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Deal makes use of seal illegal

Manteca moves to control use of city logo

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POSTED July 3, 2014 1:15 a.m.

It will soon be a crime to use the City of Manteca logo for private or commercial purposes without the blessing of the city manager.

The City Council on Tuesday adopted the first reading of an ordinance that makes any non-official city use of the logo that also doubles as the municipal seal on official documents without written consent a misdemeanor.

Once the council approves the second reading at their July 15 meeting, the restrictions on the city logo use will go into effect within 30 days or by mid-August.

Councilman Steve DeBrum noted when he was driving south on Highway 99 toward Turlock recently he was startled to see a commercial vehicle with a modified version of the red, white, and blue city logo that is adorned with a home with trees and a building that was originally intended to represent a house of worship.

DeBrum said he could understand staff’s suggestion that a policy be adopted as the logo could be used to confuse people into thinking they are dealing with a city employee

Councilwoman Debby Moorhead noted several years ago it was brought to her attention a local business had modified the seal design and placed it on one of their vehicles. Moorhead indicated after she saw the art work on the vehicle that she thought it was “nice looking.”

The proposed ordinance also prohibits similar art that imitates the city seal design.

The proposed regulation also bans the use of the seal on political literature for or against candidates seeking an elective office or to support or oppose a ballot measure.

Outside organizations may be granted permission to use the seal with the written consent of the city manager or their designee. The logo or seal must remain in its entirety with no alterations. Elements may not be isolated and/or used alone or in combination with any other art. Specific sections may not be highlighted with other colors.

The city may permit the logo to be used in association with an event for a limited time.

If anyone disagrees with the city manager’s decision regarding their written request to use the city seal they will have 14 days to appeal the decision to the city council.

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