Former Essex Mayor McDermott willing to step in until fall election

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A former Essex mayor said he would be willing to return to the helm if he helps his town after Larry Snively suddenly resigned as mayor on Wednesday.

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“Of course I would,” said Ron McDermott, who served as city council chief from 2003 to 2018. Those 15 years represent most of the period since four smaller municipalities were amalgamated into the Essex city in 1999. .

However, McDermott emphasized that he feels the best route for the council would be to appoint Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche to the acting mayor position until the next civic election in October. He said the process of holding a by-election could take two months or more by the end of the current council’s four-year term.

Meloche has already publicly stated that he will run for mayor in this fall’s election. Councilwoman Sherry Bondy, who was instrumental in getting the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate Snively’s alleged 2018 election improprieties, has also expressed her intention to run for mayor.

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Essex City Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche became acting mayor Wednesday morning following the resignation of Mayor Larry Snively.  Meloche appears in this file photo from 2019.
Essex City Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche became acting mayor Wednesday morning following the resignation of Mayor Larry Snively. Meloche appears in this file photo from 2019. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Meloche, who became acting mayor of Essex following Snively’s notice of resignation to the town clerk on Wednesday morning, said the administration will be asked at the council’s next regular meeting on Monday to prepare a report on options. to move on. He said he hopes the council can discuss and decide the way forward at a special meeting next Monday, January 24.

McDermott, who insists he has no interest in running for mayor again, said Snively met with him Tuesday to brief him on his decision to resign the following day. After pleading guilty last Friday to violating the Municipal Elections Act and receiving a $10,000 fine, Snively had indicated he would serve out the rest of his term, but at least some colleagues let him know they wouldn’t be happy about that. His resignation on Wednesday came as a surprise to some.

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“It was just a mistake, he didn’t do anything intentionally wrong,” McDermott said of his successor to the mayor’s chair, whom he describes as a friend. “While he was mayor, he did a lot of good.”

If the council decides to keep Meloche in the mayor’s seat until a permanent replacement is voted on in the fall, McDermott suggests the council vote for a member from within its own ranks to fill the vice mayor’s seat during the interim term. Depending on who is elected, he said, a replacement councilor from that person’s ward should be chosen.

In Essex, only the offices of mayor and deputy mayor are elected at large by voters from across the borough.

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Reference-windsorstar.com

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