Hamilton official cautions candidates to learn election rules

News Mar 31, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s manager of eections, Tony Fallis, cautions potential candidates for this fall’s municipal election to learn about the dos and don’ts of campaigning.

“It’s critical candidates review the (Municipal Elections) Act,” said Fallis.

He suggests they also talk to an accountant about election expenses, when they can begin campaigning, contribution limits and other recommendations, especially under the updated Municipal Elections Act, as the May 1 nomination date looms closer.

In previous elections the nomination date had been Jan. 1 of the election year.

Fallis confirmed he has already talked to one municipal candidate, Ian Thompson, who has announced he will be running in Ward 10 for a council seat, about potential campaign issues.

“I have spoken to him and provided him with some information,” he said.

Fallis said he did receive some complaints about possible election violations, including campaign documents being handed out and a website that contained campaign material.

The Municipal Elections Act prohibits candidates from campaigning or spending any money on a campaign before the nomination period opens on May 1.

Fallis said it is not up to his office to determine whether a violation has occurred.. He said under the revised act it will be up to the city clerk to review if a campaign violation has happened.

Thompson said he reached out to Fallis earlier this year, but denies he violated the Municipal Election Act.

“I haven’t done any campaigning,” said Thompson “I was just doing research.”

He has been talking to people asking them what concerns them.

“That’s all that I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t believe I’ve been campaigning.”

Thomson isn’t a rookie when it comes to Hamilton politics. He was assistant to former Hamilton East Liberal MPP Dominic Agostino and Hamilton West Liberal MPP Judy Marsales and he served as a public school trustee for two terms from 2000 to 2006.

Thomson acknowledged he created a website, which included photos of his family, and one section that said he is running for council. It has since been removed.

He also deleted campaign information from some social media sites.

“But I didn’t distribute any information,” he said.

Thompson said there are already some incumbent councillors who he believes use their websites to campaign.

“Incumbents are doing what they want,” he said.

Thompson said those people who complained about his actions should have talked to him first rather than take their issues to the city or the news media.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I’m trying to do something good. Somebody is trying to discredit me. But then it’s politics and I have to learn about that.”

Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, passed by the Liberals in 2016 include limiting candidates and their spouses to a pre-determined amount of money to their own campaigns, which is calculated using the number of electors in each race; contribution limits for individuals have been increased to $1,200 per candidate to a maximum of $5,000 for all candidates; candidates and third-party advertises are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs.

The act also requires the clerk who conducted the election to be responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on financial statements. If a person has contributed more than allowed, the clerk will report it to the municipal compliance audit committee. The committee will determine whether to begin a legal proceeding against the contributor.

Hamilton is holding a municipal candidate information session April 9 at City Hall starting at 7 p.m.

Hamilton's manager of elections, Tony Fallis, urges candidates to follow election rules

News Mar 31, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s manager of eections, Tony Fallis, cautions potential candidates for this fall’s municipal election to learn about the dos and don’ts of campaigning.

“It’s critical candidates review the (Municipal Elections) Act,” said Fallis.

He suggests they also talk to an accountant about election expenses, when they can begin campaigning, contribution limits and other recommendations, especially under the updated Municipal Elections Act, as the May 1 nomination date looms closer.

In previous elections the nomination date had been Jan. 1 of the election year.

Fallis confirmed he has already talked to one municipal candidate, Ian Thompson, who has announced he will be running in Ward 10 for a council seat, about potential campaign issues.

“I have spoken to him and provided him with some information,” he said.

Fallis said he did receive some complaints about possible election violations, including campaign documents being handed out and a website that contained campaign material.

The Municipal Elections Act prohibits candidates from campaigning or spending any money on a campaign before the nomination period opens on May 1.

Fallis said it is not up to his office to determine whether a violation has occurred.. He said under the revised act it will be up to the city clerk to review if a campaign violation has happened.

Thompson said he reached out to Fallis earlier this year, but denies he violated the Municipal Election Act.

“I haven’t done any campaigning,” said Thompson “I was just doing research.”

He has been talking to people asking them what concerns them.

“That’s all that I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t believe I’ve been campaigning.”

Thomson isn’t a rookie when it comes to Hamilton politics. He was assistant to former Hamilton East Liberal MPP Dominic Agostino and Hamilton West Liberal MPP Judy Marsales and he served as a public school trustee for two terms from 2000 to 2006.

Thomson acknowledged he created a website, which included photos of his family, and one section that said he is running for council. It has since been removed.

He also deleted campaign information from some social media sites.

“But I didn’t distribute any information,” he said.

Thompson said there are already some incumbent councillors who he believes use their websites to campaign.

“Incumbents are doing what they want,” he said.

Thompson said those people who complained about his actions should have talked to him first rather than take their issues to the city or the news media.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I’m trying to do something good. Somebody is trying to discredit me. But then it’s politics and I have to learn about that.”

Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, passed by the Liberals in 2016 include limiting candidates and their spouses to a pre-determined amount of money to their own campaigns, which is calculated using the number of electors in each race; contribution limits for individuals have been increased to $1,200 per candidate to a maximum of $5,000 for all candidates; candidates and third-party advertises are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs.

The act also requires the clerk who conducted the election to be responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on financial statements. If a person has contributed more than allowed, the clerk will report it to the municipal compliance audit committee. The committee will determine whether to begin a legal proceeding against the contributor.

Hamilton is holding a municipal candidate information session April 9 at City Hall starting at 7 p.m.

Hamilton's manager of elections, Tony Fallis, urges candidates to follow election rules

News Mar 31, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s manager of eections, Tony Fallis, cautions potential candidates for this fall’s municipal election to learn about the dos and don’ts of campaigning.

“It’s critical candidates review the (Municipal Elections) Act,” said Fallis.

He suggests they also talk to an accountant about election expenses, when they can begin campaigning, contribution limits and other recommendations, especially under the updated Municipal Elections Act, as the May 1 nomination date looms closer.

In previous elections the nomination date had been Jan. 1 of the election year.

Fallis confirmed he has already talked to one municipal candidate, Ian Thompson, who has announced he will be running in Ward 10 for a council seat, about potential campaign issues.

“I have spoken to him and provided him with some information,” he said.

Fallis said he did receive some complaints about possible election violations, including campaign documents being handed out and a website that contained campaign material.

The Municipal Elections Act prohibits candidates from campaigning or spending any money on a campaign before the nomination period opens on May 1.

Fallis said it is not up to his office to determine whether a violation has occurred.. He said under the revised act it will be up to the city clerk to review if a campaign violation has happened.

Thompson said he reached out to Fallis earlier this year, but denies he violated the Municipal Election Act.

“I haven’t done any campaigning,” said Thompson “I was just doing research.”

He has been talking to people asking them what concerns them.

“That’s all that I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t believe I’ve been campaigning.”

Thomson isn’t a rookie when it comes to Hamilton politics. He was assistant to former Hamilton East Liberal MPP Dominic Agostino and Hamilton West Liberal MPP Judy Marsales and he served as a public school trustee for two terms from 2000 to 2006.

Thomson acknowledged he created a website, which included photos of his family, and one section that said he is running for council. It has since been removed.

He also deleted campaign information from some social media sites.

“But I didn’t distribute any information,” he said.

Thompson said there are already some incumbent councillors who he believes use their websites to campaign.

“Incumbents are doing what they want,” he said.

Thompson said those people who complained about his actions should have talked to him first rather than take their issues to the city or the news media.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I’m trying to do something good. Somebody is trying to discredit me. But then it’s politics and I have to learn about that.”

Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, passed by the Liberals in 2016 include limiting candidates and their spouses to a pre-determined amount of money to their own campaigns, which is calculated using the number of electors in each race; contribution limits for individuals have been increased to $1,200 per candidate to a maximum of $5,000 for all candidates; candidates and third-party advertises are required to identify themselves on campaign advertisements and signs.

The act also requires the clerk who conducted the election to be responsible for reviewing the contributions that are reported on financial statements. If a person has contributed more than allowed, the clerk will report it to the municipal compliance audit committee. The committee will determine whether to begin a legal proceeding against the contributor.

Hamilton is holding a municipal candidate information session April 9 at City Hall starting at 7 p.m.