Open letter to Kevin Spease - Candidate for Elk Grove City Council, District 3

As a group of District 3 voters, we are writing you to ask your opinion on the use of official government property for campaigning. As a cybersecurity expert, a reasonable person would believe that you would not tolerate the use of public property and/or city resources for campaign use.


Currently, we have foreign interference in our country’s national elections.  And now we seem to be experiencing the same at the local level. 


It is out in the public arena that Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Detrick, using his elected title, sent a campaign-related email to city of Elk Grove employees and members of the Elk Grove Police Department, at their official governmental city email addresses, soliciting them to support your candidacy to replace him. In politics, isn’t it correct the candidate is always responsible for what occurs in their campaign?


The practice of directly soliciting employees for political purposes at the city and at EGPD, including those he can hire and fire, is not incidental to Vice Mayor Detrick. For example in 2016, then Councilmember Detrick sent over 100 emails to city staff and EGPD officers asking them to attend his fundraiser. If they could not attend, in the body of the email, Councilmember Detrick solicited a contribution. 


Paid political advertisement

Are you aware of the restrictions regarding the use of campaign-related and other political activity by elected officials as it pertains to the use of city resources?

Many California cities have written policies which make the prohibitions clear. The city of San Francisco states,

 State and local law prohibit City officers and employees from using public resources — City time, facilities, equipment and supplies — for campaign activity. The misuse of public resources may be punishable by administrative, civil and criminal penalties, as well as potential discipline or removal from office.”

In an article adapted from a resource provided by the Institute for Local Government (ILG), a division of the League of CA Cities, of which the city of Elk Grove is a member, under Restrictions on Public Officials’ Activities it states, “Public officials should not use agency computers or email addresses for campaign communication activities.”


In addition, referencing CA Government Code Section 8314, “(a) It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”


In a Feb. 7 article in the Elk Grove Citizen, Vice Mayor Detrick stated, “I wanted to make sure there’s someone who has the same values and wants to keep the city moving in the same direction.”


And so we ask you Mr. Spease, do you have the same values as Vice Mayor Steve Detrick?

This letter was submitted by six District 3 registered voters - one independent, three Democratic, and two Republican who were verified but asked not to be identified. 

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