The official seal of the city of Santa Ana and images of elected/appointed officials in a flyer being used to promote a July 31st event at the Orange County Register designed to help people learn how to flip homes (from 10 to 40 a year?!) has not been sanctioned by the city of Santa Ana and is a violation of the city’s logo use policy. And it’s a policy that should be well known to Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Sean Mill, who is sponsoring the event along with Charles Armino of First American Title. Mill, a longtime title industry professional, works for WFG (World Financial Group). A photo promoting the event features Council member Roman Reyna, State Senator Lou Correa, and City Manager David Cavazos as well as the official seal of the City of Santa Ana.
Mill and Santa Ana business owner Mike Tardiff got into a Facebook battle over this flyer Tuesday morning and Mill wound up pulling the item after Tardiff pointed out he likely didn’t have permission to use the city’s seal. The City Manager’s office confirmed Mill wasn’t given permission to use the city’s seal to promote the event and the PIO would be contacting Mill to take the seal/logo down and she was going to review the city’s seal/logo usage policy with him. Given Mill’s long tenure with the city government in the Planning Commission, you’d think he’d already know whether or not a third party needed permission to use the logo. Mill attributes one flyer’s creation to Ruben Mota, one of the speakers at the event from Partners for Santa Ana; the flyer created by Mill and Armino also uses the city logo and Mill states that proceeds from the event are being donated to an unnamed local charity.
Mill writes: “When the city asks that the logo be removed we will….This event promotes positivity in our community and benefits people who live here. Why anyone would oppose that is a mystery to me.”
Actually, it’s not much of a mystery. See the event for what it is; a seminar on flipping houses where the RSVPs are being taken by two men who work for a title company. I wonder which title company would get the business generated from these new home sales under the auspices of a seminar that seems to have the blessing of the City of Santa Ana via the unauthorized use of the city’s logo. Will First American and WFG have brochures and the business cards of the two sponsors available? And what if the property flipping is something of a commercial nature that must come before the Santa Ana Planning Commission? Then what?
Tardiff’s comment, captured in a screen grab but not published due to Mill’s removal of the post, sums it up best: “This is wrong Sean Mill. You are promoting yourself in this ad. The City should have no part of that without their permission.”