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For twelve (12) months, the people of St Catharines have wondered when our elected official would cease a "leave of absence" and return to his seat OR resign;
For twelve (12) months, the Chair of the Region of Niagara, Alan Caslin, has failed to take action while a St Catharines regional council seat has remained empty;
For twelve (12) months, the tax payers have continued to pay a salary to an absent regional councillor who will not speak with his constituents nor appear for council.
WHERAS Thirty percent (30%) of the population of the Region of Niagara reside in St Catharines, and is represented as such with one fifth of regional council seats, the now annum absence of Councillor Andrew Petrowski changes the balance to one sixth which we, the citizens, find unacceptable and no longer to be representative of the population of the Region.
:WHEREBY Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 (the Act) states:
259 (1) The office of a member of council of a municipality becomes vacant if the member,
(a) becomes disqualified from holding the office of a member of council under section 256, 257 or 258;
(b) fails to make the declaration of office before the deadline in section 232;
(c) is absent from the meetings of council for three successive months without being authorized to do so by a resolution of council;
(d) resigns from his or her office and the resignation is effective under section 260;
(e) is appointed or elected to fill any vacancy in any other office on the same council;
(f) has his or her office declared vacant in any judicial proceeding;
(g) forfeits his or her office under this or any other Act; or
(h) dies, whether before or after accepting office and making the prescribed declarations. 2001, c. 25, s. 259 (1).
THEREFORE we ask that section 263 of the Act take effect:
263 (1) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a member of council, the municipality shall, subject to this section,
(a) fill the vacancy by appointing a person who has consented to accept the office if appointed; or
(b) require a by-election to be held to fill the vacancy in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. 2001, c. 25, s. 263 (1).
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