On Sept. 28, TurlockCityNews.com broke a story about the City of Turlock sending an insert created by the Citizens for Yes on Measure B in the September utility bills.
The City could face consequences for sending out the inserts, which include the website http://www.fixturlockroads.com/ and some “educational” information taken verbatim from the website.
After TurlockCityNews.com broke the story, Fox40 had questions for the City of Turlock and City Manager Roy Wasden, who approved the inserts before they were sent in the bills.
When first asked about the inserts, Wasden told TurlockCityNews.com that both the Measure B insert and the Measure A insert, which was also included in the bill, were educational and only gave factual information about both measures.
“Both items were educational and detailed what each of the proposed measures do,” said Wasden.
However, Wasden admitted to Fox40 that he would liked to do things different.
“I would have liked to have given it greater scrutiny. There were some time tables that didn’t allow for that. That’s where we’re at,” Wasden told Fox40.
The City could have to repay the cost of preparing and distributing the inserts, even though Wasden said the inserts did not use City dollars.
“There’s still a fair market value to that communication,” said political attorney Brian Hildreth. “What would it cost the opponent of Measure B to send out a mailer opposing it?”
Hildreth added that the official who approved the insert could be held liable for the costs.
“The public official that approved the communication can be held personally liable to reimburse the government for the expense of the communication,” said Hildreth.
The Fox40 report that aired on Sept. 29 can be seen here at this link – FOX40 News Video: Some Turlock Residents Say City is Trying to Tell them How to Vote