Fort St. John voters will head to the polls this spring to fill the vacant council seat left by Becky Grimsrud.
Voting day has been tentatively set for May 15, and will be confirmed at a special council meeting March 1. Mayor Lori Ackerman said Monday the next month will allow city staff time to develop an appropriate COVID plan for voting.
Grimsrud, elected in 2018, resigned from council earlier this month to take a city position as a health and safety assistant.
How the election will be carried out will depend on COVID restrictions through the spring.
Nominations are planned to open March 30, and the city is developing a Candidate 101 workshop video in the event that in-person meetings are still restricted.
The city says under current restrictions it will not be allowed to set up a special voting opportunity for residents in the senior apartments or Peace Villa.
However, “It is hoped that by April, the City can offer this service to our seniors since they are very actively engaged in the voting process,” legislative director Janet Prestley wrote in a Jan. 25 report to council.
Ackerman said she has met with several interested residents by Zoom, and has shared a download link of recent city reports, studies, and policies that candidates should know about with four people already.
Ackerman will take over Grimsrud’s pool commission duties, while the rest of Grimsrud's portfolio commitments including emergency planning, economic recovery, tourism, and youth advisory will be assigned to the new councillor.
The new councillor would take their oath of office at the May 25 council meeting if the tentative schedule goes according to plan.
On Monday, Coun. Bolin was designated Acting Mayor for January and Coun. Hansen for February.
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