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Another delay in the process to fill vacant seat on London Police Services Board

London Police Headquarters (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London) London Police Headquarters (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

An already long process to fill a seat on the police board just got longer.

City council’s earlier move to fill the vacant seat on the London Police Services Board (LPSB) means the eventual appointee must wait until Sept. 21 to attend their first scheduled meeting.

Susan Toth vacated the seat on Jan. 19.

On Tuesday, city council members sitting as the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee settled on an interview process for the five finalists selected in April.

On June 5, interviews will be held by a committee consisting of all 15 council members.

The next council meeting to choose the appointee is on June 27, more than a week after the June LPSB meeting.

Since the police board doesn’t schedule meetings over the summer, its newest member isn’t anticipated to take part in their first meeting until eight months after the seat was vacated.

“We’re not paralyzed with six members of the board. The work is continuing,” Mayor Josh Morgan told CTV News.

In March, council faced backlash for selecting the mayor’s 2022 campaign manager Ryan Gauss to fill the vacant seat.

Gauss is employed as the Director of Operations and Personnel for MP Peter Fragiskatos and previously worked in a civilian role with the RCMP.

His appointment would have left only one person from a diverse background on the seven-member police board.

Under mounting pressure to choose a candidate that would enhance the board’s diversity, on April 4 council paused the appointment process.

From the original list of 54 applicants, the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee then selected five candidates to be interviewed.

Here's the five finalists

  1. Gita Canaran (11 votes) - a trauma therapist and Clinical Psychologist who focusses on the treatment of first responders
  2. Ryan Gauss (10 votes) - Director of Operations and Personnel for M.P. Peter Fragiskatos, 2022 Campaign Manager for Mayor Josh Morgan, worked 10 years in a civilian role with R.C.M.P.
  3. Joseph Wabegijig (10 votes) - Executive Director of Atlohsa Family Healing Services, served on one of Ontario’s largest First Nations Police Board, former senior policy advisor to Federal Government
  4. Stephen D’Amelio (8 votes) - Former President of Pride London who re-engaged relationship between the 2SLGBTQIA community and London Police.
  5. Michele Anderson (7 votes) - Associate Director of Student Experience-Academic Support and Engagement at Western University and Vice Chair of the Inter-University Disabilities Issues Association of Ontario

Gauss and Wabegijig were the first and second place finishers during the original selection process.

The mayor adds that the Governance Working Group will develop a modernized process for council to fill vacancies on boards and commissions in the future.

This extended selection process won’t be repeated.

“We’re creating a one-off process for this particular board appointment which is time consuming. It’s not ideal, but it is filling the gap to fill this position,” said Morgan. Top Stories

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