School Board Candidate Files Complaint Against Flood Tax PAC (Updated)

Jeff Church speaking at the Reno Elections political event at City Plaza.
Jeff Church speaking at the Reno Elections political event at City Plaza. Image: Ty O’Neil.

School board candidate and local tax protester Jeff Church today announced that he filed a complaint with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office against what he is calling false claims by the Stop Truckee River Flooding political action committee.

The PAC is supporting the county-wide WC1 tax initiative, which would bring funding to help prevent flooding along the Truckee River.

The group, according to Church, posted the City of Sparks logo on its website as an endorser of the project.

“With the voting already started, and this misrepresentation has been on their website for who knows how long, the voters need to know the truth,” Church said.

He served on the Washoe opposition drafting committee against the tax increase.

“After verifying that the City (nor) council in their official capacity never endorsed the WC1 Property Tax increase measure, and notifying the PAC, they took down the logo but continued in their City endorsement claim,” Church added.

Sparks agreed that Church’s complaint has merit.

“Mr. Church brought this to our attention and his complaint had merit. City Manager Steve Driscoll said he was contacted and assured that the City of Sparks logo would be removed (from the website),” said Sparks’ spokesperson Julie Duewel. “The City of Sparks has not endorsed WC-1 nor did we give permission to use our logo. We do have council members that have personally expressed that they are in favor of WC-1, but as a City we have not endorsed. ”

The Stop Truckee River Flooding group said it was initially unaware of the violation.

“We we’re unaware of the violation until Mr. Church noted it in an email,” said campaign manager Kit Carson. “We acted immediately to remediate the situation by removing the logo. Unfortunately there was miscommunication between the campaign team and web developer which resulted in the City of Sparks mention remaining.

“As soon as it was brought to our attention we took it down. All though we are endorsed by the council members in the City of Sparks, we are not endorsed by the City.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from the Stop Truckee River Flooding group.

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Bob Conrad is co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company. He also works part time for the University of Nevada, Reno.