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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Bernardino County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Measure Q
City Seal
City of Redlands

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 7,623 / 41.20% Yes votes ...... 10,880 / 58.80% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of November 21 6:44pm, 100.00%% of Precincts Reporting (37/37)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the initiative ordinance of the people of Redlands amending the Redlands Municipal Code to adopt a new official City seal, be adopted?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
On April 27, 1892, the "Board of Trustees" of the City of Redlands approved Ordinance No. 115 and adopted an official City seal. That seal was described in Ordinance No. 115 as:

"The seal heretofore used by this City (the inscription on which, in the center thereof is 'Incorporated 1888,' and around the outer edge of said seal, 'City of Redlands, California') shall be and is hereby established and declared to have been, and now to be the seal of said City of Redlands."

Ordinance No. 115 was subsequently codified as Section 1.08.010 of the Redlands Municipal Code.

Many years later, the official minutes of the Redlands City Council state that on February 19, 1963, a design for an official seal for the City prepared by George Collins, on behalf of the Redlands Employees' Association, was presented by City staff. This seal was "unanimously accepted" by motion of the City Council, and the seal was never codified.

If approved by the voters of the City of Redlands, the effect of the initiative measure on existing law is to repeal Section 1.08.010 of the Redlands Municipal Code and replace the official seal adopted by Ordinance No. 115 in 1892, with a new seal, similar in appearance to that accepted by the City Council in 1963, that the proponent of the initiative describes as follows:

"A circle divided into four quadrants, surrounded by an inscription along its outer rim. The inscription that shall read CITY OF REDLANDS at the top, CALIFORNIA at the bottom, the abbreviation "Incorp." placed on the left side between the words CALIFORNIA and CITY on the left, with the number 1888 placed between the words REDLANDS and CALIFORNIA on the right. The upper left quadrant shall contain representations of industrial buildings with a gear wheel above. The upper right quadrant shall contain a representation of scales, with an open book overlaid thereupon and an alit torch again overlaid thereupon. The lower right quadrant shall contain a representation of a church with a shining cross represented in the sky above. The lower left quadrant shall contain a representation of the mountains surrounding the City of Redlands in the background, with the foreground containing a representation of a citrus field, an irrigation canal, and a representation of the sun and of an orange located in the sky above."

The operative provisions of the initiative measure provide that the new seal, if adopted, shall be displayed and utilized by the City in all of its usual and official capacities; that neither the City Council nor any City employee shall conceal, alter or substitute, in whole or in part, the adopted seal in any way; and that its provisions may be amended or repealed only by a majority vote of the electorate.

  Official Information

City of Redlands
News and Analysis

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

Suggest a link related to Measure Q
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Arguments For Measure Q Arguments Against Measure Q
Redlands finds itself at the crux of a great cultural debate in America. The City Seal, as officially adopted by the City Council in 1963, represented the history and tradition of Redlands for nearly half of the City’s existence. Controversy only arose in March 2004, when the ACLU wrote a letter to the City demanding removal of the cross on the Seal or face a lawsuit.

The historic influence of religion on Redlands is an undeniable aspect of our City’s history. After City Officials decided to replace our Seal, nearly 6,000 outraged Redlands voters signed this Petition to restore the depiction of our City’s heritage. This measure simply reinstates the longstanding design of the City Seal by making it law and requires Redlands to use it in all normal and official capacities.

This debate is not a simple question about the design of our seal. Indeed, this debate is not about religion, but about defending the very political liberties that define our democracy. The time has come to take a stand against those who would corrupt the essential nature of our democracy and hijack our freedoms through the judicial system for their own narrow-minded agenda.

Volunteers have lined up and offered their services in this fight against the ACLU. If the threatened lawsuit is filed-itself an uncertainty due to the promising recent Supreme Court decision in Van Orden v. Perry - the City will be defended at no cost by the Pacific Justice Institute. In addition, citizen’s groups are organized to help.

Public expression of religion’s influence among a self-governed people has enjoyed a long and widespread acceptance. We encourage you to claim the freedoms afforded you by our forefathers and the Constitution of the United States. Please vote Yes on Measure “Q.”

Scott Siegel

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Do not be misled. Measure Q would hurt Redlands:
  • The city will be sued because a religious symbol, the cross, would appear on the Official Seal for the first time. Professional legal opinion says the city will lose, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • According to the written agreement between Redlands and the Pacific Justice Institute, our city will be responsible for payment of all court-awarded costs and fees. This will mean cuts in city services, including fire and police.
  • The cost of this futile lawsuit will make the city’s red ink budgets worse.

Two recent Supreme Court cases (McCreary and Van Orden) make it clear that the proposed city seal would be a flagrant violation of the basic principle that in America government does not promote one religion over others.

Your NO vote defends the Constitution.

Your NO vote affirms your freedom of religion.

Your NO vote affirms your respect for the religious preferences of your neighbors.

Opposition to this measure is broad and deep as shown by the diversity represented by the names below. The reason is clear: The treasured principle of separation of church and state has been an essential feature of our democracy for 214 years.

Responsible voters will vote for financial and legal good sense and a civic tradition of respecting all of our neighbors’ religious beliefs. Please visit our website:

Vote responsibly; vote NO on Measure Q.

Thomas R. Atchley
Leonard L. Bailey
Charlotte G. Burgess
Gary George
Rev. John Walsh

Vote NO to save Redlands from the financial disaster that would result from this reckless proposal. It is based on a deceptive slogan, false history, and wishful thinking about the law. Your NO vote prevents a gross violation of the basic American principle of separation of church and state.

The true 113-year history of Redlands’ Official Seal

  • Since 1892, the City Clerk has NEVER marked documents and contracts with a seal bearing a cross. The city’s Official Seal is just five words and a date. No symbols, quadrants, or artwork. None.
  • Don’t be fooled. The proposed design was never our city’s Official Seal.

What if this measure passes?
  • Redlands will be sued and lose in court according to legal advice given to the city.
  • Upon losing, the 1892 Official City Seal remains, the 1963 logo is still illegal, and
  • Taxpayers get the bill-likely many hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted in a futile cause.

Your taxpayer dollars are needed for police and fire services, paramedics, libraries, senior citizens, recreation, and maintenance, not for legal fees and costs.

Redlanders know that

  • “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” words spoken nearly 2000 years ago, are still right for our time and our place;
  • Good neighborliness, civic responsibility, the Constitution, and religious teaching are united in commanding respect for all religions and religious symbols without imposing them on anyone.

Reject the false and deceptive slogan, “Save the Seal.” Vote NO to save the city budget. Vote NO to save Redlands from ugly divisions. Vote NO to save our reputation as “The Friendly Place,” where we demonstrate our diverse religious preferences in loving and legal ways.

Thomas R. Atchley
Leonard L. Bailey
Charlotte G. Burgess
Gary George
Rev. John Walsh

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
This ballot initiative is not about religion. The citizens of Redlands have a right, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, to self-governance and to preserve and depict our city's heritage without being bullied by outsiders intent on revising our local history.

Those who support this measure are not voting to divert money from city services. Rather, we are voting to preserve our liberty. If the City is sued, the Pacific Justice Institute will defend the City against the ACLU at no cost. The Pacific Justice Institute recognizes the legal merits of this issue, and views the Official City Seal as constitutionally defensible and valid.

This is not a logo; it’s the Official City Seal, which was unanimously approved by the City Council on Feb. 19, 1963. The City also has a corporate seal of a different design used to stamp documents, but make no mistake - the City Council legally voted to adopt this design as the “Official City Seal.”

The nearly 6,000 freedom-loving citizens who signed the petition for the initiative believe that, in a democracy, the few should not oppress the will of the majority. Common sense tells us that the cross on the Seal is not a symbol of intolerance or disrespect. It simply acknowledges the role of religion in our history. Now is the time to take a stand against misguided agendas.

Our Liberty and self determination are worth defending. Vote YES to keep our 42 year-old City Seal.

Additional supporters and contributors; Dr. Lowell Linden, Wiley Smith, Don Wallace, John B. Van Mouwerik

Scott Siegel

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Created: January 28, 2006 14:44 PST
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