Letters to the Editor: Oct. 12, 2012

End tenure here

 Jerome Stocks, the most divisive mayor/city councilperson in Encinitas, needs to end his tenure here. Nov. 6, 2012 is the perfect time for this to occur.

Show up at any city council meeting to experience this condescending firebrand for yourself. You will palpably feel the arrogant disdain for anyone who stands in the way of his opinions. It is viscerally disturbing.

Mr. Stocks’ arrogance is well recognized among the citizenry. He is easily the most widely disliked, distrusted politician the city has ever produced in its past 26 years. This gentleman has shown us his stuff for 12 years, and people in his “fiefdom” have finally had quite enough of that “special” Stocks brand of condescension. Are the citizens of Encinitas unreasonable? I mean, so many of them?

Or could it be that Mr. Stocks is being called the most contentious, divisive mayor this city has ever known for good reason? He’s also been called dangerously arrogant, as when he was recently caught on video putting up his own re-election signs on prime city real estate corners two days early, breaking city code. He needed a jump-start to elbow other signs out first? There’s a disturbing mixture of pathos and anger at work here.

When investing in stocks, you keep them until they start to cost you, then you dump them. It is clearly time to dump our stocks.

The good news? There are a few excellent new people running for city council! Finally. Take a look at Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz — two honorable, qualified, respectful folk. A breath of necessary fresh air for our fine city. It’s been too long: It’s time to take stock this November.

No more divisiveness! Time to Dump Stocks now.

Maggie Houlihan would approve this message.

With respect and best regards to us all,

Esteban Llaves,

Encinitas

 

We’ve been Encinitas residents for 35 years but before this year, had never witnessed actions and words of a city council representative like those of Mayor Stocks and his appointed yes man, Muir. When we wrote letters to Stocks or addressed the Encinitas City Council, we were treated discourteously and received responses from Stocks that first, made assumptions that were not true, and second included language that was offensive. Why should he care about us when he gets ~50 percent of his campaign funds from developers?

Muir was appointed by Stocks and his council supporters to replace Maggie Houlihan when she died of cancer — against her will and those of her many supporters. Today we learned that Stocks and Muir have illegally displayed their campaign signs along El Camino and elsewhere. They are disrespectful of the law, power hungry, rude, and unresponsive to their constituents. We support Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz, people we know we can trust and approach. We say, dump Stocks and Muir!

Jeanne & Milton Saier,

Encinitas

 

A review of Jerome Stocks’ Form 460 campaign contribution forms when running for Encinitas city council indicates that contributions from development-oriented contributors increased from $5,400, 31 percent of his 2000 contribution totals, to ?$17,500, 64 percent of his 2008 contributions, some from as far away as Texas and Bethesda, Md. Local percentages declined from ?50 percent in 2000 to 21percent in 2008. Only 27 percent of his private contributions came from Encinitas, indicating that local contributors do not enthusiastically support Stocks. In contrast, ?90 percent of contributions for two fellow councilpersons, Maggie Houlihan and Teresa Barth, were from Encinitas.

Contributions from nationally established developers for subdivisions, shopping centers, and senior-living facilities increased from about $2,800 in 2000 to over $6,000 in 2008. Moreover, these contributors evolved over those three elections in a manner reflecting companies with major projects pending within Encinitas. For skeptics, these figures can be verified by accessing the city’s website covering campaign contributions, i.e., (http://archive.ci.encinitas.ca.us/weblink8/browse.aspx?startid=632517), and clicking on Stocks’ folder.

So, the questions to Encinitas voters are: “Who do you think Mr. Stocks is and has been representing since 2004? Why are these development-oriented contributors paying to have him re-elected? What has his impact been on your quality of life?”

Dennis Lees,

Leucadia

 

Proposition J

Your “YES” vote on Del Mar Prop J could mean an immediate tripling in the value of the land under our commercial property at 11th & Camino Del Mar. How so?

The value of commercial property, unlike residential, is based on the return on the investment. Rental income is based on the floor area of building rented. Since the floor area ratio currently on our property is only 29 percent, Prop J would allow an increase in the FAR to at least 100 percent — an increase of 245 percent. And the value, as well.

We should be voting “yes,” but let me tell you why we are voting “no.”

We have lived immediately next door to our commercial property since 1964, and we believe the planned changes to the downtown will destroy the small scale livability we have enjoyed in Del Mar, lower the value of our home and really be bad for business.

We believe changes to the main street would create more havoc there and on our side street, with whatever traffic and parking solutions they might provide. There is call for more restaurants along the entire six blocks, creating more smells, rats, late night noise, etc.

We can live with whatever replaces this proposed Plan. Vote “no” on Prop J.

Ralph Peck,

Del Mar

 

Supporters and opponents of Proposition J agree that revitalizing Del Mar’s downtown would cost millions. The question is how to pay for it.

Proponents have a vague blueprint consisting of unspecified federal and state grants, unidentified higher tax revenues and other pie-in-the-sky ideas. That’s just the formula San Diego and other cities have used on their road to financial ruin.

Unless the YES crowd comes up with a last-minute financial plan, I’m voting NO on Nov. 6.

Peter Kaye,

Del Mar

 

Opponents and supporters of Del Mar’s Proposition J have squared off at one another. The opponents continue to vilify supporters by asserting they are serving the interests of “big developers.” Not so. Like the opponents, the supporters also are your neighbors and long-term Del Mar residents. There is no “big-developer” money involved.

And opponents continue to make baseless, false claims that Prop J will increase traffic congestion, lower property values, slow emergency vehicle response and produce less revenue for the City. Not one shred of factual evidence or professional opinion has been offered to support these false claims.

All of the professional studies and the EIR prepared for Prop J demonstrate the opposite are true. Prop J will reduce congestion on Camino del Mar; increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety; reduce speeds; increase property values; protect public and private ocean views; improve city revenues; protect adjacent residential streets; and more. These are the facts, supported by the EIR, professional studies and Village Specific Plan policies — not mere speculation and fear mongering.

Moreover, Prop J will not overdevelop our Village commercial area — it allows a maximum 64,790 square feet more retail and 18,420 square feet of boutique lodging among the 63 privately owned parcels in the Village. That’s an average maximum increase of only 1,321 square feet per parcel.

The VSP also allows a limited number of small residential units in the Village to serve the needs of seniors and young people and to help stem our declining resident population.

Prop J assures that all new development will receive full DRB review. It beautifies our Village “Main Street” and makes it more pedestrian friendly. It encourages additional retail shops at the street level, and freezes the amount of office use. It does not slow emergency vehicle response times, according to Del Mar’s current Fire Marshal. And, Prop J does not impose any new taxes or fees on residents!

Opponents have declined several invitations from supporters to publicly debate these and other issues on DMTV. Why do the opponents refuse to debate the supporters?

Don’t be misled. Get the facts. Attend the public information meetings at the City Hall Annex, 6 p.m., Oct. 15 and Oct. 29. Know before you vote.

Wayne Dernetz,

Del Mar

 

 

California’s School Bond Problem

Since 1982 California has approved $52.68 Billion for school facilities funding. Vote “no” on the local school bond measures. Since 1999, SDUHSD has spent about $225 Million on capital improvement projects with money from statewide school bond measures, developer fees and Mello-Roos. Now SDUHSD, along with Mira Costa and Del Mar, want to tap into your wallet for more money for maintenance and classroom upgrades to support the schools’ “Vision of the 21st Century” learning.

Forty percent of California’s budget is mandated for K-12 schools. Due to the Great Recession and mass exodus of California taxpayers and businesses our tax base has decreased; our incomes, investments and property values have decreased and obviously this impacts monies going to schools. However, statistics show the student population at SDUHSD has peaked and is not expected to increase in the near future. So why is SDUHSD proposing a $449 Million bond?

Borrowing money for repairs, upgrades, computers, safety and security, retaining qualified teachers and academic programs are items that should be in the school’s maintenance & operations budget. It’s time for schools to show fiscal discipline and responsibility with monies provided to them by their constituents.

Enough! Vote “no” on school bond measures.

Darcy Brandon,

Carlsbad

 

Here are a few quick reasons to vote no on the MiraCosta (Prop EE), the San Dieguito (Prop AA) and the Del Mar (Prop CC) school bonds.

Mira Costa (Prop EE): MiraCosta’s weak board is at the mercy of the Teachers Union as evidenced by MiraCosta teachers making a full 30 percent more than their community college colleagues at other local colleges. Why? Who knows? A full 35-40 percent of their classes are topics that should have been learned in high school.

San Dieguito High School District (Prop AA): San Dieguito has one of the newest campuses in San Diego. Further, since 1996 they have received over $225 million of your dollars…and now they want more!

Del Mar (Prop CC): For pure entertainment, read their bond proposal. It is filled with generalities and statements of savings that have not been scrutinized. Their last minute attempt to put this on the ballot is makes them look like they bought their bond proposal from Bonds-R-Us.

Props AA, CC, and EE are all unnecessary and unjustified. Further, if you live in Del Mar, you get to vote on all three.

Rhonda Densiton,

Oceanside

 

This November, North County Coastal voters will be asked to approve almost a billion dollars in new debt, which will cost more than two billion dollars to pay off. Measures AA and EE are wildly overpriced, unnecessary, and a shortsighted money grab that will hamstring the San Dieguito Union High School District and the MiraCosta College District in the future.

In each case, the district has failed to live within its means, has not managed its operating budget responsibly, and is now asking the taxpayers for a giant bailout. Prop AA’s backers admit that some of the money will go for maintenance that SDUHSD has been neglecting while failing to reform administrative overhead. This enormous money grab will prevent budget reforms that are necessary for a sustainable SDUHSD future. Worse, this proposition maxes out SDUHSD’s legal debt capacity for decades. When we have actual capital improvement needs in the future, we won’t be able to fund them.

Similarly, MiraCosta has been running an operating deficit (a $4.9 million deficit out of a $97.9 million budget last year) and instead of getting its fiscal house in order, wants to paper over the problem by taking a $497 million windfall from taxpayers in Prop EE. Administrative bloat and excessive pensions should be addressed before MiraCosta asks for another penny. Administrative costs are out of control. The President of MiraCosta alone makes $258,771 per year plus a $1300 per month tax-free expense account, plus a generous pension. That’s far more than the Governor of California!

If we want our schools and colleges to be managed prudently, we have to stop writing blank checks to the bureaucracies. No on AA and EE!

Ed Wagner,

Encinitas

 

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