We received a tip from an eagle-eyed resident regarding some large mobile signs promoting Alderman Berry’s run for the Mayor’s Chair. ‘Tis the season for signage, but after checking them out ourselves, there is more than one message than what is plastered on the sign.
Before we get into the sign content… let’s look at the most pressing issue first.
All three of the signs are located on active development properties, LJM’s Waterview Condos along the North Service Road and the DeSantis Aqua property at Windward/Winston. So the question voters should be asking themselves, is Alderman Berry a little too close to these big developers or are they a little to close to him?
In either case, if you think the Town is being overdeveloped than we suggest you duly note this apparent coziness.
Of further and equally important consideration, Alderman Berry is still an active member of Council and voting on development proposals and subsequent elements thereof from these developers.
With Council on Monday set to vote on one part of the DeSantis Century Condos downtown plan (starting the process to close the laneway to facilitate that development)… one has to wonder if he should recuse himself from the vote as there is a clear conflict by having one of these signs on the same developer’s property.
It is no coincidence that these three signs all went up at the same time and appear identical. This leads us to believe they are from Alderman Berry’s campaign, as we really can not see LJM and DeSantis getting together and agreeing on their own to place identical signs on their properties. Even if that is the case, then it is clear who the developers want sitting in the Mayor’s chair.
These signs also constitute a violation of the election rules on one of two grounds. Lets look at both scenarios…
If by chance these are put up by developers, then “All Ontario Sign Rentals” would have had to donate them to the developers (slim chance of that) or else they would have incurred an election expense. If any person or organization incurs an expense to put up a sign or put out election material for or against a candidate then they must register as a “Third Party Advertiser” under the Municipal Elections Act:
Even if they have registered as a third party advertiser, then these signs legally need to contain the following information:
And if you go back and look at the signs, they do not comply with these three requirements.
Now on the flipside, if these are signs rented to or even donated to a candidate, the Town’s regulations state:
Again we do not see this information on these signs. But these are really ancillary arguments to the point of this post.
If the intent of these signs is to “charm” the new residents in the Waterview or Lakehouse developments to vote for Alderman Berry, they may wish to see how he voted to bring in higher developments that will soon overshadow their properties and views. You can read our “How They Voted” on LJM Phase 2 here and Odyssey condos here.
In an election where development is a BIG issue, and literally we mean a BIG issue… whether it is the case of a candidate putting signs on the properties of big developers or those big developers putting money out of their own pocket to support a candidate, it makes a candidate toxic.
The message on the signs is loud and clear that Alderman Berry is “The Right Choice” for developers.
EDIT: We just noticed this photo (click for larger image) posted to “Homes by DeSantis” Facebook page on a ground-breaking that occurred today. Interesting timing to say the least.