Three enter race for Huron East Council vacancy in Brussels Ward
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Three residents have put their names forward in hopes of becoming the newest Huron East councillor, filling the vacancy left by Brussels Ward Councillor John Lowe, whose resignation takes effect at the end of the year.
According to Huron East’s website, Paul Gowing, Justin Morrison and Jason Hovius have all submitted applications to fill the council position.
Gowing will be known to many as a long-time Morris-Turnberry councillor and mayor and the first Huron County Warden to serve the now-established two-year term. Morrison is an established volunteer in Brussels, serving as a member of the Brussels Leo Club for years, while Hovius works with the Brussels Community Bible Chapel.
Huron East Council spoke to the process of filling its vacant councillor position with special council meetings scheduled for Jan. 4 and Jan. 11 (if necessary) at council’s Dec. 7 meeting, before nominations had closed.
Newly-hired Clerk Jessica Rudy presented council with a report on the procedure at council’s Dec. 7 meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom. Both the deadline for applications and confirmation of eligibility by the clerk have passed, being set for Dec. 9 and 10, respectively.
The special meetings for appointment selection have been set for Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. if there are so many applicants that more time will be needed beyond the Jan. 4 meeting.
In her report, Rudy went over the procedure for council to appoint an eligible elector to fill the vacant seat, which is that each candidate will be given 10 minutes to address council, followed by a question-and-answer period, during which each councillor will be allowed to ask a maximum of two questions to each candidate.
A bylaw confirming the actions of council will be passed as part of the special meeting, Rudy said in her report, followed by the signing of the declaration of office. The new councillor’s first meeting will be either on Jan. 4 or Jan. 18.
Rudy also reminded council of the committee positions that will be vacated by Councillor John Lowe as of the end of the year, which include the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre Management Board, the Water and Sewer Committee, the Personnel Committee, the Brussels Community Trust, the Brussels Fire Area, the Brussels Cemetery and the Coalition for Huron Injury Prevention Committee.
Rudy told councillors that they have the option to either appoint the new councillor to all of the aforementioned committees, or divide them between other councillors, including the new councillor.
Council approved Rudy’s report, moving ahead with the schedule to replace Lowe in the Brussels Ward.