Unfortunately, it's becoming more commonplace for government officials to use taxpayer resources for political activity. The newest to the list is Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic using her government email account to coordinate a campaign meeting with Voces de la Frontera.
A recent open records request made by El Conquistador reveals that Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic had used her public email account late last year to coordinate a campaign meeting with Voces de la Frontera. On November 28th, 2011, Vanessa Ramos - an assistant of Christine Neumann Ortiz - sent a request to Supervisor Dimitrijevic to schedule meeting for December 2 in order "to discuss your plans for re-election." Dimitrijevic used her public email account, at 2:53 pm on November 28th, to confirm her meeting for 1 pm on Friday.
To some, this may seem like a small office issue, but not to Supervisor Dimitrijevic. When El Conquistador contacted her last year to inquire about her endorsement of Penny Sikora, she told us matter-of-factly, "It is illegal for me to use my publicly support [sic] email to discuss campaigns. I cannot campaign or discuss this matter using taxpayer resources. Please do not contact my county office again regarding campaigns."
From her response, it appears that Supervisor Dimitrijevic has a good grasp on the legality of using public resources for campaign purposes - enough so to tell a community newspaper to stop contacting her. Yet, she didn't tell Voces de la Frontera she couldn't coordinate a campaign meeting using the same taxpayer resources, which she admitted was illegal.
El Conquistador will continue to monitor County Supervisors to ensure our government is transparent about the use of taxpayer resources.