FARMINGTON — The Farmington City Council is set to vote on campaign contribution limits for political candidates and a series of filing deadlines at an upcoming meeting.
The city's elected officials will vote on whether to implement the regulations on money raised and spent for city elections at their July 9 meeting. Currently, the city has no such regulations.
In the mean time, the council gave a tentative nod to placing a $2,300 limit on campaign contributions.
If the ordinance is passed, candidates will have to file an annual report each October on any funds raised or spent for their campaigns. The ordinance will also require candidates to file reports in January, February and on the Thursday before election day during election years.
Councilor Dan Darnell, however, expressed concerns about imposing a low individual campaign contribution limit.
Mayor Tommy Roberts proposed a $100 campaign contribution limit at a prior meeting.
"I'm concerned that what we do shouldn't put any candidate or potential candidate at a disadvantage," Darnell said. "A lesser known candidate might have a more difficult time running a campaign at $100 per person. I would be more comfortable with a $250 limit."
Roberts agreed that a higher limit would make sense.
"When you think about campaign contributions, how many times did you get a contribution of more than $250?" he asked. "Not many. $250 per individual or entity makes sense. Ideally, I'd like to see a situation where candidates self-police."
The City Council eventually decided to follow the state's campaign contribution limit of $2,300.
Councilor Jason Sandel said he was concerned that a $250 contribution limit would give an unfair advantage to candidates with more personal wealth.
There are no limits placed on use of personal funds under the city's ordinance.
But the main point of the ordinance was to put requirements in place for campaign finance reporting, Darnell said.
"I don't think we need to make running for local office as difficult as possible," he said.