Did Mayor/Councilmembers Misinform You About
(May 24, 2018, 9:03 a.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that the Long Beach City Attorney's office has sent what it describes as a "privileged communication" to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Long Beach Councilmembers after retired Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske -- part of the legal team that enforced state taxpayer protections (Prop 218) to which City Hall responded by proposing General Fund ("blank check") Measure M and among the co-writers of the official ballot argument against the measure -- cited examples of the Mayor and some Councilmembers using their personal social network channels or personal emails to make claims about Measure M that Schipske alleges are factually inaccurate or otherwise problematic.
"I can confirm that the City Attorney's Office received a complaint from Gerrie Schipske regarding certain statements being made by the Mayor and/or City Council Members with respect to Measure M," Deputy City Attorney Rich Anthony told LBREPORT.com late yesterday (May 23). "I can also confirm that the City Attorney’s Office has issued correspondence to the Mayor and Council Members in connection with the complaint, but the contents of that correspondence are, as you know, subject to the attorney-client privilege. It would therefore be inappropriate to include any more detail at this time."
Ms. Schipske tells LBREPORT.com that on May 19, she emailed the City Attorney's office:
[Scroll down for further.]
The Mayor and some members of the City Council are tweeting, texting and sending email newsletters in which they tell the readers that "Measure M is not a tax measure!"
Ms. Schipske also provided the City Attorney's office with examples of communications she considers problematic. (These communications used the electeds' personally-controlled social network channels and email domains, not city government channels):
Caveat: Since the City Attorney's communication to the Mayor and Councilmembers is privileged attorney-client material, LBREPORT.com has no knowledge of, and is unable to report at this point, whether the City Attorney's office considers problematic the content alleged by Ms. Schipske to be problematic.
On May 21, Schipske added in an email to Deputy City Attorney Rich Anthony that the Mayor's Tweet "incorrectly tells voters the transfer is surplus funds when the measure states Gross Revenues. These are serious problems."
And on May 23, Ms. Schipske informed Mr. Anthony of an ad on MSNBC [we presume during local commercial cutaways] "featuring Mayor Garcia stating M will not raise taxes and only transfers surpluses. This is outrageous lying to voters." [LBREPORT.com is currently unaware of who paid for the MSNBC local cutaway ad.]
On May 22, LBREPORT.com separately noted that Mayor Garcia and some Councilmembers had been using their personally-controlled social network channels and/or emails that Measure M isn't a tax...and LBREPORT.com published salient text (below) from the City Council's
Text source: City Council voted Resolution No. RES-18-002S
...WHEREAS, some have alleged that under California Propositions 218 and 26 (California Constitution, Article XIIIC, Section 1(e) and Article XIIID, Section 6), these revenue transfers from City utility accounts to the General Fund aregeneral taxes requiring voter approval; and...
WHEREAS, Proposition 218 (California Constitution, Article XIIIC, Section 2) likewise requires that allgeneral taxes which are imposed, extended or increased be approved by a majority of City voters voting at an election called for that purpose; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Proposition 218 anygeneral tax measure submitted to the voters must be held concurrently with a regularly scheduled general election for members of the City Council;
...NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Long Beach resolves as follows:
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are true and correct and are hereby incorporated and made an operative part of this Resolution...
In the public interest, LBREPORT.com also made the full text of Measure M available which isn't published in the official voter information pamphlet, which only provides (in addition to arguments pro/con) the City Attorney's "impartial analysis."
On a related matter, Measure M's General Fund/"blank check" substance is detailed in the full text of Measure M here (also not published in the official voter pamphlet or in other City materials of which we're aware. (See pdf pages 8-9, section 1407 (7) ["All proceeds from transfers authorized by subsection (5) above can be spent for unrestricted general revenue purposes."] and section 1501 (f) [All proceeds from transfers authorized by subsection (d) above can be spent for unrestricted general revenue purposes"]).
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