While municipal elections are set for this coming fall, voters in Donalda will head to the polls within two weeks to fill a vacancy after one councillor moved out of the village.
Dan Knudtson, Paul McKay and Matthew Stepp are vying to succeed Chad Whiteside on the three-seat council.
Polls will be open Monday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Donalda Drop-In Centre, with an advance poll open this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
While the Local Government Act allows councils to function with a vacant seat within a year leading up to the general election, Donalda chose to fill the seat.
“This would have left just two councillors, which would make it difficult for council to function,” said Donalda returning officer Marlene Conibear.
Candidates believe that the vacancy is an opportunity to test the government waters during a term that ends in October.
“It’s a prelude to running in the election this fall,” said Knudtson, who was born and raised in Donalda and resided in the community for the past 15 years.
“I think I can make a difference and offer my business experience to council, because I want to see the village run more as a business, with better planning.”
Knudtson is active with Donalda and District Museum Society.
A former longtime councillor also plans to re-enter the picture.
“I’ve been on council before and I still have lots of interest in the Donalda community,” said McKay, who previously served on council for 11 years.
A lifetime resident of the area, he has been active with the Donalda Curling Club for more than 40 years.
As a councillor, McKay represented the village on the boards of Donalda and District Museum Society and Donalda and District Agricultural Society.
Stepp didn’t return phone calls last week to the Stettler Independent and its affiliated newspaper, the Bashaw Star.
For voting information, phone the village office at 403-883-2345.