Foes of Measure Say City Mailing Violated Law

Activists alleged Thursday that a city mailing about a measure on the April ballot that proposes to drop historic designation for 29 properties was sent in violation of state election laws.

Linda Thornton, a local attorney, said the mailing was hurriedly sent out Tuesday to the city's 7,500 registered voters after she informed the city in a letter that she would seek a restraining order to prevent its distribution. "No mass mailing can be sent at public expense," she said.

The mailing contained a letter from the city manager, a city attorney's analysis of the ballot and arguments for and against the measure.

Thornton and her husband, Steve Broiles, said they are considering suing the city over the mailing, which they called a violation of state election laws because it contains the names of council members and candidates as proponents of the measure.

City Manager John Davidson said the $7,000 mailing was designed to inform voters and draw their attention to the fact that since the ballot measure was written, the City Council had approved an ordinance clarifying problems in the ballot language that could have been misunderstood as lifting all restrictions on these properties.

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