City Draws Firm Deadline for Filing
Candidate disqualified for not having his checkbook
City Council candidate Amos White appeared at City Hall to file his final papers to run for City Council on deadline day, Wednesday, Aug. 15. He said that he arrived about 5:30 p.m., which gave him 30 minutes to complete the process. This meant filling out the necessary papers and making a payment.
When he finished with the papers, Assistant City Attorney Alan Cohen, who was there to witness the transaction, told White that he had less than 10 minutes to complete the transaction. White went for his checkbook, but realized he didn’t have it with him. He thought he had left it at the library across the street from City Hall. He said that he called the library, but no one answered. By then there was even less time to spare.
He asked if he could pay by credit card. White said that Weisiger said “yes.” However a credit card payment would not have been possible because with just a few minutes until the close of business, the city’s Finance Department had closed its books for the day. Even if Weisiger had accepted his credit card, the city would not have recorded the payment until the following day, past the deadline for filing.
When 6 p.m. struck, White’s time was up. “The election code does not allow the filing procedure to go past regular business hours,” Weisiger said. The code in question No. 10224 reads, “All nomination papers shall be filed with the city elections official during regular business hours as posted.”
“The code gives me no discretion. I had to stop Amos White’s filing at 6 p.m. sharp,” Weisiger said.
“As a result,” White stated in a letter to City Attorney Janet Kern, “the deadline eventually passed and my validated documents were returned to me ‘for failure to provide payment.’ This action prevented me from qualifying for the November ballot.”