Morris-Turnberry's Jim Nelemans resigns his council seat
BY DENNY SCOTT
Twenty-two years after first winning a municipal seat, Morris-Turnberry Councillor Jim Nelemans has officially attended his last council meeting in the community, resigning his position as of Sept. 1.
Nelemans, who has held a municipal seat for approximately 19 years over five non-consecutive terms, told council he would be moving out of the area, relocating to Grand Bend by the time council held its next regular meeting in early September.
Nelemans was first elected in the 2000 election for Morris-Turnberry, serving until he lost his seat in 2010. He then returned in 2014 and served until Tuesday evening.
Nelemans said he wouldn’t be far and already had plans to visit the area with his motorhome, planning on visiting neighbours and friends so he wouldn’t miss any of the activities in the community he had called home for so many years.
Mayor Jamie Heffer said it wasn’t good news for the municipality, especially since Nelemans represented a wealth of experience in not just municipal council, but Morris-Turnberry specifically, pointing to the fact that Nelemans could be seen in most of the pictures of past councils in the council chambers. He said he appreciated Nelemans’ work and wished him well in his move to another municipality.
As a result of the resignation, council had three options available to it, according to Chief Administrative Officer Trevor Hallam. Normally, when a seat is vacated, council can either appoint a replacement councillor until the next election, often interviewing candidates or looking to the last election to determine a successor, or hold a by-election. However, as Nelemans’ resignation is within 90 days of the next municipal election, council also had the option of leaving his seat vacant until then.
Councillor Jamie McCallum asked if that might have a negative impact on council’s quorum, or the minimum number of council members needed for a meeting. As a five-member council, its quorum is set at three seats.
Hallam said that council’s would still have five seats, so quorum would require three members, meaning if more than one councillor was unable to attend a meeting, it couldn’t officially be held.
At staff’s recommendation, council decided to leave the seat vacant until the Oct. 24 election.