Two candidates already

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Things are moving quickly in on the municipal politics scene in Slave Lake. One week after mayor Tyler Warman’s unexpected resignation, council set a date for a byelection, and two people declared their intention to run.

One is Francesca (Frankie) Ward, who has resigned her council seat so she can run for mayor. The other is Michael Loroff, who hopes to fill the council seat just vacated by Ward.

Ward handed in her letter of resignation towards the end of the Feb. 7 council meeting. The only item left on the agenda at that point (barring a couple of closed-session items) was to authorize a byelection for mayor and set the date. Council’s remaining five members did that without Ward, who was no longer one of them.

According to the rules, Ward is prohibited from campaigning for 18 days after resigning.

However, that didn’t stop her from announcing her intention to run.

It’s quite a risk for someone who clearly wants to remain on council.

“It means if I don’t make mayor, I’m off council,” she says.

The same restriction on campaigning will not apply to other candidates for the mayor’s position – assuming they aren’t already councillors.

The same goes for candidates for the vacant councillor seat. Loroff can campaign all he likes, and in fact started it on Feb. 8 with a post on social media.

“I feel my experience would be an asset,…. in navigating the complexities of operational services levels, road construction and maintenance,” he said, in part. “I am committed to making Slave Lake a destination to work and raise a family, and look forward to the opportunity to serve as councillor.”

The window for nominations is from Feb. 8 to March 6 at 12 noon.

Also at the Feb. 7 council meeting, council approved up to $15,000 in unbudgeted spending for the byelection. It might cost less, because the plan this time around is to not hire any extra people to work on voting day. That, as noted, will be Monday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Advance voting day is March 29. There will be special voting opportunities set up for seniors’ residences.

Francesca Ward
Michael Loroff