Election year is here, use your ballot

The 2012 Encinitas City Council race is underway. This week Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks sent an unsolicited email “newsletter” to residents. Stocks had previously never sent residents a newsletter. With his future at stake it appears he decided maybe he should. In doing so he may have shot himself in the foot.Some residents wondered how Stocks got their email addresses and why he was taking credit for an action he once opposed. In his email Stocks claims that 5.8 acres of lagoon land had been purchased as open space. Stocks failed to write that he had sided with the developer against the residents in voting to approve a housing development on the land that encroached on lagoon wetlands.The residents appealed to the Coastal Commission who ruled against Stocks — only then was the land purchased as open space. Stocks is trying to take credit when it is not deserved and he is counting on an uninformed public not noticing.When it comes to campaigns, Stocks has a history of making things look like what they aren’t when it benefits him.In a previous Stocks campaign, a photo of then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presenting Stocks and others with a certificate was edited to make it appear Schwarzenegger was endorsing Stocks. The doctored photo was used on Stocks’ campaign flyers until the Governor’s staff asked him to stop. My dad Hank calls this a bait and switch. It looks to me like Stocks wants us to believe things that aren’t true.

Stocks isn’t alone in his use of questionable campaign material. Former fire chief and current un-elected Encinitas council member Mark Muir was chastised by the International Association for Fire Fighters after he set up a political action committee that used images of front line fire fighters in deceptive campaign mailers to elect Stocks.

Muir is a likely 2012 candidate. As fire chief, Muir violated city policy and codes of conduct by using city resources to direct Stocks’ campaign efforts. Muir was later appointed to the council by Stocks over 13 other qualified applicants who had not violated city policy. Rather than being reprimanded, I think Muir was rewarded.

The public should not be surprised that during elections public databases are mined to send unsolicited emails and calls. You may remember during the 2010 election then Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager was under investigation by the DA for failing to disclose a $100,000 loan from a developer. Stocks made unsolicited “robo-calls” asking voters to set aside their moral compass and vote for Dalager. Dalager lost the election and soon after plead guilty for violating the public trust. It’s a good thing the public didn’t follow Stocks’ advice.

Encinitas council candidate Lisa Shaffer used Stocks’ newsletter to point out their differences in leadership. Shaffer wrote a commentary asking Stocks to use his “newsletter” to explain such things as his failure to build the Hall Park, his foolish decision to waste $100,000 on a lawsuit to keep a road report from the public and answer questions surrounding the budget and claims that the general plan is being written by insiders. Shaffer contends the process under Stocks has wasted close to $1 million and lacked leadership, vision and respect for community participation.

Encinitas council candidate Tony Kranz, who ran on a platform of “Trust and Transparency,” and has remained active, calling for open government and responsible spending, used an online commentary to sound the alarm that Mayor Stocks must move quickly to take advantage of state funds to improve Moonlight Beach.

In 2010 Stocks and the council failed to take advantage of state funds to improve Beacons. Stocks would be well served to follow Kranz’s lead on this issue. Stocks failed to follow Kranz’s position on the road report and taxpayers paid the price.

Election season is here. Candidates are showing us who they are. Check your inbox.

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  1. Nowoolovermyeyes says:

    Thank you Mr. Audet for researching the facts on behalf of all of the voters that Stocks and company attempt to keep in the dark about their back room manipulations. You provide us an expanding list of even more flagrant examples of cronyism,
    conflict of interest and corruption. This depth of malfeasance on the part of the council super majority will become increasingly difficult for the general electorate to
    ignore when confronted with the extent of their wasted tax dollars and the level of deception they have employed to keep us out of the democratic process. Thank you too, to Ms. Shaffer and Mr. Kranz for providing challenges to their
    spin and preferable alternatives to this oppressive leadership style.

  2. Lisa Shaffer says:

    I appreciate Andrew’s commentary and agree with its basic message. HOWEVER, I have been misquoted and would like to set the record straight. The statement, “Shaffer contends the process under Stocks has wasted close to $1 million and lacked leadership, vision and respect for community participation.” is NOT what I said. The process for the General Plan Update has been flawed and poorly executed. I do not blame that uniquely on Mr. Stocks. That would not be fair and would not be accurate. My words were “Disarray within the City Council and between the Council and City Manager and planning staff are wasting time and money and further frustrating the alleged objective of meaningful public engagement in the process.”

  3. Lisa Shaffer says:

    Correction: my website is http://shaffer4council.com (typo in earlier submission).

  4. Nowoolovermyeyes says:

    I should also clarify what I mean by Stocks and company;Stocks, Bond, Gaspar, and Muir are often
    referred to as the super majority for their shared
    pro-development agenda.

  5. Real Encinitas says:

    We know that images can be very powerful. Who can forget the illegal slate mailers from Durkee and Associates that the Gaspar and Dalager campaigns had sent out which had columns of ‘Yes’s’ under their pictures and a column of ‘No’s’ under Teresa Barth’s image. I also remember the picture of Jerome and Arnold shaking hands that was widely circulated until the Schwazenegger staff called to disassociate themselves with the image– and Mr. Stocks.

    So we circle back to the issue of images of Maggie Houlihan as an outpouring of love and affection to a dearly missed Council member. Why was this labled ‘political?’ Because Mr. Stocks was jealous–of a person who tragically died and is STILL dearly missed more than ever!

  6. Nowoolovermyeyes says:

    One can describe Mr. Stock’s behavior as jealous, petty, or politically insecure, but does he think he can ignore and
    insult the largest voter contingency in the city’s history
    (12,488 in 2008) and and do so without consequences? That’s
    only one aspect of a cluster of offensive behaviors that he
    exhibits with colleagues and residents that dare to challenge
    his positions. We are way overdue for leadership that puts the greater good of the community above their own over inflated egos. We have 2 candidates who are committed to serving for the greater good of our community. Please cast your ballots and contribute to the campaigns of Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz so that we can preserve the Encinitas we love and finally have a dialogue with our elected leaders based on mutual respect.

  7. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    I still have a copy of the campaign flier that was widely distributed by Stocks, directly implying that he had been endorsed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The image of Schwarzenegger had been “photo-shopped” so that only Jerome and Arnold are seen, shaking hands. The background, which could have put the image into context, was cropped out. Subsequently, I was informed, at another Council Meeting, I believe, during oral communications, that Arnold’s “managers” (his staff?) had sent a letter clearly stating that the Governor’s appearing in a photo opportunity did not constitute an endorsement, and that Jerome Stocks should cease and desist from portraying or suggesting he had been endorsed by Governor Schwarenegger.

    I am so tired of City officials threatening to sue over “libel.” As some of us know, Glenn Sabine, Encinitas City Attorney is also La Mesa City Attorney. At the direction of La Mesa’s Mayor, some years ago, Glenn Sabine wrote a letter threatening a private citizen who had complained about dangerous development practices, at a Council Meeting, with libel or slander. Any first year law student would know this is ridiculous. The private citizen, an engineer, was complaining because during blasting, by developers, some rocks were flying into the yards of homes, including his. He was asked, by a council person, “Do you think we are pro-development on this issue?” (or words to that effect.) He replied, “I wouldn’t rule that out!” This angered the Mayor, who told Glenn Sabine to write the letter, which he promptly did. Concerned citizens, including lawyers, wrote letters to the editor of the UT, protesting that we, the people, have the right of free speech, which cannot be abridged.

    Is Jerome Stocks now threatening to sue over Andrew Audet’s assertions that the campaign materials were misleading? My feeling is, the TRUTH HURTS, sometimes, and Jerome Stocks knows very well what actually happened. Implying an endorsement, through cropped imagery, when no such endorsement existed, is deceptive. I’m grateful that Audet has refreshed our memories about this misleading propaganda, which amounts to a lie.

    I find it to be cowardly for public officials to try to hide behind the law, and threaten lawsuits, when past and current misdeeds are brought to light. Although the office of a council member is considered to be non-partisan, Stocks has also been listed on some of his PAC fliers as a Democrat. Of course, that is also false, and misleading to those registered Democrats targeted to receive these bogus campaign materials.

  8. Not a Stocks Fan says:

    All of these things that Stocks does to capture attention while diverting focus from his voting record and his position on policies are no longer working.

    Encinitas citizens are waking up, and we are watching what Council members do very closely.

  9. Barb Yost says:

    Speaking for the Encintas Neighbors Association, we believe that the city councils inability to separate personal agendas from the needs of the citizens, has gone on far to long. We absolutely need a council that will put the neighborhoods and the neighbors, the tourists and the visitors, the surfers and the swimmers, etc over all else! We are a proud community that shares a love and devotion to our vibrant city, and the excitement we have in our funky, eclectic, laid back beach community! We need council members that will really listen to us and not just sit yawning while we speak at meetings! We need integrity, transparency, accountability, and good common sense! That’s why I too, am running for Encinitas City Council! To bring that leadership and insight to what we need to keep our community, everyones community! We need assurances that city council will keep our community the place we all love, a quaint city on the ocean with something for everyone!

    Barb Yost. President of Encinitas Neighbors Association
    Candidate for Encintas City Council

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