Is Kasey Reynolds using public resources to forward a political measure?

13 Jul

The deadline for the city to turn over their tax measure to the county clerk is coming around soon, and now Kasey Reynolds has proposed a “Quality of Life” measure as well. She will have to pedal fast, as the city attorney has issued a report saying the measure they’ve proposed is not doable.

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=766

“the Act is unconstitutional, unlawful, is in violation of the Warren Settlement,
and the City of Chico Municipal Code, and therefore is not recommended to be adopted or placed on the ballot as drafted.”

The report includes the draft of the ordinance Reynold’s and friends have presented. I’m no lawyer, but the first thing I thought was VAGUE and the second thought was UNENFORCEABLE. That’s exactly what city attorney Vince Ewing has said, read it all for yourself.

But the real sticker is that the ordinance calls for the city to fine itself, $5,000, should it determine that the complainant’s complaints are reasonable. How many problems do you see there? The first one I see, is that the city gets to determine whether the complaint is valid? And this is really cute – if they determine that the complaint is facetious in any way, they get to fine the complainant? I’m sorry, I don’t think Councilwoman Reynolds is being very sincere.

Ewing included the rules for using taxpayer money in his report. This is especially important since we can see the boundaries around the campaign for the city’s sales tax increase measure.

“It is unlawful for any local official, including any local appointee, employee, or consultant
(collectively referred to herein as “City staff”), to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity. (Gov. Code § 8314.) Campaigning is any activity that attempts to influence voter opinion in a particular way. (Stanson v. Mott, 17 Cal. 3d 206, 218 (1976). “

Of course public agencies are allowed “Informational activities that provide a neutral, fair presentation of a ballot measure or duties authorized by law, such as preparing ballot materials, are not campaigning and public resources may be used for those activities. (Vargas v. City of Salinas, 46 Cal. 4th 1, 24-25, (2009), citing Stanson, 17 Cal. 3d at 221.)

But I don’t believe that’s what Reynolds is doing. Where’s the information? Her draft ordinance is vague and leading. I believe she is trying to use Ewing to forward a fake, feel-good measure, leading the public to believe the city will be accountable with the new revenues from their sales tax measure, and I’m glad to see he told her where to stuff it.

I don’t know if Reynolds is running for re-election, but I know she’s failed miserably in her attempts to “solve the homeless problem”. City finances are a mess, the town is a mess, she knows people are angry, and it seems she’s desperately looking for a way to take the heat off herself. She should have to hire her own attorney for these activities. It’s not an appropriate use of the city attorney, a taxpayer funded public resource.

2 Responses to “Is Kasey Reynolds using public resources to forward a political measure?”

  1. bob July 14, 2022 at 5:11 am #

    The measure is a ploy to help pass the tax increase. She is deceptively trying to make people think the money will go for “safety” when it really goes into the general fund and from there to CalPERs.

    • Juanita Sumner July 14, 2022 at 5:57 am #

      yeah, isn’t she the clever girl! I think Ewing is warning her with that section about using public resources to run a campaign.

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