With Councillor Kelvin Plain stepping down from Cold Lake City Council this week, LCN caught up with Mayor Craig Copeland to discuss what that’ll mean for Council. “He’s a tremendous loss on Council,” Mayor Copeland says Plain has decided to relocate and will no longer be residing in the city, thus could not hold a seat on Council. “Kelvin was a champion for the City of Cold Lake and a strong voice for Council.”
Plain first took a seat on Council in 2004, “I think everybody recognizes the amount of years he spent on Council. The influence he had on Council was admirable.” Mayor Copeland says Plain was often one of the top vote-getters in the municipal elections, “he was a strong campaigner, usually on election day he was the top vote-getter; he was highly regarded in the community.” Mayor Copeland says it’ll be a big loss for Cold Lake.
So what happens next? On the night of his resignation, Tuesday, Council had to make an important vote as to whether or not to fill that vacant seat. Councils can choose not to hold a by-election to fill the vacant seat if there are six or more Councillors remaining and/or the election is within 18 months. Cold Lake qualified for both of those qualifications not to have to hold a by-election, so it went to vote. Should Council decide to hold an election it would come with a budget of $10,000.
“It was a split vote to have a by-election,” Mayor Copeland explains that himself, Chris Vining and Darrel McDonald voted to hold the election, while Duane Lay, Vicky Lefebvre, and Bob Buckle voted it down. Cost was the main factor to the vote down. When Council’s vote is tied, the vote is defeated, explains the Mayor. “We will be running the rest of our term with six people on Council. It’s going to be challenging, there’s been a few times where we’ve been at six, or an even number, it makes it tough.” There’s other factors to consider outside of the tie-votes, such as vacations, “later on in the year when people want to get away for winter vacation or whatever. We have to make sure we have four people for quorum.” The next City election will be October 2017.