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2019 City Council Election Reminders

2019 City Council Election Reminders

The election season will be here before we know it, and as the August 7 filing deadline for issues and candidates approaches, thoughts are already turning to who in Upper Arlington is preparing to run for one of the three seats that will be on the ballot for City Council.

A series of rules and guidelines to prevent ethical violations are in place for employees of the City of Upper Arlington and for candidates running for office. Please read on for an overview of the permissible activities of City employees and candidates relative to campaigns for the upcoming Council election.

Five provisions apply, and regulate both employees and Council members or candidates:

  1. Section V of the City Charter states: “No person in the employ of the City shall participate in securing, or contribute any money toward, the nomination or election of any candidate for the Council.”
  2. Section 105.03(A) of the City Code states: “No person shall solicit any employee of the City of Upper Arlington, to contribute money or any articles of value to secure the nomination or election of any candidate for Council in the City of Upper Arlington.”
  3. Section 105.03(B) states: that no employee shall make any “contribution of money or any articles of value toward the nomination or election of any candidate for Council in the City of Upper Arlington.”
  4. Section 105.03(C), titled “Campaign funds,” states: “no candidate for, or member of, the Council . . . shall accept any contribution of money or other item of value from any employee.”
  5. Section 105.04(A) states: “No employee, including Council-appointed employees, shall take an active part in securing the nomination or election of any candidate for Council in the City of Upper Arlington.”

These rules do not apply to the spouses or family members of employees. For instance, a sign in front of an employee’s home may be representative of the household member not the employee. 

Campaign Contribution Limits

Campaign contribution limits for candidates are in place in the City Code:

  • 105.03 – FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION.
    • (D) No person, corporation, or organization shall make a contribution or in-kind contribution of more than two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) in a calendar year to any candidate or member of council to be used as campaign funds.
      • The contribution limits apply to political action committees and political parties.
      • The cost of mailing endorsement cards by a political action committee or political party could be determined to be an in-kind contribution subject to the above stated limits.
    • (E) No candidate or member of council shall accept a contribution or in-kind contribution of more than two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) in a calendar year to be used as campaign funds.
      • The contribution limits apply to political action committees and political parties.
      • The cost of mailing endorsement cards by a political action committee or political party could be determined to be an in-kind contribution subject to the above stated limits.
    • (F) No person, corporation, or organization shall make cash contributions to a candidate for or member of council totaling more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) to be used as campaign funds in each primary, special, or general election or in a non-election calendar year.
    • (G) Subsections (D), (E) and (F) shall not apply to personal funds.
    • (H) The provisions of the laws of the State of Ohio pertaining to elections that are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section shall remain in full force and effect and shall apply in addition to the requirements of this section. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of the laws of the State of Ohio and provisions of this section, the provisions of this section shall control.
    • Candidates should contact their lawyers for specific advice prior to making any decisions regarding these matters.
  • 105.99 – PENALTIES for a violation of UACO (City Code) are the following:
    • (A) Any person or campaign committee violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a minor misdemeanor and upon conviction of a subsequent violation of the same provision within one (1) year when the same is so specified in the complaint shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
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