The Coast News Group
Community Commentary Opinion

Commentary: Encinitas residents don’t want to be special, we just want our due

By Julie Graboi

Encinitas residents want to know why other councils over the last thirty odd years have been able to conduct business during the set schedule of general meetings, yet this current council has a significantly higher number of canceled general meetings and has replaced them instead with special meetings.

Between January 1, and September 26, 2020, there have been nine canceled regular council meetings and 34 special council meetings!

According to Councilmember Jody Hubbard, “Some general meetings are replaced with special meetings (one topic) because the subject matter is complicated and important, and will result in a long meeting.”

Ms. Hubbard, you seem to be arguing that complexity of information requires you to have meetings on a single topic, but it almost sounds like you are insulting us and saying that we can’t comprehend. 

Communication is a two-way process, and as one that council is paid for and in charge of, I think it is fair to ask why prior councils were able maintain schedules and to cover complex material in a way that this council seems unable to do.  Isn’t that embarrassing?

The rules for special meetings are not the same as general meetings, and often they are held at times when citizens are at work and are unable to participate. 

At times, the location of the special meetings are also different, so these changes from the normal routine almost guarantee lower attendance on account of the shift in established time and possible location. 

Special meetings also deprive citizens of presenting at Oral Communications, which allows resident three minutes to address any topic. 

Fewer meetings translate to longer meetings and fewer Oral Communications opportunities. 

“The idea that the Mayor would intentionally make a long meeting makes no sense,” Hubbard said/

Whether it makes sense that the Mayor would intentionally want a long meeting is not the issue. 

The result is that more citizens are deprived their ability to attend meetings and speak at meetings with no Oral Communications, and reduced general meetings last longer.

Council, recognize that some view the three-monthly general meeting schedule as the most basic job requirement that others were able to carry out.

Please listen to what citizens are telling you and find a way that you can perform your paid duties at a minimum, at least as well as every other previous council. 

Thank you.

Julie Graboi is an Olivenhain resident

6 comments

surfer girl October 3, 2020 at 10:24 am

The Mayor and Council have conveniently forgotten they serve at our pleasure, rather than their own!

Big Daddy Surfer October 1, 2020 at 10:59 pm

I’ve given up on communication with our dictators. They have no desire to listen to us “NOISES” and they know everything, that’s why they still live with mom.

Lynn Marr October 1, 2020 at 8:31 pm

If there are too many complex topics for one meeting per week, for only three weeks of the month, more meetings on week nights other than Wednesday could be added as “regularly scheduled meetings,” so that they will include oral communications. I believe Oceanside has held meetings, for years, two nights a week?

Our current Council has become less transparent and therefore less accountable to the citizens. To me, it no longer feels as though our local government is by and for the people. It’s really by and for special interests. That’s why we need new vision and thinking outside of the box. I’ll be voting for Julie Thunder for Mayor and Susan Turney for District 2. I also support Alex Rile for District One. Term limits are in place for Commissioners, now. I believe the mayor and council members should also be subject to term limits.

I hope our next mayor will encourage us citizens to feel heard and to have a greater voice, more control. The question of term limits could be put on a General Election ballot for about $30K. So could N101 Streetscape, which disastrous public works plan should have been funded through General Obligation Bonds, so the citizens COULD HAVE VOTED, just as we vote for or against school bonds.

Thanks, Julie, for a fine and important commentary, and for our service as a long time activist, working for more justice, including more open, accountable government officials.

Bhavani Kirnak October 1, 2020 at 5:41 pm

Good article, Julie. The attitude espoused by Mayor Blakespear on her Climate Action Group video is that “politicians and nonprofits” are the “thought leaders” who are “trying to solve society’s problems” and that “residents” and “average people” have very different views. That attitude is consistent with your take. This Council seems to consider that including the residents in meetings will just get in the way of using meeting time to “solve society’s problems”.

Sheila October 1, 2020 at 8:26 am

I agree with Julie. It needs to be convenient for the residents. It’s the job.

Sheila October 1, 2020 at 8:11 am

This really sucks. Just go back to the schedule. We all have to abide by schedules. Maybe we need to hire, or vote for people who can and will keep the schedule. Its the JOB.

I have never commented about this before.

Leave a Comment