Information Session Outlines Municipal Candidate Roles and Responsibilities

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Information Session Outlines Municipal Candidate Roles and Responsibilities

Last week a dozen interested residents from Cavan Monaghan and Otonabee South Monaghan attended the joint information session developed to inform potential municipal representative candidates for the October election about the election process and the roles and responsibilities that come with the job.

The role of council is to develop programs and policies for the municipalities, determine which services the municipality will provide and ensure the effective implementation of those decisions.  In the process, Council must ensure Council decisions and municipal operations are accountable and transparent, and in doing so, protect the financial integrity of the municipality.   Decisions must foster activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality and its residents.

As the chief executive officer, the Mayor has additional responsibilities including presiding over council meetings, providing leadership in establishing policies, practices and procedures and to represent the municipality at official functions.

While decisions are ultimately the responsibility of Council, municipal staff are charged with their effective implementation.

The nomination deadline for the October 22nd municipal election is Friday, July 27, at 2pm.  The completed nomination form must be accompanied by the endorsement of at least 25 eligible voters, as well as a nomination fee of $200 for the mayor position and $100 for all other offices.

As former MP Del Mastro learned the hard way, campaign expenses are subject to tight rules.  Candidates raising money from contributions must open a separate bank account prior to spending money or accepting contributions through which all campaign related items must flow.    Complete records tracking the source of all contributions in excess of $25 must be kept and reported for the duration of the candidate’s tenure.  Financial support provided to municipal candidates is capped as well.  Contributions to any one candidate are limited to $1200, with an aggregate limit of $5000 to any number of candidates running for the same council or school board.

To keep a level playing field, there are also limits on how much can be spent on a campaign.  Candidates for mayor can spend up to $7500 plus 85 cents per elector, while limits for all other positions are $5000 plus 85 cents per elector.  All campaign financial records must be retained until after November 15, 2022 once the new council/local board has been sworn in.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are only 2 candidates registered for the five positions in the township.  While it may not be as glamourous as higher level government positions, decisions taken by municipal politicians affect citizens where they live, so it is argued that they have the most immediate impact on our daily lives.  Strong leadership at the municipal level helps communities establish a culture that reflects and supports the values embraced by their residents.   There are many exciting developments underway in Cavan Monaghan, and a sure, steady hand at the municipal level will help them reach a successful conclusion.  KG

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