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Potential candidates for Erin mayor, councillor rejected

by Chris Daponte

ERIN - Two people rejected as potential candidates for this fall’s municipal election say they should have been afforded a chance to correct clerical errors in their nomination papers.

But town officials say nominations that do not comply with the Municipal Elections Act are rejected outright.

Bob Tummonds, who on July 9  filed papers to run for mayor, said he was shocked to learn three days after the July 27 deadline that he was rejected as a candidate.

He was told one of the 25 people who supported his nomination failed to fill out his name on a form. When he offered to have the supporter correct the omission, he says he was curtly refused and told the decision is final.

“It does leave a bad taste in your mouth, but it’s not the first time I’ve had trouble getting information from the town,” Tummonds told the Advertiser. “The whole idea is to get people to run for office - that’s what democracy is all about.”

Deputy clerk Lisa Campion confirmed two Erin residents were rejected as candidates. She explained all candidates need to be endorsed by 25 residents and all supporting documents must comply with the Municipal Elections Act.

Tummonds wondered why he wasn’t informed of his oversight in the nearly three weeks between his filing and the nomination deadline.

Campion said town staff gives all nominations a “cursory review” upon submission, and a more comprehensive review during the certification process, which did not commence until the July 27 deadline.

She said that’s when town staff realized two nominations did not comply with the act.

Valerie Bozanis, who was rejected as a candidate for councillor, said she filed on July 26 and was rejected four days later for errors similar to the one in Tummonds’ nomination.

“I’ve never had a municipality treat me this way,” said Bozanis. “They could have just quickly helped me out. I don’t understand it ... I think it was unfair.”

Campion stressed all nominations must meet the provincial requirements.

Tummonds appealed to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for assistance but was told the decision of the clerk is final in such matters.

August 10, 2018

 
 

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