Before sending Catherine Blakespear to the California Senate to enact legislation, we should first look at what she has done for the city of Encinitas.
Given her record, ask: Does Catherine Blakespear deserve higher office?
• The 15 high-density housing sites originally presented and voted down in Measure U will be enforced anyway, thanks to the mayor’s refusal to stand up to the building industry.
• Originally presented as a total of 1,504 dwelling units, the real number is closer to 7,000 units from a combination of low affordability requirements and density bonus additions.
• The mayor had an opportunity to adopt the Planning Commission’s 50% affordable housing but instead chose to average just 15%.
• The mayor submitted a housing plan committing Encinitas to 100% affordable housing on each of the 15 sites, knowing the huge shortfall she is creating by requiring just 15%. No wonder she now wants to add high-density housing on El Camino Real.
ECONOMIC & STRATEGIC PLANNING
• A 1 ½ mile stretch of North Coast Highway in Leucadia, narrowing from 4 to 2 lanes, will cost more than $62 million in tax dollars!
• One hundred mature trees were removed on this project — so much for eliminating greenhouse gases.
• Approximately 2,000-2,500 cars are to be pushed onto parallel Vulcan Avenue, where there is an elementary school and family apartments, per staff reports.
• Railroad Underpass at El Portal – $13 million tax dollars!
• Stormwater/Drainage: Not addressed despite years of talk. With the next significant rainfall, the area will be underwater!
SUPPRESSING VOTING RIGHTS AND VOICES
• Sued her constituents to reverse Proposition A – “The Right to Vote Initiative” passed in 2013, which gives citizens of the city a right to vote on large, major housing projects. Mayor Blakespear LOST the lawsuit — estimated to cost a half-million tax dollars.
• Citizens issued a cease-and-desist letter to the mayor for violating their First Amendment Rights after she suppressed unfavorable comments on her public Facebook page. The mayor agreed to publicly apologize and pay attorneys’ fees but allegedly violated the terms of the settlement agreement.
• The mayor’s public “apology” was a poor attempt to blame the citizens for her unconstitutional behavior. Now, she faces a lawsuit for failure to abide by the terms of the original lawsuit.
• She routinely reduces citizen speaking time at council meetings from nine minutes to two minutes on controversial subjects, even turning off the microphone to silence speakers.
• Blakespear declared a false “emergency crisis” situation to justify a grant for a homeless safe parking lot, which legally enabled her to sidestep zoning laws and an otherwise-required Prop A vote by the citizens.
Other area North County councils refused to support the parking lot program in their cities.
• Blakespear’s encouragement, advertising and advocacy have tripled the homeless count in Encinitas, not including the safe parking lot.
• Major funding allocated for motel rooms and nonprofits has been sporadic and unsuccessful in meeting this influx of population.
• Once having the lowest statistic for crime in North County, we now have the highest rate!
• Examples from the Sheriff’s Crime Log: home invasions, women attacked on streets and in home, robberies, looting, stabbings, guns and arson!
• SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) is a regional decision-making body with representatives from each city and San Diego County. There are 18 members who represent you and make sweeping, countywide decisions on how to spend your tax dollars, including the number of new housing units assigned to each city.
• Blakespear has been the chair of SANDAG for two years. Under her watch:
a) She supported the 4 cents per mile tax on motorists that requires mileage trackers on cars! The mileage tax is a regressive tax that will hit hardest those who can least afford it.
b) Voted against 14 other cities to increase the number of housing units each is assigned. And with these additional dwelling units come more traffic and less parking without infrastructure improvements.
c) Roughly $289 million dollars in contract cost overruns and inadequate standard operating procedure, according to a recent SANDAG audit. This reflects failed leadership and inadequate financial accountability.
For the above reasons and more, this Democrat supports Matt Gunderson for State Senator for the 38th District.
Sheila S. Cameron is an Encinitas resident and former mayor of Encinitas.
Spot on, Sheila!
Benedict Blakespear is the only Mayor of any City I’ve lived in that declared war on her own City.
Her campaign has been nothing but lies and refusing to debate.
I voted for Matt Gunderson.