Commentary: The Coast News urges ‘Yes’ vote on Prop A

Commentary: The Coast News urges ‘Yes’ vote on Prop A
The Coast News Group Publisher Jim Kydd urges a YES vote on Prop A.

“This is the most important election since the vote on incorporation in 1987.” 

These are Pam Slater-Price’s words to me at a recent meeting.

As I see it, the major forces at work trying to affect the outcome of the Prop A special election June 18 are:

For Prop A :

(1) A handful of hard working, very knowledgeable Encinitas residents who want to keep Encinitas’ community character the way it is — a small beach town we all love to live in.

(2) Me and my newspaper, The Coast News, with its 25-year reputation for impartial and fair reporting.

(3) Some very knowledgeable public figures who have nothing to gain by the passage of Prop A. For me the most notable is Pam Slater-Price.

Against Prop A :

(1) Developer interests

(2) Our staff-influenced City Council

(3) Our city staff

(4) Encinitas residents who have become confused.

Let’s talk about who is against Prop A:

(1) Developer interests — Pretty much goes without saying. Did you know that many of the “No on A” slick mailers have the same source address as those supporting Jerome Stocks in the last election?

(2) Our City Council — Boy was I disappointed with the council’s decision to unanimously support a “No on Prop A” vote. This decision enabled the developers to put out a very powerful mailer with all of the council members’ faces on it.

The very clever headline read: “They don’t agree on much but they agree on this. Vote No on Prop A.”

This will surely confuse people and gain many votes in the process.

To me this is an obvious abuse of power by our City Council. They have no business using their standing as an officially elected body to influence an upcoming vote. I would like to ask Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer, an ethics professor at UCSD, if this is considered “ethical behavior?”

Was it ethical when council members Jerome Stocks and Christy Guerin used their names and faces to help Paul Ecke break his word to the citizens and change the term, “in perpetuity,” to “nine years,” thus allowing him to profit by building 100 homes on land he promised to keep for agriculture use forever?

(3) Our city staff — I really believe that our city staff, whether it’s a conscience effort or not, is one of the biggest advocates of a “No on Prop A vote.” Some would say they are blatantly pro development.

Witness the last council meeting.

The Council had directed staff to strike the loophole that allowed a 4/5 vote to bypass the general plan’s rule that major land use changes would require a citywide vote. What was presented and recommended to Council was a language change that exchanged one loophole for another. A frustrated Council voted in a non-staff recommended, almost loophole free, alternative.

Follow the money. Besides the developers city staff have the most to benefit. They are all working toward pensions, like Mark Muir’s $170,000 a year for life. This alone could cost the city between $5 million and $8 million. It is my understanding that the city does not even have enough to cover the current pension liability.

The only answer is to build, build and build.

More properties mean more property taxes and more people creating more tax dollars. All at the price of our beautiful community character.

(4) Encinitas residents who have become confused — You can count me in this category and I can assure you I have spent many more hours than the average voter studying this issue.

The fact is, it is a very complicated issue and I am sure the lawyers will get plenty and it won’t matter what the outcome of the election is. One thing is for sure, there is a lot of misinformation going around.

Who is for Prop A?

(1) The good people working for a YES on A, who have been following local politics for years. They have seen so much of this before and truly want to keep the quality of Encinitas life and so do I.

(2) The Coast News

(3) Public figures who have nothing to gain.

There are many, but for this example, I will use Pam Slater-Price.

I choose to follow Pam Slater-Price’s advice and vote a big fat “Yes on Prop A.”

Here’s why. She has been a long-time Encinitas resident. She has served on planning commissions and was voted to the Encinitas City Council in 1988 with the most votes. She has served more than 20 years on the County Board of Supervisors. She has no monetary interest in this election. It’s simple. She loves this town.

During this time she has seen it all.

She has gained support and respect from both sides of the aisle as well as from developers and environmentalists.

She says “vote YES on Prop A,” and that is good enough for me.

I hope it is good enough for you.

Vote yes on Prop A!

Jim Kydd, Publisher

 

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  1. Xavier Watson says:

    Pam Slater hasn’t lived in Encinitas in 20-years. She moved to Rancho Santa Fe and now lives in lives in Del Mar. She hardly has a personal stake in Encinitas. If Jim Kydd can’t even get this fact correct, how can we trust him on anything else he says about Prop A. I’m still voting No on Prop A.

    • SusanT says:

      Kydd makes no claim to when Slater left Encinitas, “Xavier,” so what fact are you claiming he didn’t get right?

      If you’re worried about folks who don’t live here, but have an interest in Encinitas – and a monetary one at that – concern yourself with the $8,000+ contribution from a Chicago real estate firm to the No on A group. Why their interest in Encinitas?

    • Mombear says:

      Xavier, even though you’re not an Encinitas resident, perhaps your “No” on prop A vote should be rewarded with the construction of a nice skyscraper or casino with plenty of lights, right next door to your home. By voting “No” on prop A, you’re saying OK to just about anything popping up next door to you.

  2. Rogelio Espinosa says:

    ¡Caramba! El sartén dice que la olla es negro. “Xavier” Watson doesn’t live in Encinitas. He a pawn of the developers and lives in Oceanside. No le hagas caso. Don’t pay any attention to him.

    Vote Yes on Proposition A.

  3. Xavier Watson says:

    Sorry Susan Turney, who signed the papers as the pawn for Bruce Ehlers and his gang. Jim Kydd states in his commentary: “She has been a long-time Encinitas resident.”. This is not true. Slater left Encinitas for RSF 20-years ago and now lives in Del Mar. Why doesn’t she live here? Is Encinitas just not good enough for her? And anytime anyone else from out of town says something you don’t like, you and your kind attack them as outsiders. Frankly, someone who doesn’t live here, but owns property has more of a right to express their opinion than Slater. She need to keep her opinion in Del Mar where she lives. Oh and I don’t remember Slater proposing to get rid of the 4/5 exception when she was on the Council, nor do I see her proposing this in Del Mar. Oh, that’s right, the reason she can live in such a nice place is because her husband is a big developer/property owner in Del Mar. Oh, can Susan Turney explain the over $4,000 contribution from a Carlsbad nonprofit?

    • Vote Now: Yes on Prop A says:

      Mike/Xavier Andreen. Yawn Yawn Yawn!

      It looks like you are jealous because you can’t afford to live in RSF or Del Mar, but instead had to retreat to Oceanside.
      I will trust the opinion of a 20 yr district supervisor and ex-mayor of Encinitas anytime over a guy who has been a known troublemaker and the Stocks minion in Encinitas for so many years.

      Thanks Jim Kydd for presenting the forces behind the Yes and the No on Prop A. The No on Prop A mailer and phone calls have been so misleading, that the information you reported on deserves to be repeated again and again.

  4. I love Encinitas and voting Yes on Prop A says:

    Check this out, if you have any doubt who is behind the No on Prop A campaign. Here is the money they have received so far:

    -Homeowner to Preserve Encinitas No on A (this is the Doug Long group)
    *Gary Levitt Real Estate Development/Sea Breeze: $1,500
    *Dealy Family LLC : $2,500
    *Robert Echter: $2,500
    *Douglas Harwood (Developer/broker, member of ERAC
    pushing for higher densities): $2,500.
    *Encinitas Town Center/Ecke: $10,000

    -Encinitas Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers Opposing Prop A:

    *North County Taxpayers for Responsible Government $2,500 (This is the group that supported Stocks and Muir for the last election and sent out the “We Love Encinitas” mailer during the last election. They donated $2,500

    *National Association of Realtor Fund: $8,250
    *Encinitas Town Center, LLC/Ecke: $7,500

    So about $38K so far with more to come for sure. Any doubt still who is behind the NO on Prop A?

    In contrast the Yes on Prop A represents many small donations form concerned residents. The $4,000 donated by North County Advocates from Carlsbad, actually has a lot of residents that are from Encinitas. This group is dedicated to protect our precious natural habitats and fight against development that do no enhance community character and quality of life in North County.

    Prop A is a David and Goliath story with the Prop A folks being your average folks, while the No are the realtors, brokers, developers, and large property owners.

    Choose your camp wisely!

  5. Caring Leucadian says:

    Where Pam Slater-Price currently lives isn’t actually relevant. She lived in Encinitas for many years, and continues to have connections to and a great love for our city. She was on Encinitas City Council, and was one of our first mayors. She continues to live in North County. She’s also represented Encinitas for many years on the Board of Supervisors. Even though we’re not registered Republicans, we voted for her every time we could. She makes non-partisan decisions, and has shown good judgment, including endorsing Dave Roberts, a Democrat, who won the election, to replace her, as Supervisor.

    How long has Lisa Shaffer actually lived here, six or seven years, total? Teresa Barth, before she was elected, was mainly involved in Cardiff politics, and as a member of friends of the library, that Pam Slater-Price helped to open, in Cardiff. Barth seems unconcerned that most of the planned high density development is to be located in Leucadia and Old Encinitas. Mayor Barth apparently has become corrupted by the political process, by those playing to her ego to garner favor and influence.

    Tony Kranz went to school in Encinitas, but was gone, first to Alaska? and then, was in Minnesota, during the time that the Special Plans, which he seems so concerned about, were pushed through the Planning Department, the Planning Commission and by previous Councilmembers to OVERRIDE the will of the public, who participated on the Specific Plan Action Review Committee and the Community Advisory Boards, with a 4/5 Supermajority vote of Council, disallowing a PUBLIC vote, to upzone and raise height limits.

    Passing Prop A would rectify that inconsistency between what the public wants and what city staff and Council have favored, because of development pressures, including the need to fund ever increasing pension liabilities, operating and maintenance expenditures and escalating Capital Improvement costs. Passing Prop A would prevent Council from again disallowing a public vote, in the future, prevent this disconnect from the needs of our neighbors, of our friends and community members, from happening again.

    Not only would the 4/5 majority vote of Council to disallow a public vote if Council deems a “public benefit,” but also the height limit, definition of intensity of use, and the five acres or less exceptions or “loopholes” would ALL be eliminated. Council has not addressed significant loopholes and exceptions in its attempt at a preemptive ordinance, which we have NO guarantee would be put on the ballot in November of 2014. Again, after passage of Prop A, ALL those exceptions and loopholes will be eliminated, putting the power to decide back in the hands of community members.

    Passing Prop A will bring our General Plan into consistency with what the public wanted, and still wants, to be able to vote, so that we can have some local control, so that we can have some sense of neighborhood self-determination, to preserve our community character and quality of life. Teresa Barth and LIsa Shaffer are not using their own inherent intelligence and common sense, but are instead relying upon the conjecture and speculation of an Orange County Attorney, who wrote a biased “impact report” under the direction of the City Manager, without public input or Council’s consent, an outside attorney who does NOT have Sections in Real Property Law (including land-use, zoning, initiatives).

    North County attorney Everett Delano, who wrote the initiative to be consistent with the wording in our original General Plan and Encinitas Municipal Code Zoning Definitions, does have these specialties. DeLano knows and understands both Coastal Act Law and local land use and zoning codes, as evidenced by his simple, to the point, five page initiative, compared to the bogus, 37 page “impact report written by Joel Kuperberg for his out of county, prejudiced law firm, Rutan & Tucker. DeLano has repeatedly explained, the initiative is consistent with the GP.

    Building height that is set at lower limits in residential zones, including for accessory structures, will be not be any more likely to raise height limits after Prop A passes, than these lower height limits have been raised, NOW, under our current GP. No developer has challenged the wording in our GP, Policy 7.10, saying that the MAXIMUM thereby set of 30 ft., two stories, should allow them to build 30 ft. structures in residential zones where a lower 26 ft. height limit is in effect due to Encinitas Municipal Code. Those sections of EMC are NOT in conflict with the GP OR the initiative, Prop A. To stretch to that interpretation, to postulate otherwise is disingenuous of Kuperberg, Barth, Shaffer, and all of Council. To stretch the truth that way is an bald-faced attempt to confuse and manipulate the public with fear, obfuscation and falsehoods.

    Councilmembers don’t want to use their own common sense and to think for themselves, but want to be spoon-fed by staff and outside contractors/consultants, aligned with development interests, political influence peddlers who find ways around having to register as lobbyists, although they are most assuredly lobbying for redevelopment, since Encinitas is nearly “built out” according to our General Plan.

    We truly appreciate Jim Kydd’s endorsement, his reasoning, his down-to-earth, civic pride, and his love of our community’s unique character. Thank you, Mr. Kydd. Because UT is so pro-development, you are now the only local paper to offer a perspective not blatantly slanted toward building industry interests. You provide a forum for both sides of every question, a great opportunity for us to express our opinions. We’re grateful you see the wisdom in voting YES on Prop A!

  6. Xavier Watson says:

    Let’s watch Caring Leucadian be the first one to complain when the first development in Leucadia comes along needing a vote, when people in Cardiff, Olivenhain, New Encinitas and Old Encinitas get to vote on a Leucadia project. Under Prop A, each community loses control of what they believe to be right for their own neighborhood by requiring citywide votes. If this is the future Caring Leucadian wants for Encinitas, count me out. Prop A is BAD for Encinitas and I’m still voting NO on Prop A.

    • MeForWe says:

      There’s no motivation for one part of town to work against another on proposed projects, as we all enjoy all of Encinitas. Why would Cardiff want to hurt Olivenhain? Absurd assumption.

    • I love Encinitas says:

      Xavier,

      Looks like it will take a little more convincing to sway you on the bright/correct side. There is still hope.

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