The Coast News Group
Community CommentaryLife, Liberty and Leadership

It’s not a left or right thing

Encinitas City Council elections are non-partisan. 

That’s why when we vote at the ballot box our local candidates don’t have a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green or some other party affiliation after their name.

This is a good thing.

Some recent articles in the press have put forth the opinion that the new Encinitas City Council is changing from pro-business gray to environmental green and that there will always be a conflict between right and left. I don’t see it that way.

I am not denying that there are many partisan voters in town and it would be naïve not to acknowledge that in state and federal elections many residents probably vote the party ticket top to bottom.

But local elections are different.

When it comes to local issues, informed voters will make informed choices. Party affiliations matter less and results matter more.

Such was the case in this year’s Encinitas City Council election where the issues of spending money wisely, protecting community character and respecting the public’s input in decision making were not left or right issues but community issues.

Residents voted to say, “Enough with the pension increases and fiscal mismanagement, enough with high density up-zoning and density bonus, enough with the closed meetings and cronyism.”

It’s been my experience that when I allow myself to be influenced by labels I become blind to the truth. I stop seeing things for how they truly are and get caught seeing them how others want me to see them.

Oftentimes ideologies are used to divide rather than define.

Moving forward the new Encinitas City Council would be well served to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people.

It’s not right or left leadership the city is seeking but rather good judgment representing residents.

As for myself I don’t really care if our council members call themselves liberals, progressives, conservatives or libertarians.

I do care that they spend our money wisely, protect our small town community character and work to serve the will of the people not the special interests.

If the five members of the new council prove unable to do this, then we should hold them accountable.

It’s not a left or right thing — it’s simply common sense.

1 comment

Lynn Marr November 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Excellent points, Andrew. Yes, playing politics becomes divisive and distracting. PACs and some local media controlled by expansion proponents, as in pro-development special interests, become so expert at marketing, some can become persuaded that yes, it’s us vs. them.

My feeling is that so-called liberals and conservatives, pro environment and pro-local businesses’ thriving, all came together to elect our new Council and to vote out of office Jerome Stocks.

Thank goodness Jim Bond retired from office after 5 terms, 20 years! I feel our new Council Elect should agendize a plan to have future mayoral candidates participate in the primaries, before the General Election, so that our elected mayor will be voted in by a MAJORITY. The fact that councilmembers are elected by a simple plurality has allowed both Stocks and Bond to remain in office, before, when for so many years they were not supported by a majority of the electorate.

Were we to participate in the primaries, Council could also vote to put on the primary ballot the question of whether or not we should have term limits, going forward, for both councilmembers and the mayor. Personally, I support eight year term limits for both offices, but could compromise at 12 for Council, in order to get the question on the ballot.

Never again should we have to be represented by someone, for so long, someone not supported by the majority of the electorate, who has become so confused, and who has turned his back on his previously conservative fiscal policies with respect to raises in salaries and benefits for Encinitas City employees and contractors. We are most grateful to bid adieu to both Stocks and Bond.

Thank you to Andrew Audet for all of your excellent columns, and welcome to our new Council Elect!

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