On November 7th, 2022, Seven members of the Rural Municipality of Murray River Prince Edward Island were acclaimed to lead the small town on the southern point of the province, but as of 4:00 PM on June 30th the community has been placed under Trustee Control.
The Provincial Minister of Housing, Land, and Communities for PEI, Rob Lantz announced that the province would had appointed Robert Hughes of Stratford to be a Trustee of the Rural Municipalty until a duly elected council was in place.
"I want to thank Robert Hughes for his willingness to step in as trustee," Lantz said of the appointment.
Under Prince Edward Island's Municipal Government Act, the minister is authorized to appoint an Official Trustee when a council is unable to function effectively. In this case, the lack of sufficient members to form a quorum rendered the Murray River Council incapable of legally conducting their duties and responsibilities.
The Murray River Council, as listed on the Official Murray River website as of June 30th, 2023 comprised of Mayor Paige Hart, Councillors Emilio Cupello, and Michael Franklin.
The council makeup after the November 2022 election included additional members, Councillor's Karri Ferguson, Greg Munn, Walter Munn, and Mary Ritchie, who are not currently listed on the RM of Murray River website.
The circumstances surrounding the resignations and the subsequent dysfunction within the council remain unclear.
However, the appointment of Robert Hughes as a trustee signifies the government's commitment to ensuring the continued provision of essential services and the smooth functioning of the municipality. As an Official Trustee, Hughes will have the authority to oversee municipal affairs, make necessary decisions, and facilitate the resumption of regular operations within Murray River.