Shaker Heights Allows Taxpayers Union to Use Logo
Group previously filed a lawsuit against the city for unconstitutionally trying to quiet its campaign against the Aug. 7 income tax
A day after learning that the Shaker Heights Taxpayers Union filed a lawsuit against the city, Law Director Bill Gruber announced that the city would allow the opposition group to parody its logo on materials.
In May, the city sent a cease-and-desist letter to the group because it used the city's trademarked four-leaf logo, replacing two with dollar signs. At the time, Gruber said he didn't want residents to believe that the SHTU was affiliated with the city. The city also said continued use of the logo would result in a lawsuit.
The city later granted the group permission to use the logo solely online. Because of that agreement, Gruber said he was surprised to learn that the SHTU was suing the city for what it deemed an unconstitutional mission to quiet the group's campaign against the upcoming income tax increase vote.
"That was certainly not my intent or the city’s, and our interaction with the group can hardly be characterized as threatening or intimidating, as they allege in their suit," Gruber said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.
"The city certainly supports the rights of all citizens, including members of the Taxpayers’ Union, to free expression of ideas and opinions," Gruber said. "Recognizing this, and rather than creating any perception that I or the city are attempting to prevent the group from expressing its views, the city’s administration and I have decided to permit the group to use the logo, as altered, for the purposes of their political campaign.
"I hope that this will put an end to this litigation that benefits no one in the community."
Be sure to read Gruber's entire statement by clicking 'PDF' to the right.