Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Commissioners object to GSC postcard mailer as currently written

A well-placed source, on condition of anonymity, has revealed to NewsLanc that the County Commissioners have sent notification that it will not authorize funding under the Government Study Commission's "public education" budget for its postcard mailer to County residents as it is currently written on the basis that "The proposed mailing is clearly an advocacy piece in that all lead-ins are subjective and conclusory in nature."

Furthermore, the Commissioners object to the use of the County logo on the communication on the basis that "The Government Study Commission is an independently elected commission not affiliated with county government and to use the county logo is to suggest otherwise."

The postcard mailer was to be sent to every household in the County to alert voters that the question of whether the County should adopt Home Rule will appear on the November ballot. The Government Study Commission was given a budget of $50,000 for "public education," a significant portion of which was to be used to pay for this mailer.

But, according to this source, the Commissioners agree with the minority members of the Government Study Commission (the three who had voted against recommending a Home Rule Charter) that the language contained in the mailer crosses the line between education and advocacy.

As NewsLanc reported earlier in the day, the postcard mailer asserts that the charter will provide, "Greater Citizen Access and Involvement, Better Money Management, Enhanced Administrative Effectiveness and Efficiency... and [will] Strengthen and preserve the rights and powers of local municipalities."

The three dissenting members of the Government Study Commission claimed in a letter presented to the County Commissioners earlier in the day, Wednesday that those are subjective claims.

Other Government Study Commission members had, in previous meetings, disagreed with the repeated assertion by the minority that the group is not allowed to "advocate for the Charter," arguing instead that the Commission is charged with the task of explaining what they see as the benefits of adopting a Home Rule Charter.

Members of the Government Study Commission were not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon or evening.