Village of Halkirk voters cast their ballots for a new council in a by-election held Nov. 21. The previous council resigned en masse last summer. ECA Review/S.SalkeldStu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Village of Halkirk swore in its newly elected council after the previous council resigned en masse last summer. 

The oaths of office were sworn at the regular village council meeting Dec. 5.

A by-election for the entire council was held Nov. 21 which saw substantial interest both in candidacy and voter turn-out.

Five candidates vied for the three council seats, and according to official results from Municipal Affairs (MA), out of the 122 eligible voters 57 showed up to cast their ballots.

Candidate Dennis Cordel was the highest vote-getter with 43, followed closely by Ross Elsasser with 42 and Jan Koenraadt with 39, with those three receiving council seats.

 They were followed by candidates John Gregory Miles with 20 votes and Yvette Allen with 11 votes.

According to the MA official results, no incumbents ran in the by-election.

In a phone call to the ECA Review Dec. 7, newly elected councillor Koenraadt confirmed his peers selected him as mayor at the first council meeting Dec. 5, with Cordel as deputy mayor.

Koenraadt stated he was skeptical Halkirk actually has 122 eligible voters, and feels the 57 voters who showed up probably represent 80 to 90 per cent of those eligible to vote in Halkirk’s municipal election.

Mayor Koenraadt stated the first council meeting was mostly an organizational meeting that included assigning duties and such.

 Koenraadt noted he wasn’t going to make many statements at this point since it’s only a few weeks after the election.

He did confirm, however, that the previous council all resigned last summer.

Scott Johnston, press secretary, Municipal Affairs, confirmed the previous council resignations and that a provincial government administrator is no longer needed.

“The Village of Halkirk lost quorum on Aug. 29, 2023, as a result of all three councillors submitting their resignations,” stated Johnston in a Dec. 7 email.

 “On Sept. 6, the Minister appointed an official administrator to act as council until quorum was restored.

“A by-election was held on Nov. 21, 2023, in which three new councillors were elected. 

Later that year, on Dec. 5, the new council was sworn in and the appointment of the official administrator was concluded.”

Mayor Koenraadt stated he saw the voter turnout as very good and feels the community was happy with the by-election. 

He added it was also nice to have decision-making power in the village returned to residents.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 15, 2023 at 09:43

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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