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‘Who’s in charge here?’ — if Timmins Council becomes a lame duck

The business of Timmins City Hall will continue, even if council ends up being a lame duck heading up to or right after the October 24th municipal election.

The potential exists every four years, as city clerk Steph Palmateer told council Tuesday night. “There are restricted acts set out in the Municipal Act that council in the event they become lame duck cannot perform,” he said.

Those decisions include hiring and firing, and certain large expenditures. The first of two scenarios comes when nominations for the October 24th election close on August 19th.

“If two-thirds of Council were not eligible to be re-elected, council would be in a lame duck position,” said Palmateer.

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The second scenario is if seven of the nine current council members of council are not re-elected.  It would last until the new council takes office about a month later. In either scenario, the authority is given to CAO Dave Landers.

RESTRICTIONS OF COUNCIL’S POWERS

  • The appointment or removal from office of any officer the hiring or dismissal of any employee
  • The disposition of any real or personal property of the municipality which has a value exceeding $ 50, 000 at the time of disposal — this does not apply if the disposition or liability was included in the most recent budget adopted by the Council before nomination day in the election year
  • Making any expenditure or incurring any other liability which exceeds $ 50, 000 — this does not apply if the expenditure or liability was included in the most recent budget adopted by council before nomination day in the election year

EXCEPTIONS

  • Council can take action in an emergency.
  • Council may delegate, by bylaw, to a person or body, authority prior to nomination day, subject to restrictions.

-Source: Administrative Report presented to council Feb. 22, 2022 by clerk Steph Palmateer

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