Former Murray River mayor, Paige Hart, is dissapointed work like improving recreational space at the Dam, won’t be completed in a timely way. Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Municipality of Murray River will pay $86 per hour for a provincially appointed municipal trustee until a new council is established through election.

The municipality is working with a capital budget of approximately $400,000 for 2022-23 fiscal year.

Four of six councillors resigned February through June leaving council unable to form a quorum. 

Minister of Communities Rob Lantz holds the power to decide when the municipality is ready to be governed by an elected council again. 

“I look forward to a duly elected council,” reads a statement from the department attributed to the minister. 

Mr Lantz declined an interview. 

However, the department aims to have the council running by December. An election date has not been set. 

“Given there were just municipal elections last fall, we recognize it may take time to organize and get interest for another,” the department wrote.

All six councillors and the mayor assumed their roles by acclamation in the November 2022 municipal election. 

Karri Ferguson resigned in February, Walter Munn and Greg Munn resigned in April and Mary Ritchie stepped down in June. That left Emilio Cupello, Michael Franklin and Mayor Paige Hart.

Both Ms Ferguson and Ms Ritchie declined comment. 

Walter Munn said he experienced health concerns around the time of resignation but added there was more involved in his decision to leave. 

Greg Munn could not be reached by press time. 

Mr Cupello didn’t resign but expressed hesitation to run again in the next election. He said he would reconsider when the time comes. 

Mr Franklin was not available for comment. 

Former mayor Paige Hart is certain she will run again and is disappointed the work council started may not be completed in a timely way.

Work to allow the fire department to separate from the municipality and operate as its own entity was nearing completion through a process that involved multiple closed door meetings. 

Fire chief Troy Ferguson said the move to transition into a fire company would allow the department more independence and management of funds to provide lifesaving services. 

The province has given Mr Hughes direction to finalize this process. 

A major goal of Ms Hart’s was to work toward was ensuring locals have a say related to development. Mr Hughes has the powers and duties of a duly constituted council. His role will be as a caretaker, Christine MacKinnon, director of Municipal Affairs said. 

Public meetings will continue and the community can bring proposals and business items forward. General operations will continue and bills will be paid. 

Mr Lantz has the power to appoint a local committee of up to five community members with whom the trustee can consult about municipal affairs.

CAO Paula Pater-Voogel declined comment.

By Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 12, 2023 at 03:00

This item reprinted with permission from   The Eastern Graphic   Montague, Prince Edward Island
Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated