Decrying an attempt to “muzzle” local leaders, city and county officials are mounting a lobbying effort urging Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill that would prevent them from waging PR campaigns on ballot issues.
Cities, counties and school boards would be banned from using public funds for political advertisements on ballot issues, although the expenditures would still be allowed if the information was purely factual. And elected officials could still express their opinions, as long as they don’t use taxpayer resources to do it.
Even so, cities and counties say the bill is nothing more than an attempt to silence local leaders on controversial issues.
Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan said local leaders have a responsibility to let their constituents know how they feel about issues like property tax reforms backed by Crist and the Legislature that she blames for devastating city and county budgets.