Brandon City Councilor’s 1st Amendment Rights were probably violated

I’m still waiting to hear more details on this fiasco;

The Brandon city council voted unanimously Monday evening to censure one of it council members.

Tim Wakefield tells KELOLAND News, he was censured because other council members don’t agree with his use of social media to bring public concerns to light.

He says the council is in the process of drafting an ordinance that says any council member can be fined $500 for that type of behavior.

Tim ran for mayor and lost last week. Tim’s platform was based on the condition of the water in Brandon (they have high levels of radium). Tim is an engineer that understands some of those processes, and while he was running for mayor he would often talk about Brandon’s water issues on Facebook. He has suggested that Brandon hook up to Lewis & Clark so the town has safe, clean water.

I guess the contention of the council was that Tim was on Facebook telling people he won’t drink city water. The council claims it is against the law (not sure if this is Brandon charter?) to say ‘bad’ things about Brandon’s city government or criticize them while serving in that government. Where do these small town Hayseeds come up with this stuff?

Just because someone is serving on a governmental board, doesn’t mean their 1st Amendment Rights are stripped of them, quite the opposite. Just imagine if Stehly was on the Brandon City Council, she would be serving a life sentence in prison for speaking out on Facebook 🙂

If Tim really wants to challenge this, Brandon could have a monster 1st Amendment lawsuit on their hands that could cost them millions if they lose, uh, I mean, when they lose.

I have never liked that town . . . Weirdsville is at it again.



3 comments ↓

#1 Matthew Paulson on 04.16.19 at 10:24 am

This is surprising. I knew Tim pretty well when he was running his 3D printing business. He never seemed like the type that would make a big fuss over nothing. If he’s raising red flags, I’d pay close attention.

#2 LJL on 04.17.19 at 1:26 pm

It’s a grey area.. He does have the right to post but the employer does have the right to enforce standards of its employees. Elected or not, he is essentially an employee.

Some day a case like this will make it to the supremes.

#3 John on 04.18.19 at 9:09 am

No. As a Councilor he is the employer NOT an employee.

Leave a Comment