When elected leaders like Encinitas Mayor James Bond, Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks and Council member Kristin Gaspar no longer support the values of the residents they claim to represent, the community is threatened.
In Encinitas we teach the values of our community in our schools. We do this because we want our kids to know right from wrong and because we want our community to be a better place. Cardiff Elementary School states the goal of the school as: “Preparing students with the skills and knowledge to become ethical, responsible and productive community members and citizens.”
Bond, Stocks and Gaspar need to go back to school. They lack the skills and knowledge to be ethical, responsible and productive city council members. They are poor role models for our kids.
In Encinitas, there is one set of rules for the supporters of Bond, Stocks and Gaspar and another set for the rest of us. Welcome to “Cronyville” where violating city policy is rewarded. Consider that the three supported ex-Mayor Dalager, knowing he violated state laws. Now, the three council members have appointed Mark Muir, the only council applicant who violated city policy. Does this sound ethical, responsible and productive?
Bond, Stocks and Gaspar thumbed their noses at residents and appointed their campaign supporter Muir over the more qualified applicants. They could have chosen one of many applicants endorsed by the public, but picked the only applicant residents spoke out against. Residents opposed Muir because of ethics violations and ties to Bond, Stocks, Gaspar and their campaign supporters.
Encinitas policy instructs city employees to refrain from participating in local elections and that effort to achieve personal gain or misuse of public time is dishonorable. Muir disregarded these policies. As a city employee, Muir set up multiple Political Action Committees (PACs) to direct efforts to elect Bond and Stocks who were under fire by the International Association of Fire Fighters. Against policy, Muir used city resources to send emails to direct campaign efforts to elect Bond and Stocks. His efforts benefited Bond, Stocks, Gaspar and their pro-development supporters.
After directing campaign efforts to elect Bond and Stocks, Muir was appointed fire chief by the city manager for a city council that included Bond and Stocks. Was Muir the best-qualified applicant or was he the best connected?
Muir’s record of leadership also lacks achievement. Under his direction, the city has failed to meet its goals to deliver timely emergency services, and response times have gotten slower. If Muir spent more effort improving response times and less time setting up PACs and electing his bosses, we all would have benefited. Muir, Bond and Stocks seem the only ones to have benefited.
Muir is being investigated by resident Steve Mieche, who says Muir’s sloppy leadership and lack of managerial skills has threatened the delivery of life-saving services. Muir, being appointed to the council, will stonewall an official investigation.
Muir was successful in securing pension increases for his union and he benefited from a council decision sticking taxpayers with the cost of building new McMansion fire stations with private rooms and expensive kitchens that don’t improve response times. In retiring, Muir collects about a $12,000 monthly pension plus another $1,100 per month as a council member. Muir is more the pension problem than the solution.
America is good because we still believe it is a place where the same rules apply to everyone. At Encinitas City Hall that’s not the case. Welcome to Cronyville, where the rules for all don’t apply to a lucky few.
I think our kids and community deserve better. What do you think?
Filed Under: Life, Liberty and Leadership