The City of Dryden is looking at joining a push to have school boards conduct their own municipal elections – after 2022’s cost Dryden at least $15,000.
On Election Night 2022, the City of Dryden was forced to declare an Elections Act Emergency after finding irregularities in the ballots for Keewatin-Patricia’s Board Trustee position.
A municipal investigation determined 380 voters had received two ballots, allowing them to vote twice.
The City of Dryden says the mistake cost the community’s tax base about $15,000 in staff costs and the cost of hosting a new election – something they were not reimbursed for.
The city adds even in a regular election, local staff work with four separate school boards on election night and each one operates differently – including one operating mostly in French.
Now, the City of Dryden is debating a request for support from the Town of Petrolia after their Council passed a resolution asking the Ministry of Education to make school boards responsible for conducting their own Trustee elections – or to at least compensate municipalities for their time.
The city’s report notes Dryden’s Clerk worked with staff in Kenora, Machin, Sioux Lookout, Ignace and Thunder Bay to ensure the elections were being conducted and called properly, as well as staff with school boards directly, adding to staff’s time.
Of note, the KPDSB’s election was held again in February and Judi Green was elected with 53.9 per cent support. Green’s the former manager of the Northwest Student Services Consortium.