Prohibit citizens owing money to municipality the ability to run for council
Whereas the collection of arrears maybe a concern in some communities; and Whereas people elected to municipal councils in all communities should set the standard for the betterment of their community; and Whereas elected representatives on municipal councils should be required to have all arrears of taxes paid before nomination to municipal councils; Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA lobby the Ministry of Government Relations to change The Local Government Elections Act making it mandatory for residents to have all arrears they are responsible for, including any commercial arrears, paid before being allowed to be nominated for a municipal council.
Consideration has been given in the past to requiring candidates for municipal elections to pay or at least declare any tax arrears or unpaid fines owing to the municipality. This would not prohibit candidates from running, but would have made the arrears a matter of public record. Electors could then decide whether or not to support such a candidate. The resolution proposes to disqualify from nomination persons who are in arrears. The democratic process relies on voters to decide who the best candidate is. The ministry's view is that the question is best left with local electors who can decide if they want such individuals to represent them on council. There may be constitutional risks involved in prohibiting otherwise qualified individuals from offering themselves as candidates.