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Council formalizes lame-duck procedures

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


As the 2018 municipal election nears, Cobourg council has formalized lame duck procedures as set out by the province.

These go along with other changes, such as the new nomination period. Where this period previously ran through September, it will now be 2 p.m. July 27.

With the longer Lame Duck period for the existing council that results, council heard at the recent committee-of-the-whole meeting in a report from Deputy Clerk Brent Larmer, the province has moved to set out restrictions that apply to council during that time.

• No appointment or removal from office of any officer of the municipality.

• No hiring or dismissal of any municipal employee.

• No disposition of property valued at more than $5,000.

• No expenditures or liabilities taken on valued at more than $5,000 that were not previously budgeted for.

In this period, the chief administrative officer could assume certain of these powers to ensure the smooth functioning of the municipality.

The Lame Duck period is July 1 to Oct. 22, with a second period of Oct. 22 to Nov. 30 that applies if less than 75% of the existing council will be returning for another term.

The 75% figure is mandated by the province, Deputy Mayor John Henderson pointed out.

Councillor Suzanne Seguin expressed her wish that council at least be kept informed of any over-$50,000 expenditures or personnel adjustments that do take place during Lame Duck periods.

“That would be a given,” Municipal Clerk Lorraine Brace said.

“A report would have to come to council.”