Grande Prairie City Council have appointed Councillor Jackie Clayton as Mayor and Chief Elected Official for the remainder of the Council term. The next general municipal election will be held on October 18, 2021.The decision comes after former Mayor Bill Given resigned on December 31, 2020 to take on a new position as the Chief Administrative Officer in the Municipality of Jasper.
The Municipal Government Act and City Bylaws provided guidance on how to proceed. Options included a byelection or the appointment of one or more Councillors to fulfil the duties of the Chief Elected Official. As the general municipal election is only 10 months away and a byelection would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 and not be concluded until March, Council made the decision to proceed with a selection of Mayor from the membership of the elected Council.
“Our Council has achieved a lot and has built significant momentum for the completion of a number of important community projects in the last year of our term. Deciding on how to proceed in this circumstance is not one that many Councils are faced with. We were fortunate that Mayor Given signaled his intention early to allow Council time to have substantive and robust discussions over the past month to decide how our Council can best deliver on our priorities.
We have an accomplished and strong group of eight Councillors, representing a diversity of community views that are all willing to take on increased leadership responsibilities.
With the considerable challenges of COVID, we believe we need to rally together to support a strong 2021 recovery which will include the creation of local jobs through the largest capital project plan in the City’s history. While we each have one vote, it is an important message for the community and the organization for the City of Grande Prairie to have a consistent public spokesperson.
Thank you to Councillor Clayton for taking on the role of Mayor for the remainder of this term.”