Friday, January 27, 2006

Lauderhill's Code of Ethics for Candidates

Several years ago, the Mayor wrote and had passed the "Lauderhill Ethics Code for Candidates." The purpose of which was to protect the public from unwanted intrusion, respect the rights of the public, and to prevent improper or unfair activity during a campaign.

Some elections are very electric, with accusations and claims of unethical behavior. Such behavior can include the removal of an opponents properly placed signs, and campaigning in places that are prohibited. Actually the ordinance is quite extensive and covers a variety of issues. Even if a volunteer of a candidate violates the ordinance, then it is a violation by the candidate itself. Candidates must keep their volunteers under control. If a candidate cannot live by these reasonable ethic rules when running for office, what would the public expect of them if they should take office.

Such rules provide:

1) prohibiting the running of a negative campaign, or make statements which is false or misleading;
2) not campaigning in gated communities or condominium associations without the prior permission of the association;
3) requiring the candidate to determine the truth of statements before making them;
4) prohibiting of placing of signs on city property such as swales and parks;
5) placing of signs on private property without prior permission;
6) prohibiting the interference with a voter from voting.

Therefore, if a candidate or volunteer is going door to door in a condominium that does not permit such activity (and there may not be such an association that allows for this); or if a sign is on your property without permission; or if a worker for a candidate tells a property owner that because one candidate has a sign on their property all candidates are permitted to put a sign on the property; these would be in violation of the law, and should be reported to the City for appropriate action, 954-714-5566. As a property owner, you also have the right to remove any signs that you don't want on your property.

These rules are to preserve the integrity of the election, and are in addition to any other federal, state or county law.

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