A Facebook video that shows someone searching for Mayor Justin Altmann’s infamous “mind map” in the public bathrooms at town hall violates the town’s campaign bylaw, which limits use of corporate resources and communications during an election period, according to the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
In the video posted to Facebook by Altmann, who is seeking re-election, when the unidentified person hunting for the “mind map” can’t find it, he emerges into the foyer and runs into Altmann.
Altmann explains that the “mind map” was on the bathroom wall in his office, behind several layers of security. He proceeds to show the videographer each layer of security.
When they finally reach Altmann’s washroom, the video pans to where the wall was located and Altmann says, “As you can see, it’s not very large.”
At the end of the video, Altmann says every week leading up to the election he will hold a town-hall meeting.
“We are going to have a mayor’s town hall and I’ll tell all and explain about the wall and come one come all,” he says in the video then proceeds to flush the toilet. “It’s time to flush all these myths and fallacies down.”
Town spokesperson Glenn Jackson said staff found Altmann’s video in violation of the town’s campaign bylaw because he was filmed in town hall and his mayor’s office promoting a campaign activity.
The town asked Altmann to take down the video but, Jackson said, although it was deemed in violation of the bylaw there are no penalties.
Altmann sees the matter differently than the town and said he won’t be taking it down.
“I didn’t use any corporate resources,” he said. “I’m doing my job as mayor.”
Altmann went on to say this is just the latest episode of ongoing harassment by the town, which he characterized as workplace mobbing.
“I’m not taking down the video,” he said.
The town denies enforcement of the bylaw is harassment.
“The town is required to enforce policies and bylaws approved by council. Notices of breaching the rules of any such policy or bylaw is not harassment,” Jackson said via email.
This isn’t the first campaign violation for Altmann this year.
At the end of August, Altmann along with his slate of C3 candidates, had their signs removed from the Ringwood Restaurant, on the southwest corner of Hwy. 48 and Stouffville Road.
The property, which was to be the future site of the C3 campaign office, wasn’t zoned for office use.
According to the town, given the location wasn’t suitable for a campaign office, all signs were in breach of the bylaw, which prohibits election signs from be erected before Sept. 24.
Altmann doesn’t like how the process played out and said the town didn’t provide enough time for the candidates to remove their signs.
Altmann’s next town halls, where he will talk about the “mind map,” will be held at the Stouffville Legion on Oct. 9 and 17.
Simon Martin is a reporter for the East Gwillimbury Express, King Connection, Stouffville Sun-Tribune, YorkRegion.com and their sister papers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org