The Coast News Group
Community Commentary

After Proposition A

A lot of time, energy, and money was spent on the 2012 City Council election and the results suggested that the community was ready for change. 

You elected hard-working candidates who believe in open government, accountability, environmental sustainability, active transportation, fairness, and mutual respect. We unseated Mayor Jerome Stocks and changed the majority on the council so it is not dominated by people with close connections to developers and the building industry. We now have a mayor who truly works for the people of Encinitas, opening up the council meetings and subcommittees, modeling respectful behavior and bringing out the best in all the council members.

Unfortunately, the Prop A campaign, on both sides, is undermining the very core of what the council election achieved. Open, responsive government doesn’t necessarily mean that the council votes the way you want it to on every issue.

Fundamentally, it means that your input is heard, considered, and when a decision is reached, there is an honest explanation of why the vote was made.

I don’t see Prop A as the battleground for or against increased development. It certainly is not the decisive battle over open government. Encinitas will still have to update our General Plan and address housing needs with or without Prop A.

Whatever the outcome of the special election, we need to come together around a vision of what we want our city to be. Is it going to be a place where substantive dialog can take place, or will we be a battleground with money going to campaign consultants and print shops? Is it going to be a place that considers lessons that other communities have learned about the economic, social, and environmental benefits of planning that accommodates cars, bikes, trains, and pedestrians, with gathering places interspersed; or will we deny the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and ignore the changing demographic trends? Will we work with the new leadership within the city staff as we define and implement our vision, or will we reject anything and everything coming from City Hall as untrustworthy?

If we hold grudges, if we assume that the whole staff is incompetent, if we assume that all developers are evil and all development is bad, if we treat each other with suspicion, we will never have the Encinitas I want to live in and for which I ran for a seat on the City Council. This council will hold the city manager accountable for a culture within City Hall that is accountable to the people, and acts with competence, fairness, and innovation. I hope the residents will engage constructively with us as we move forward.

I urge everyone who cares about Encinitas to get beyond the negative, destructive energy that the Prop A election has generated, and remember what matters.

We care about this unique and charming city by the sea, and want it to remain a special, sustainable home for generations to come.

Lisa Shaffer

Editor’s note: Lisa Shaffer is deputy mayor of the city of Encinitas.


I Want to Love Encinitas June 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

“…if we assume that all developers are evil and all development is bad….” No one is saying evil or bad: those are Lisa’s words. Now who is being divisive? Developers are, however, committed to extracting the maximum profit from a parcel of land. That is their business and they are well within their rights to ask for the max and beyond. We are also well within our rights to say “no thanks,” or even “that development looks good to us, you can build it.”

Dean June 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm

“I urge everyone who cares about Encinitas to get beyond the negative, destructive energy that the Prop A election has generated, and remember what matters.”
Lisa, when did citizens voting to direct their elected officials as to how the elected officials should represent the citizens become a negative? I thought you were elected to represent the majority view, not just yours. I thought representing the citizens’ view point was “what matters.”

MeForWe June 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Note Nat’l Assoc of Realtors is out of Chicago and Shea homes is out of Arizona. It’s clear the only reason they to care about the outcome of Prop A is that they plan to try and upzone. Vote Yes on A.

Ensure residents, not out of town developers and building industry interests, determine how we live!

Yes on Prop A June 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

What has council done so far to push back the housing number imposed on Encinitas? What has Lisa done to question the housing numbers from SANDAG? Do we have to be resigned to this nonsense allocation from HCD and SANDAG? How many truly affordable units will will get out of the housing element update?
Time to fight back and stop giving excuses.
Encinitas is close to build-out status. High density is not welcome, especially under the pretense of creating affordable housing.

Yes on Prop A June 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

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
Mr. Levitt has an interesting website describing his projects and how they were accomplished —
*Dealy Family LLC : $2,500
The Dealy Family (Ecke member)

*Robert Echter: $2,500

*Douglas Harwood (Developer/broker, member of ERAC
pushing for higher densities): $2,500.
*Encinitas Town Center/Ecke: $10,000
Encinitas Town Center is owned by the Zelman Development in Los Angeles.
According to the Zelman Development information they have “…specific expertise in developing properties requiring extensive rezoning or new entitlement.”
*California West Communities LLC (Carlsbad) $1,500
“over 60 years of collective home building experience”

*Shea Homes LP: $5,000
*Western Pacific Homes: $1,000
*Boxfield LLC $2,500
*Lita Weston (Fred Weston Inc): $5,000
-Byron White ($2,500) – Lawyer

-Encinitas Residents, Businesses and Taxpayers Opposing Prop A (Principal Christy Guerin)
*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
Encinitas Town Center owned by Zelman Development in Los Angeles

So about $55K so far with more to come for sure. Any doubt still who is behind the NO on Prop A?

Out of touch with constituents! June 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Council should have stayed neutral. Their actions and repeated oppositions on Coast News, Patch, North Coast Current, and Union-Tribune have helped create this divisive climate. Could they just be out-of-touch with their constituents so soon after being elected?

MeForWe June 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

“Unfortunately, the Prop A campaign, on both sides, is undermining the very core of what the council election achieved.”

Does Ms. Shaffer not realize that the Council is ON one of those sides?

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