Over the weekend, we saw a large advertisement by one of the First-Time Councillor hopefuls on the back of a Bay Hopper, parked at the bus-stop right outside the Council building.
Four other candidates, one of them a Mayor-hopeful and the other an existing Councillor, have also advertised themselves with signwriting on their vehicles.
The policy on election signs is that they are not to be allowed until Sept 14th. This is very clear in the Candidates Handbook. Unfortunately, it was also our fault that there is no consequences to candidates breaking the by-law. CEO Gary Poole recommended towing the vehicle away. I thought that was very clever!
So here I must question the sort of Mayor the offending candidate would be if he is unable to follow the election by-law and written policies of the same organisation that he hopes to lead. As a ratepayer of the city, it worries me that he and his team, all of whom are similar offenders, may be chosen to represent us in Council.
So Council met today to discuss this offence and it was basically determined that we are unable to police this matter. And hence, we ruled to exclude vehicles from the rules governing election signs.
I was the only one who voted against it. It was a naive argument that put the vote through. There is no other word for it.
This to me was not a matter of competition. It was a slap in our own faces. Council makes a policy which has been violated by the same people who want to be a part of the regulatory organisation. Council does not rule to tighten the policy nor impose a penalty but instead changes the policy in favour of offenders because we are unable to police our own rules.
What a complete embarrassment!