"A marketing firm contracted by the city has set up a Web site, Facebook page and Twitter account under the handle 'nojailexpansion.' The city is using the sites to lobby against the county's proposed $300 million expansion of the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee.
"Keep in mind this is not akin to advocating for a position or a candidate as part of an election campaign," Santee City Manager Keith Till said. "This is a public policy debate."
The county has proposed replacing the 810-bed Las Colinas women's jail – the only all-female jail in the county – with a new, 1,216-bed facility. The site would increase from 16 acres to 45 acres in the center of the city. County officials are preparing an environmental impact report on the project, which could go to the Board of Supervisors later this month.
In place of a mug shot, Santee's Facebook page features a graphic that says, 'Jail Expansion: Know the Facts.' Below that are postings discussing how quickly the city is growing and the potential for increased traffic, and saying that the plan is a misuse of taxpayer money."