Pelham has its first race underway in the 2014 municipal election.
With Coun. Jim Lane filing his nomination papers to run in Ward 1 last week, there are now three candidates for the two town council seats in the ward. Coun. Richard Rybiak filed his papers earlier in the year as did challenger Tara Druzina.
There is still time.
Deadline for filing nominations is Friday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m. Election Day is Monday, Oct. 27.
Town council consists of the mayor, who is elected at large by voters across Pelham, and six councillors, with two elected from each of three wards.
So far, only Mayor Dave Augustyn has filed nomination papers for the mayor’s position. He was elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2010.
In Ward 2, there are two candidates for the two seats. Coun. Catherine King is seeking re-election and newcomer Justin O’Donnell was the first to file papers in March.
In Ward 3, Coun. John Durley is the only candidate so far for two seats. He was first elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2007 and 2010.
Regional councillor Brian Baty is so far the only candidate for Pelham’s one regional councillor position. In 2010, he was acclaimed, that is, no one else ran against him. He is also Pelham’s first regional councillor winning the seat in 2003 after Niagara regional council added it to accommodate Pelham’s growing population.
On Election Day, Oct. 27, Pelham voters will also vote for a school trustee to one of the four school systems they support with their designated taxes: French public or Catholic, or, English public or Catholic.
So far, Dale Anne Robinson has filed for the District School Board of Niagara, Rev. Paul MacNeil for the Niagara Catholic District School Board, and Derrick Fournier for the French Language Public District Baord. No one has filed for the French Language Separate District Board yet.
Pelham Clerk Nancy Bozzato and her staff have been preparing for Election day for months.
They must draw up the voters list, arrange for accessible polling stations and recruit 91 election-day staff for the stations.
For this municipal election, they had the added chore of redrawing and renumbering polls to accommodate new boundaries for the town’s three wards.
It is the first change in wards since the 1970s. The population of each ward is now closed with room made for future growth in East Fonthill.
Wards 2 and 3 now cover an area from Centre Street to the eastern boundary between Metler and Foss roads. The rest of the town including the airport, Fenwick, North Pelham and Effingham are in Ward 1.
By Sept. 1, the voters list will become available so electors can start checking it through town hall after Sept. 4.
The clerk’s staff will also set up a booth at the Pelham Farmers Market each Thursday during September so electors can check voting list information.
Advance polling for all polls will be on: Saturday, Oct. 18, at Pelham Fire Station No. 1 in Fonthill ; Monday, Oct. 20, at Pelham Fire Station No. 2 in Fenwick; and on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the Pelham Public Library in Fonthill.
On Election Day, Monday, Oct. 27 electors will vote in their polls numbered consecutively across the town.
For Ward 1, Polls 1, 2, and 3 will be at First Presbyterian Church on Metler Road, and, for Polls 4 to 9 at Pelham Fire Station No. 2 in Fenwick.
For Ward 2, Pelham Fire Station No. 1 in Fonthill will have Polls 10 to 15, and, Pelham Public Library in Fonthill, Polls 16 to 18.
For Ward 3, Pelham Friends Church at 940 Haist St. will contain Polls 19, 23, and 27, while Glynn A. Green Public School will have Polls 20,21, 22, 24, 25 and 26.
The clerk will also set up polling stations for residents at Lookout Ridge Retirement Community, Shorthills Villa Retirement Community, and Woodlands of Sunset Home for the Aged.
While turnouts for municipal elections can be low, Bozzato says that does not affect the preparation.
The clerk’s department always plans for 100% turnout and hopes to see it.