A viewer sent us this email... showing a question he sent to El Paso County Commissioner Douglas Bruce. He asked if the Stormwater Enterprise fee was a legitimate bill.
Bruce told him... No, don't pay it. It's illegal.
But should Bruce be making such comments using the county computer and the county's email system?
Douglas Bruce says, "If the city wants to send its police department's swat team down here to bust us for not paying... Let them try."
Douglas Bruce doesn't like the word fee. He calls it .. a tax, saying he hasn't paid the two hundred dollars worth of bills he's received on his six properties. In fact, he's launched a petition drive to try and stop it.
El Paso County Attorney Jay Lauer who represents county commissioners says employees cannot use their work computer nor email system to make such statements, but commissioners can.
Lauer adds, "When it comes to an elected official speaking on matters of their interest they can make their statements over the email system."
County Commissioner Sally Clark had this to say. "It may not be illegal. The question is... is it right?"
Clark says it's important ... not to practice law without a license.
She adds, "That's not something I would use my county email to voice... in terms of advising someone to pay or not to pay... I don't 'think that's my position."
Nevertheless... Bruce says he won't stop urging people to fight the fee.
I asked him, "So those who have paid, you're saying?"
Bruce says, "They're suckers. They should not have paid and they should stop paying and never pay again. The number of resisters should mount... so I'm urging people to join the resistance and refuse to pay."
City officials tell me ... roughly 18,000 bills haven't been paid. That's about 7 percent of the invoices mailed.
They say reminder letters will be sent out next month telling folks to pay up or face a 6 percent late fee.
They point out... the way the ordinance is written... If you ignore the bill... it could eventually lead to a lien being filed against your property. Bruce says the city's bluffing and eventually will lose in court.
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