City looks at tightening local election policy, Current policy too ‘loosey goosey’ says city clerk

editors note..

Included here, are comments from the late Alex Mitchell, ( Clerk for the City of Cambridge ) regarding the questionable 2010 Election. When it was found the Mayor was running his campaign out of City Hall..

In complete violation of the Elections ACT


this ran in the times………….. APRIL 14, 2012

City looks at tightening local election policy, Current policy too ‘loosey goosey’ says city clerk


The City of Cambridge is looking to tighten up policies governing the activities of councillors during an election.

At Tuesday’s general committee meeting, a staff recommendation was introduced to reinforce provisions of the 1996 Elections Act. It focused on council’s use of city facilities, services and supplies during an election campaign.

In explaining the recommendation, city clerk Alex Mitchell said the current policy is “loosey goosey,” and needs to be tightened up.

“What we are doing is formalizing, what, up until now, we’ve done verbally,” he said. “We want to protect council and the corporation.”

While the Elections Act talks in general terms about councillors not using city facilities during campaigns, the new policy gets into the nuts and bolts of the matter.

If approved, the policy spells out that council member will not “use the facilities, equipment, supplies, services, staff or other resources of the municipality (including councillor newsletters and councillor budgets) for any election campaign or campaign-related activities”.


It also states that no council member can undertake election-related activities on city property during regular working hours and that no councillor can use  services during office hours where someone is being paid by the city.

{ The Mayor was running his campaign out of his office at City Hall, which is against the Act..}

“I was surprised we didn’t already have something like this already in place,” said Steve Matheson, city director of legal services, in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s quite common. A lot of municipalities have them.”

One reason for tightening the rules came out of the last election.

“I had heard rumours of some improprieties during the last election,” said Matheson. “Nothing happened, but this makes sure the rules are clear and transparent.” { Matheson no longer represents city hall..??}

If adopted, the policy will also make the clerk’s job a little easier.

“I always have people coming to me and ask can I do this, or can I do that,” said Mitchell. “This spells it out for them.”

Councillors at Tuesday’s meeting all spoke in favour of the new policy, although Coun. Frank Monteiro had some questions. While he couldn’t see offices, staff, supplies or equipment being used, he did have one question.

“But what about BlackBerries,” he asked, noting that people could be using their own BlackBerry to conduct city business.

Mitchell said councillors should not use their city-supplied BlackBerry during the election and suggested they get another phone.

Monteiro said that during a phone conversation, a councillor could be addressing city business, but then be asked questions about the election.

“What do you do then,” he asked.

“You do the best you can,” responded Coun. Pam Wolf.

Mitchell said the test for councillors is to use common sense.

“What would a reasonable person do?”

As Coun. Ben Tucci and Mayor Doug Craig were both absent at Tuesday’s meeting, the remaining councillors agreed to defer the vote on new policy until the April 30 meeting.

If approved, the new policy would be in place for the next municipal election in 2014.

{  This was a result of the 2010 Election…the biggest change they made:

Was to add internet and telephone voting.. and most of the ol boys club were re’elected}



2 Responses to City looks at tightening local election policy, Current policy too ‘loosey goosey’ says city clerk

    Maggie Smith February 14, 2017 at 10:21 am

    So nothing changed did it? Did the people trying to change it get scared off?? What else is new at City Hall. Wow – how can one evil man have such control over so many?? Just what is going on at City Hall? Are they all a bunch of chickens there – with no back bone.
    Well lets work towards having the election in 2018 run HONESTLY for a change. This whole situation is disgusting especially after 2 honest people took the 2010 election to Court and turned down – wow – where is the honesty today – gone…..

    Rene February 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    The Cambridge people are not a better off than some other places. Lots of stealing going on. The change for elections would put them in bad spots to repeat. So much money under tables l think. More people need to come and vote.

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