Brian McHattie has filed a formal complaint with the city’s elections office against fellow mayoral candidate Brad Clark, charging that Clark’s campaign has posted election signs too early.

The Ward 1 councillor filed the complaint on Monday against Clark, who represents Ward 9 in Stoney Creek over signs posted on a lawn during the Winona Peach Festival.

According to the city’s sign bylaw, election signs can’t be posted earlier than 28 days before voting day on Oct. 27. McHattie says two large, vertical campaign banners on the front lawn of Ken Audziss, Clark’s campaign manager, violate that.

Clark disputes that, saying the home was a satellite office during the festival to coordinate volunteers and that McHattie's complaint is the campaign getting "nasty."

Paul Mason, McHattie’s campaign manager, said in a media release Monday that the signs “break the spirit of the law, and likely the letter of the law.”

“I’ll leave the ruling to Tony Fallis (manager of elections), but if this is permitted, it allows pop-up campaign offices to appear in any neighbourhood anywhere in the city, so long as a fee is paid to the homeowner and papers are filed,” he said. "The implications are significant."

“Knowingly either breaking the rules, or using a technicality to get around the rules, is not what we should expect from someone who wants to be our new mayor.”

Clark says it's standard practice for political teams to place signs and flags on a property to mark an event, and that all parties do it. It will happen again as he holds barbecues and fundraisers across the city, he said. 

"It kind of surprised me that political operatives were disgruntled," he said. "Perhaps they just had a bad weekend. We had a great weekend."