Expenses refund mobilizes sign of displeasure in Chelsea, Quebec

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by admin on September 1, 2010

The Editor,

I recently received a cheque from the Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec for 50 per cent of my expenses incurred during my unsuccessful municipal election campaign. However, instead of $270, my cheque was for $24.06.

It seems that my mobile rental sign installed in front of Bougie Doozy Candle did not qualify for the reimbursement. Nancy Fraser, the town treasurer, initially wrote that the mobile sign was “missing proof of advertising,” even though I had provided original invoices and thousands saw the sign when they drove by. Later she stated the authorization sign for the mobile sign was missing.

After providing copies of both authorization signs, the one originally for Mayor and the other for Councillor, the Director-General of Elections and Ms. Fraser concluded that since the name of the job printer was not displayed on these two authorization signs, they were not legitimate election expenses.

I purposefully and intentionally elected to use non-print signage as a political statement in “the environmentally-friendly municipality.” Judging by the proliferation of cardboard signage littering the roadsides last November, I was a minority candidate on that issue. Since they had the printer’s name in tiny little letters, those hundreds of signs were deemed legitimate.

However, the message on the mobile sign, “Save St. Stephen’s Rectory,” rang loud and clear and mobilized public involvement and a community project; so all was not lost on the mobile sign!

So just in case you didn’t think there were enough good reasons not to run for municipal office in Quebec, there’s another.

Furthermore, under normal conditions the mobile sign is illegal in Chelsea except for elections. Do you think this may be the Municipality’s way to keep it that way even once every 4 years in the month of October?

Bruce Langer

Chelsea, Quebec