Newly elected Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton will take a leave of absence from Delta council, eliminating the need for a costly by-election.
Council endorsed a resolution Monday evening (June 10) to permit Hamilton to be absent from regular council meetings, as well as committee and other municipal meetings, from June 17 until Jan. 7, 2014. Coun. Sylvia Bishop opposed the motion, arguing Delta is better served with a full council.
Hamilton narrowly defeated BC NDP candidate Sylvia Bishop by 203 votes in the May 14 provincial election. In a previous interview with Hamilton on May 16, he said he wanted to avoid a by-election which could cost the municipality upwards of $200,000.
Because Hamilton’s official resignation from council will take place within a calendar year of the next general municipal election, set for the third Saturday in November 2014, according to the Local Government Act there’s no requirement for a by-election.
Hamilton will also waive his right to compensation, which would appear to address concerns from some that the MLA would be drawing two salaries at once.
Although he is also stepping down from his committee appointments, Hamilton may attend Delta Council meetings, committee meetings, and public hearings in person or by electronic means as necessary to ensure a quorum of council. According to Delta’s bylaws, a quorum must be at least four members of the six councillors and one mayor that forms council.
Hamilton was originally elected to Delta council in 2002, and served as a Delta Parks commissioner prior to that.