Shawnigan Lake director and soon to be MLA Sonia Furstenau (Citizen file)

CVRD Byelection likely for September

CVRD officials are planning for a September byelection to replace Area B (Shawnigan Lake) director Sonia Furstenau.

One of three successful Green Party candidates in B.C., Furstenau won the Cowichan Valley riding on May 9 and will move on to provincial politics, taking her seat in the Legislature sometime in June, according to the Parliamentary Education Office in Victoria.

“Sonia will likely resign [from her CVRD post],” confirmed regional district corporate secretary Joe Barry. “We’re certainly preparing. We’re making tentative bookings for election halls.”

The odds were good a byelection was going to happen as three area directors were all in contention for a the MLA’s position, Barry noted.

He explained that should the office of an electoral area director become vacant through resignation, the alternate director assumes the role until that person’s successor takes office.

Sierra Acton is the alternate director for Shawnigan Lake.

“If the alternate director is unable or unwilling to hold office as director, the board, by resolution, must appoint another person who has the proper qualifications and that person will hold the office until after the byelection,” Barry said.

After a formal resignation has been received Barry has to report to the board that the seat is vacant.

“Once the board appoints a chief election officer, that’s when the clock starts,” Barry said. “We then have to have an election within 80 days.”

Furstenau has yet to tender her resignation.

The new area director will sit for just one year as the next scheduled municipal elections are in October of 2018.