Yes, the election of chair must go ahead and must be the first item of the annual meeting. As I read the legislation and the advice from Arnold-Baker, this is done in two stages in the circumstances described. The meeting first appoints one of the members to preside over the election. The election of chair then takes place. The person chosen to preside over the election has a casting vote. It is unlawful for the clerk (or any other non-councillor) to preside. A council is not properly constituted without an elected chair.