A Windsor resident wants to see Mayor Drew Dilkens reimburse the city for expenses related to a controversial flyer critics say has the appearance of a campaign ad.
Timothy (T.J.) Bondy said he was shocked to find the promotional insert that went out in the same envelope as property tax bills last month.
"I don't think it's fair that he could take this [as] a huge advantage and levy that while he's outside of the campaign period, but so close to the campaign period," said Bondy.
The double-sided flyer features a photo of Dilkens on both sides and references recent accomplishments such as securing the upcoming Stellantis-LG Energy Solution electric vehicle battery plant.
Dilkens has not registered to run in the Oct. 24 election and said he has yet to make a decision on whether he'll seek another term of office.
Petition calls for reimbursement
Bondy started an online petition to ask the mayor to pay for any costs associated with the insert. As of Tuesday evening it has garnered more than 400 signatures.
A spokesperson for the city confirmed the cost of printing the insert, which was one of several in the same envelope, was a little over $1,883.
However, Bondy said he believes it would cost about $20,000 to send out such a flyer on its own.
"We want to see that money refunded to taxpayers or at the very least taken out from what is allowed in his campaign, if he does choose to run for mayor," Bondy said.
The mayor's chief of staff said Dilkens would be available to comment on the issue at a media availability on Wednesday.
Last week, however, Dilkens said he would not apologize for "communicating with the residents in my city and telling them about all the great things that are going on here."
The insert, he said, is similar to the ones included with tax bills over the last couple of years.
"If someone thinks I violated the code of conduct they're welcome to file a complaint with the integrity commissioner," he said on June 27.
Deadline for complaints has passed
Because of the looming election, the deadline for complaints to be referred to the integrity commissioner — who investigates allegations related to city council's code of conduct — was June 30.
Commissioner Jeffrey Abrams said that any investigations in progress have to be completed by Aug. 19, which is deadline for candidates to declare in the election.
"If Aug. 19 arrives and all that hasn't been completed, the complaint is at an end, but the complainant or the respondent can, after the election, say no we want the work to continue, in which case it's possible that we could pick up that complaint again," he said.
Bondy said he plans to file a complaint after the election if Dilkens runs and is successful.
According to the city's website, two mayoral candidates have declared so far, Ernie Lamont and Benjamin Danyluk.