The publication, which advertises such upcoming events for seniors as
aquarium trips and train rides, is not supposed to be a "political
forum," he said.
But Bauer didn't check with city officials who review the newsletter's
content, he said.
"Unfortunately, he never went through any kind of approval process,"
The 200 copies of the newsletter and flier were paid for with city funds,
In The flier, a letter from Bauer encouraged seniors to vote against
Measure I, a March 7 ballot initiative that asks residents to rezone the
commercial property on Talbert Avenue by Beach Boulevard, where Wal-Mart
wants to build. Changing the zoning could scuttle the project.
The flier gave residents the wrong impression, Hagan said.
"It appears that the city is endorsing what the flier [says], and we're
not," he said.
But Bauer defends his action, saying the city already has taken an
official position on the measure by voting 4-3 in April to approve the
plans for a 150,000-square-foot megastore.
"Since a majority of the City Council favors the project, I see nothing
wrong with that," he said.
Although Bauer identified himself as a City Council member, the flier
does not mention that he is also co-chair of Save Our Schools/Save Our
City, a committee formed to support Wal-Mart. The committee's name and
address do appear on the flier. The failure to mention his committee
position doesn't make a difference, he said.
"I don't think that's germane," he said.
Wal-Mart detractors say he is giving his group an "unfair advantage."
"[He's] abusing his position as a council member," Barbara Boscovich
Her side will get a chance to insert its own flier in next month's
newsletter as a way to make amends, Hagan said.