Saturday, October 10, 2009
THE GUARDIAN received a rather intimidating letter via CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED (postage was $5.54) from the City Clerk of Caldwell today (Saturday 10-10).
In what can only be described as an attempt to limit free speech, the Caldwell city clerk has sent the CALDWELL GUARDIAN a lengthy letter apparently alleging some sort of illegal activity for sharing information about the upcoming city election. It is no secret the GUARDIAN and others are not happy with the current crop of incumbents up for reelection. While we don't advocate FOR any particular candidate, we don't advocate AGAINST any specific candidate either--we are against ALL the incumbents up for reelection. Here is the document at issue:
"THE TRUTH IS…
Current incumbents up for reelection in Caldwell have worked harder at getting along with one another than performing the due diligence for their elected responsibilities
Current incumbents have presided over MILLIONS of our dollars spent or lost on projects that offer no productive value to taxpayers:
At least three downtown studies costing nearly $400,000.00
Paid Oppenheimer Group $50,000.00
Homeland Security cell towers that don’t work $750,000.00
Construction plans for TVCC at Sky Ranch Business Park $150,000.00
Over spent on downtown property purchases to the tune of millions
Doubled county assessments for Caldwell commercial and retail property owners
$300,000.00 to the Mercado building for Oregon based TVCC
Failed to keep the Canyon County Fair in Caldwell
Caldwell has the second highest PROPERTY TAX LEVY rate in Idaho
Incumbents have actually contributed to the further demise of downtown Caldwell. We now have a net loss to downtown economic base.
One third of all property taxes collected, $6 million, is getting spent by elected officials via the Urban Renewal Agency with no voter oversight. (UR board is ELJAY WAITE, GARRET NANCOLAS, ROB HOPPER, STEVE RULE, LEONA FOUTS AND TWO ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS)
We are being governed and our money spent by “MAYORAL PROCLAMATION” instead of a defined plan and voter oversight for millions of our property tax dollars.
THE TRUTH IS… YOU NEED TO GET INVOLVED IN CALDWELL AND VOTE NOVEMBER 3RD"
The City Clerk states "Earlier this week, it came to my attention that a particular flyer has been widely circulated with respect to the upcoming election. I contacted two individuals who were known to be reproducing and/or distributing the flyer. Since that time I have been advised that the flyer had been created by you. In reliance on that information , I am writing you to inform you of the same information provided to them." The City Clerk goes on to cite all manner of Idaho Codes.
Perhaps citing a bunch of Idaho codes can be construed by some as "educational and informative." We think it improper for the clerk to be involved in judging what is and what is NOT free speech. The city attorney or county prosecutor would be the ones to decide if laws are being broken and they would have to convince a jury that exercising rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America is somehow contrary to the sensibilities of the Caldwell City Clerk.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:51 PM