No byelection in Alberni to replace Patterson

Port Alberni Mayor Ken McRae led a sombre special council meeting Tuesday afternoon. Councillors voted not a have a byelection to replace former councillor Ike Patterson

There will be no byelection to replace councillor Ike Patterson, who passed away earlier this week.

Councillors voted in favour of the staff recommendation not to have a byelection at a specially convened meeting on Tuesday.

A report by city manager Ken Watson cited the Local Government Act policy with respect to byelections.

The act stipulates that an election doesn’t have to be held if the vacancy occurs after Jan. 1 in the year of a general election, and that a quorum of council is still maintained in spite of the vacancy.

Civic elections are being held this fall and there are five city councillors now, therefore the city meets both conditions, the report noted.

Once the meeting was called to order there was an impromptu quiet moment as Patterson’s chair sat empty, his nametag sitting solitarily in front of it.

A normally upbeat Coun. Hira Chopra spoke only when he moved the motion to not hold the byelection then said nothing more before leaving quietly at the end of the meeting.

Ironically, Coun’s. Cindy Solda and Kenn Whiteman – who sat on either side of Patterson – arrived first.

“It’s hard sitting here today, this is hard,” Solda said, doing her best to stay composed.

The meeting ended as quickly

“I’ll have more to say about Coun. Patterson at council’s meeting on Monday,” mayor Ken McRae said.

“He was a good friend and I’m going to miss him,” McRae said after the meeting.

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