Enough’s enough already on this ridiculously restrictive and censorious local government organ known colloquially as the closed-group “City of Burbank” Facebook site.
When Vice Mayor Rogers uses it tonight as an official city council channel of communications and resident-input vehicle, and yet they still ban admission to the residents they don’t happen to like, it’s high time for the courts to get involved on free speech and equal access grounds.
Local activist David Hunter complained to the Leader last week that he’s not being allowed entry to this group. Nor are others. He makes a great point in his letter to the editor about this blatant act of political blockade, and we think that something formal really does have to be set into action now about that problematical little page. Run as it is by the mayor and his family, Hunter and other similarly affected parties need to visit an attorney soon and take legal action against both them and our cahoot-ish city government.
This Facebook group — named as it is the “City of Burbank” — is clearly being run under the aegis and approval of the city itself. It’s become an active agent of the city, if that wasn’t the intention from the beginning. By allowing entry to only select, pre-approved individuals, a First Amendment and prior restraint line has been crossed repeatedly with the participation of these city officials in the performance of their duties. It can no longer remain “closed.”
This intermingled, phony third-party City of Burbank site has become more than just a problem for Albano and the C-O-B. It’s become a local outrage, and we think most judges would agree that a city named site run by city people talking about city business must be open to all. It’s become a clear third-party front and agent for the city council and city government.
They’d surely ask why it wasn’t.
[Correction: Yes, we got the two Davids mixed up on the first go round. Blame the Leader’s paywall, which can be hard to consistently get around.]