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Encinitas City Council opts not to send Prop A mailers

ENCINITAS — Last month, City Council voted to support sending out informational mailers on Proposition A, also known as the right-to-vote initiative. 

Council was due to finalize the language for a mailer containing frequently asked questions about Prop A, and for a postcard reminding residents that there’s a special election set for June 18. But at Wednesday night’s meeting, council unanimously voted not to send either one.

Prop A reaffirms the city’s 30-foot height limit and would eliminate council’s power to “up-zone” beyond height and density limits with a fourth-fifths vote.

Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar said she initially backed the mailers, but changed her mind after hearing concerns from the public.

“I’ve had a bit of a change of heart on this topic seeing that the city has played a very active role to this point,” Gaspar said.

City Council wrote the argument against Prop A, which will appear alongside an impartial analysis and an argument for the initiative in the official election ballot.

“Now I feel it’s time to let the voters decide; there’s plenty of information available on our website,” Gaspar said.

She also questioned whether the city should use taxpayer dollars to send out the mailers. According to city staff, the estimated cost of sending the postcards alone was $9,700 to $11,000.

Councilman Mark Muir also said he received quite a bit of feedback from residents about the mailers.

“I have some reservations after listening to public input,” Muir said before the vote to scrap the mailers.

Councilman Tony Kranz backed the motion, but said he was worried about low voter turnout.

In some sections, the proposed mailer cited an independent impact report that was largely critical of Prop A. But councilmembers said the mailer could be construed as being biased since it cherry picked from the report.

“The FAQ opens a big can of worms,” Kranz said.