal Election (October 22, 2018). Nominations for municipal elections are closed on July 28, 2018 by 2 pm.
万锦市议会会议定于6月12日和6月26日举行。如果到2018年6月26日之前安省省选举结果没有正式公布，此问题就得留到下一次，2018年9月12日举行的市议会上解决 。而9月12日离市政选举不到90天。因此，不需要指定一个人补充Logan Kanapathi席位的空缺。
City Council meetings are scheduled for June 12 & June 26. If the 2018 Provincial Election results are not published by the Gazette until after June 26, 2018, the next scheduled City Council meeting is September 12, 2018 – this is within 90 days of the 2018 Municipal Election and therefore no appointment is required.
Referring to the Council Vacancy Policy, the City Clerk suggested the following appointment options:
a) Appoint an unsuccessful candidate for the Ward 7 seat in the most recent regular election (i.e. The 2014 Municipal Election);
or, b) Appoint any other qualified person (i.e. a Markham voter).
按照市府的第一个建议（a），4个“没有当选”的候选人中有2个被排除在外，因为他们没有提交2014年选举的财务报表。这使得Khalid Usman（2014年得票第二）和Sothy Sella有资格获得任命。Usman多年前曾担任过市议会议员。
Under option#(a), 2 of the 4 “unsuccessful” candidates are eliminated as they did not file their financial statements for that election. This leaves Khalid Usman (runner up) and Sothy Sella eligible for appointment. Usman once held a ward councillor's seat many years ago.
Many residents felt that Mr. Usman is a long time, personal friend of certain members of Council and such an appointment could be tainted with the perception of personal bias. Apparently, Mr. Usman has not consistently demonstrated that he is a unifying, as opposed to, a divisive influence in our community.
Should Khalid Usman chooses to run in the upcoming municipal election, he would be able to campaign as an incumbent, which would be seriously misleading to the voters of Ward 7. Since he would have been in the position for a very short period of time, and would not have been elected, he should have no right to call himself an incumbent.
To many residents, it is preferable not to fill the ward councillor's seat since Council is preparing to adjourn for the summer (between June 27 and September 12) and there will be a very small term remaining when Council reconvenes before municipal election day (October 22, 2018). To appoint someone unnecessarily is a waste of taxpayer money.
On June 12, 2018 members of the Council discussed the options after the City Clerk's presentation. An extra option was tabled in addition to the two proposed by the presentation - Move the date of the next Council Meeting to circumvent the 90-day period so that Council would not be required to appoint an interim City Councillor.
Everything now hinges on the timing of the publication of the names of elected MPP's by the Ontario Gazette before the Council members will take any action. Eliminating the appointment is the right thing to do and the residents will support any sound judgment that involves the proper use of their tax dollars.
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