Anyone interested in running for office in the new Town of Diamond Valley can put their name forward as the nomination period for the first election is now open.
A ministerial order from Alberta Municipal Affairs provides details of the new municipality's first election. Since it will be held before Black Diamond and Turner Valley officially amalgamate and the new municipality exists, some things are a little bit different for civic officials tasked with getting election materials ready.
The election will be held on Monday, Nov. 28, and the nomination period is open until Monday, Oct. 31.
Verna Staples, legislative services manager for Black Diamond, has been appointed as the returning officer for this first election by the order. She said nomination forms are available from Black Diamond’s town office and are expected to be available online soon. Currently, candidates must file their nomination papers in Black Diamond, whether they live in Black Diamond or Turner Valley.
First elections usually happen after a town is incorporated, so if changes to election materials are needed, there's a municipality to approve it, but that's not the case here, she said. Therefore, Staples has requested several amendments to the ministerial order, including listing the Town of Diamond Valley as the local authority.
She's also seeking approval from the Province that would allow nomination forms to be dropped off at either town office.
Following the election, the new council won't be sworn in until an organizational meeting takes place, which must be held no later than 60 days after the election.
Between Jan. 1 and the organizational meeting, all elected officials from Turner Valley and Black Diamond will form the interim council of the Town of Diamond Valley.
Meanwhile, in a letter to residents and property owners in Black Diamond and Turner Valley, provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric Mclver gave further details regarding who can run in the first election. All electors residing in the two towns will be eligible to run and vote in the election.
He wrote that as there may be changes to municipal addresses as of amalgamation, residents may wish to update address information on official documents, such as government-issued identification. McIver said the towns have committed to working with the provincial and federal governments to minimize impacts to residents and property owners as much as possible, and to expect further updates and information from the towns on this matter.
Further, an official administrator has been appointed to each of the towns until the first Diamond Valley council is sworn in. The administrators will review the town councils’ meeting minutes and records of decisions respecting bylaws or resolutions that incur a liability or disposal of money or property. The official administrators will not attend council meetings or be involved in the day-to-day operations of the towns.
McIver said these appointments will ensure Municipal Affairs is available to support both town councils and administrations until the new municipality is formed and the new council is in place.