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Encinitas mayoral candidate Cindy Cremona. Courtesy photo
Community Commentary Opinion

Commentary: Why I’m running for Encinitas mayor

By Cindy Cremona

I’m pleased to announce my candidacy for the office of Mayor for the City of Encinitas. I will run as an Independent/non-partisan candidate (NPP).

I love Encinitas! I own a home, a small business, surf our oceans and walk our trails. Sadly, the last couple of years have bought changes many residents are increasingly concerned about, compelling me to become more involved in some of our local issues, including collaborating with other concerned residents, presenting at City Council meetings and moderating a local Zoom program with concerned residents around Encinitas specific issues to help citizens stay informed.

I also know what it’s like to defend my neighborhood against egregious development. I proudly carry and advocate for the Our Neighborhood Voices statewide local control petition and hope to see it get on the ballot and voted into law in November’s election.

As with all growing cities, change is inevitable. But change requires good stewardship. Like my fellow residents, many of these changes are concerning, while some are outright alarming. Many residents feel overwhelmed by the amount of housing projects the city is approving and are frustrated by the lack of infrastructure to support the thousands of additional units looming on our horizon.

It’s become clear in the last few years that city leadership disregards residents’ input. It seems the growing concerns over housing, traffic, crime, homelessness and our loss of open space are becoming endemic in our community and a new voice and different solutions are needed.

Many residents see city leadership more focused on building trophy projects than adding true value where it’s needed, such as new schools, improved roadways, fire stations and emergency services. Many residents no longer feel their voices are heard by their city leadership.

By running as an Independent, I hope to take partisan politics and special interests out of the equation and give all residents an opportunity to be part of viable solutions. To that end, I will not be accepting political party money or donations from developers. I will be relying on your support alone to help me cross the finish line.

I’ve been a lifelong “doer.” I started a successful executive search practice almost thirty years ago in the midst of a deep recession. I have helped many clients structure their organizations with the right hires and organizational strategies. I’ve spent much of my career building relationships and a reputation in the industries I serve.

I’ve belonged to numerous business organizations and have participated in workshops, roundtables and various events in the business world. Now I see another opportunity and a chance to give back to my community.

There are alternative solutions for some of our recurring problems in Encinitas. For example, the city had an opportunity last summer to increase the amount of affordable housing to be built. If they had agreed, Encinitas would need a lot less development to satisfy the state’s affordable housing mandate.

I was dismayed when our city leaders refused to increase the affordable housing percentage to 50%, thereby condemning us to a minimum of 4,000 additional market rate housing units. As Mayor, I would put that option back on the agenda and work hard to get it approved.

We desperately need affordable housing. Our current City Council has squandered away their best opportunity to get some meaningful affordable housing in place while keeping our city safe from overdevelopment. Our hands are not tied.

We also must recognize the growing homeless population in our city and our responsibility to  find compassionate solutions to get the unhoused into shelter or crisis facilities if needed. We have county resources we can partner with to help people get off the streets. Claiming a homeless parking lot as a victory against homelessness is like damming a river with a matchstick. We can do better.

As a business owner and advisor, I view fiscal accountability as an important part of good governing. Expenditures such as the $50M plus Streetscape project and the $10M Pacific View purchase are great examples of where city leadership has not budgeted or managed assets in the city’s best interests. They could have done better.

Lastly, I will continue to fight for local control and for the best interests of our community. I heartily believe that our city’s future is in our control, not the state’s. My side is the residents’ side. Always. My hands are not tied.

1 comment

steve333 February 17, 2022 at 2:17 pm

It’s time for Encinitans to take back our City from the current Mayor who cares more about Developer PAC money and the DNC endorsement for her State Senate bid than the needs of Encinitas residents.
With Cindy as Mayor and replacing 2 of the current Council members who always vote in unison with Blakespear, we can go back to having our government represent the people and not the moneyed interests.

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