January 31st, 2017
Interesting indeed, as it begs the questions as to why a private attorney is in an advisory role at the same time the Mayor has access to a City Attorney’s office filled with staff and resources paid by the taxpayer.
This takes on a whole new dimension when the same article by Jeff Jardine reported that attorney George Petrulakis, (the adviser to Mayor Ted Brandvold), also sent a letter listed as an “Attorney Advertisement” to landowners in Wood Colony. The letter was a solicitation and contained charged terms such “Fear”, “negatively affect” “adversely”, etc.
The City Charter affords Citizens the opportunity and right to request public records regarding communications relating to Elected officials and the City Staff. This advantage of the utilization of City Staff, is negated when private advisors are utilized, which complicates or denies subsequent rights afforded the public such as Public Records review/request.
If the Mayors advisor, attorney George Petrulakis has advised the him on any aspect of Wood Colony, and simultaneously sent “fear-based” solicitations for representation to the citizens of Wood Colony, then a complete disclosure of all communications including written, verbal and digital aspects is warranted without delay.
The citizens of Wood Colony and Modesto at large, have a right to know if private entities are playing a back-room role, leaving unknown players to “work both sides of the fence”.
The public is entitled to know why the City Attorney’s office was not sufficient to act in an advisory role, and if not – what special/unique circumstances necessitate the advice of the same attorney who is soliciting landowners in one of the most significant land-use controversies in years.