Residents of Watson Lake will elect a new mayor in a by-election that has been scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the town’s recreation centre. (Wikimedia Commons)

Watson Lake to hold mayoral byelection

Residents of Watson Lake will elect a new mayor on Oct. 8.

In a Sept. 15 interview, the Town of Watson Lake’s chief administrative officer Cam Lockwood said the byelection has been scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at the town’s recreation centre.

The town is divided into two wards and there will be separate entrances and exits at the recreation centre for each to ensure COVID-19 restrictions are met. One will be in the curling lounge and the other in the Morgan Chaddock Hall.

Other COVID-19 restrictions will see a limit of five voters permitted in each polling station at one time with markings in place to ensure a six-foot distance between those inside.

Ahead of the general vote will be a mobile poll on Oct. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who are housebound, have a physical disability or who require the mobile poll for other personal circumstances that make it difficult to get out on voting day.

Those who require the mobile poll are asked to contact town hall to make arrangements.

Special ballots will also be available beginning Sept. 28 and must be returned by Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.

As for what names are set to appear on the ballot for mayor, that will be known Sept. 17 as nominations close at noon.

Anyone running for mayor must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old and have lived in Watson Lake for at least one year immediately prior to the byelection.

The byelection was called following the August resignation of former mayor Cheryl O’Brien, who was elected in the 2018 general election.

O’Brien resigned after being charged with fraud over $5,000 and forgery.

Court documents allege O’Brien defrauded the Watson Lake Riding Association and made out cheques to herself “to the prejudice” of the association between May 20 and July 29.

The matter has not yet been heard in court.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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