Old Massett in election limbo

  • Jan. 25, 2006 6:00 p.m.

A new election was called in Old Massett, but now it’s been called off, says band manager Victor Robinson.
He wouldn’t say much about the matter because “the administration is staying neutral on the whole thing.” But he did say the electoral officer felt there were reasonable grounds to call another election. Then, that same electoral officer resigned.
Wilson Brown, the former chief councillor, says a question about the eligibility of one of the candidates, Debbie Brown, instigated the call for a new election.
A band council election was held in Old Massett on Dec. 5. Four candidates ran for chief councillor, and the results were very tight among the top three. After a recount, Elizabeth Moore was declared chief councillor. She received 139 votes, with the closest runner-up receiving 134. Debbie Brown received 33 votes.
Two candidates appealed the election. When the appeal board met in December, it decided there was no need for a re-election, but candidates could call for a recount. Wilson Brown said during this process Debbie Brown’s scrutineer came forward with news that she may have been ineligible.
According to the rules of the election, Ms Brown had to be resident on the islands for six months prior to the election. Her residency fell short.
“She had enough votes that it would have had an impact on the outcome,” said Mr. Brown, who received 132 votes.
Mr. Brown alleges the electoral officer and her assistant received threatening phone calls and that is why they have both resigned.
The advance polls were to be held on Jan. 27 with the election on Feb. 1. With the delay, Mr. Brown said Old Massett will be chiefless once that day has come and gone.
Mr. Robinson would not comment on the grounds for a new election.
“Until we get a replacement in place, the election is postponed until further notice,” said Mr. Robinson.