Following the resignation of Coun. Anton van Arendonk last month, the Town of Irricana is hosting another byelection on Sept. 6, with early voting taking place on Aug. 29.
The Town’s last byelection was hosted on May 17, but the municipality has been experiencing a high turnover rate on council this term. Van Arendonk was the third council member to resign this year, following the earlier departures of Coun. Debbie Day and former mayor Frank Friesen.
With just three members on council right now – the minimum needed to meet quorum – the town needs to fill two council positions. There are three individuals vying for the positions.
Nathanial Fleming, Stephanie Katelnikoff, and Julie Sim have once again put their names forward for candidacy, according to a post made on the Town of Irricana Facebook page on Aug. 11. All three candidates also ran in the byelection in May – an election that saw Jim Bryson elected to council. Bryson was later appointed as the town’s mayor following a vote among council.
Katelnikoff was the runner-up in the May vote, while Sim and Fleming came in in third and fourth, respectively.
The three candidates will be hosting a question-and-answer forum on Aug. 23 at the Irricana library. The forum will get underway at 6 p.m.
The latest byelection resulted in an RCMP investigation after Katelnikoff claimed she was forcibly removed from the polling station in the Irricana Town Office on voting day. Katelnikoff filed for a restraining order against scrutineer Bob Day, who allegedly pulled Katelnikoff’s chair out from under her and removed the candidate from the building by force. Bystanders had to pull Day off of Katelnikoff, according to eyewitness Ted Coffey.
Debbie Day, who is Bob Day’s wife, resigned from council shortly afterwards.
Most recently, Irricana saw the resignation of van Arendonk, who stepped down in July, due to what he called a turbulent relationship between council and administration.
Other than mayor Bryson, the other two members serving on Irricana Town council right now include Kim Schmaltz and Lisa McAree.