Anyone aspiring to be the next mayor of Edmonton or one of 12 city councillors may now submit their papers to the city.
The nomination process for the next municipal election on Oct. 18, 2021, started Monday and runs until Sept. 20.
The election includes Edmonton Public School Board and Edmonton Catholic School Board trustees.
Aileen Giesbrecht, the returning officer for the 2021 election, will review applications before approving candidates.
Papers can be filed in person by appointment, and can be sent in by mail or courier. Everyone needs to have original signatures — no digital signatures are allowed, Giesbrecht said.
The city will do its best, she said, to encourage candidates to follow public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are obviously suggesting everyone maintain appropriate social distancing when they’re trying to get the signatures.”
Mayoral candidates must submit a $500 deposit and a form with 100 signatures of support. Councillor candidates need 25 signatures and must pay a $100 fee.
A $100 fee and 25 signatures are also required to run for school board.
“We’ve heard some candidates have been sending out copies of the form and having people mail them back in, or they’re dropping things off in people’s mailboxes,” Giesbrecht said.
In the past, candidates had to submit a cheque, money order or cash in person to complete their applications. The province will now allow the city to accept electronic payments.
City council must change a municipal bylaw to allow that to happen, and Giesbrecht said her staff will seek to get that approval as soon as possible.
Names of successful candidates will be posted on the city’s website as they are approved, she said.
The city is also working on a map showing the 12 revised wards and new names, and will host virtual information sessions for candidates starting Jan. 20.
Councillors Bev Esslinger, Sarah Hamilton, Jon Dziadyk and Tim Cartmell said they intend to run for council again.
Mike Nickel and Andrew Knack may seek the mayor’s chair but have not formally announced their intentions.
Mayor Don Iveson is not running for mayor in 2021. Councillors Ben Henderson and Michael Walters have also announced they are not running for re-election.
Tony Caterina, a four-term councillor, said he is considering both council and the mayor’s seat but will wait until early spring to announce his intentions.
“My focus right now is the challenge of COVID 19,” he said. “I think that all incumbents should be focused on all the challenges in front of us.”
Scott McKeen said he’s thinking about his options but will decide later in January or February.
CBC News is waiting to hear back from councillors Moe Banga and Aaron Paquette about their intentions to seek re-election.
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