San Diego County CA— To avoid wasting taxpayer dollars to engage in a legal fight over frivolous claims, SANDAG announced on Thursday that it will update its web pages devoted to educational information about Measure A – a ballot measure that will go before voters in November asking them to invest in our region’s transportation system.
“From the beginning, SANDAG staff exercised due diligence to comply with all applicable laws in the development of public education materials for Measure A,” SANDAG Board of Directors Chair and County Board of Supervisors Chair Ron Roberts said. “Everything posted to the website was carefully reviewed by a legal expert.”
The sandag.org/priorities web pages were created months before the SANDAG Board of Directors decided to put a measure on the ballot; the web pages were developed as the agency sought input from the public to identify transportation priorities to help craft an expenditure plan. This section of the SANDAG website served as a centralized repository for educational materials to keep the public informed about the development of Measure A, including how much it would cost taxpayers and what kinds of projects would be funded by the tax if the measure passed. The goal of sandag.org/priorities is to ensure that the public can easily access facts and figures related to the ballot measure, as well as key documents, such as the ballot measure language and Ordinance.
SANDAG retained an attorney with legal expertise in election laws and lawful use of public funds to assist with reviewing all materials posted to sandag.org/priorities, provided in community presentations, as well as messages shared on social media.
Opponents of Measure A have demanded that SANDAG remove all Measure A materials from its website and social media accounts.
“Complying with this frivolous and unfounded demand would deprive the public of essential information that they need to understand how the measure was developed and approved by the SANDAG Board, and what the measure contains,” Chair Roberts said. “In a democracy, it is vital that citizens have access to factual information in order to make informed decisions.”
To avoid a legal battle with Measure A opponents, which would divert attention from the substantive issues, SANDAG will remove some text and documents from the web pages. SANDAG legal counsel states that nothing on the website violates the law. SANDAG believes the focus should be on the right of taxpayers to make informed decisions, not on frivolous legal battles.