With an election approaching, anger and accusations erupted at a City Council meeting this week over community newsletters published by Councilman Frank Laszlo.
Dorothy Whyte, a resident of the College Park East neighborhood represented by Laszlo, accused him Monday of unfairly endorsing the campaign of Planning Commissioner Patti Campbell in a sporadically published newsletter that is printed by the city.
"He is using city equipment to issue political statements," said Whyte, a co-founder of the College Park East Neighborhood Assn. "This is improper."
City Atty. Quinn Barrow said there are prohibitions against the use of city funds to engage in political activities, but he did not discuss the newsletters in particular.
Laszlo, who must step down because of term limits, denied Whyte's assertions, calling out, "Tell the truth!" as she left the podium after addressing the council.
In an article appearing in his October 1995 newsletter, Laszlo endorsed Campbell to succeed him.
"I did mention that about Patti, but that was before anybody was running" in the March 26 council election, Laszlo said Tuesday. "I'd forgotten about that."
In Laszlo's January 1996 newsletter, he also wrote favorably about one of the two candidates, though he did not mention the person's name.
Campbell, who voted against Bixby Ranch Co.'s proposed 223-home mixed-use development, is running against attorney Phillip K. Fife, a supporter of the project.
Laszlo defended his newsletters.
"The residents should know what the issues are so they can make an educated vote," he said. "They expect me to let them know who is for a proposal and who is not."