Voters in Morell are going to have to wait another couple of weeks before electing a community council.
In what was being described as a “technicality’’ by officials, Monday’s special community council was postponed because word wasn’t circulated the way it was supposed to be.
The following notice was posted at the post office in Morell Monday night:
“Morell election meeting postponed tonight because of insufficient advertising. Elections P.E.I. to decide on new date.’’
The notice was signed by village clerk Sharon Laybolt.
The news came as a surprise to Lowell Croken, P.E.I.’s chief electoral officer.
“I have heard nothing on that at this point in time. That (notice) wasn’t authorized by Elections P.E.I. because this is the first I’ve heard of that,’’ Croken told The Guardian Monday night.
Jean Eldershaw, chair of the Morell community council, said the meeting was postponed because the village didn’t advertise Monday’s meeting twice in the newspaper.
“It’s just an unfortunate oversight,’’ Eldershaw said. “It’s not that people didn’t know. It’s been in The Guardian and the radio has been great. It’s a technical thing.’’
Sixty-nine municipalities across the province were scheduled to hold either all-day public votes or special nomination meetings.
Kensington, Alberton, North Rustico, Borden-Carleton, Georgetown, Montague and Souris were supposed to have all-day elections while the rest held special meetings.
Charlottetown, Summerside, Cornwall, Stratford and Cavendish don’t hold elections again until 2014.
“It’s just an unfortunate oversight,’’ - Jean Eldershaw, chair of the Morell community council
Morell wasn’t the only municipality forced to call off its meeting due to lack of advertising but it wasn’t clear Monday night exactly which municipalities called off their meetings.
Going into Monday’s vote, Chris Dunn, Cheryl MacDonald, Wayne Crouse, Owen Parkhouse and MaryLou Parkman sat on council.
Eldershaw said the village did notify residents they had until Oct. 22 to declare their intention to run for council.
“Normally, we just call for nominations and then we have the election. We’ll have to wait and see how it comes out.’’
Croken said all municipalities were required to attend training sessions on conducting elections and informed they had to advertise the special nomination meetings on two separate occasions.
He said Morell and any other community which neglected to follow the rules as stipulated in the provincial government’s Municipalities Act will get another chance to do so.
“They have an opportunity to get two more ads in and hold the meeting within two weeks.’’
Elections P.E.I. was only involved in Monday’s municipal election from an advisory standpoint. They manned the office in Charlottetown to answer any questions town officials might have had.