Published: 23 July 2012 05:47 PM

A resolution that would encourage candidates for two Redlands City Council seats in November to adhere to voluntary fundraising or spending limits likely will be considered at the council’s first September meeting.

The council last week, over the objections of Councilman Jerry Bean, asked city officials to prepare the resolution. Council members didn’t decide whether the limits would be on spending, contributions or both, or precisely what those limits would be.

Bean said it’s too late to impose limits, since some would-be candidates for the November council race already may have begun raising money. The filing period closes for most races on Aug. 10.

“I don’t like the idea of introducing this in the middle of a council campaign,” Bean said Monday, July 23. “It’s voluntary, but it still demonizes people who don’t choose to follow it. And I think it would hurt candidates who aren’t well funded.”

Council seats held by Mayor Pete Aguilar and Bean are up for election in November. Bean has announced that he will not run; Aguilar has not yet made an announcement.

Councilman Bob Gardner introduced the campaign reform issue at last week’s council meeting, recommending that the city use an ordinance adopted in 2000 by the city of Santa Cruz as a guideline. That ordinance set a spending limit for the 2012 elections of $26,640.65 per candidate – based on 43 cents per resident – and contribution limits of $325 per person and $780 from an organization or committee.

Bean and Aguilar suggested that such low amounts could create challenges for candidates who aren’t well known and without money would struggle to get their messages out. Councilman Paul Foster said the resolution would need to include a mechanism to account for in-kind donations of goods or services.

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