The Coast News Group

Letters: Oct. 1, 2010

Citizens should have some say
I was astonished when I learned recently that the Encinitas City Council adopted administrative procedures that suppress the democratic process and citizen involvement.
Did you know that a taxpayer, or even a member of the council, cannot place an item on the City Council agenda without a majority of the council members agreeing? Which means that there can be a total block against any new ideas, anything that might expose or disturb the entrenched male majority on the council.
Is Mayor Dalager afraid of open discussion, or honest debate, and transparent process? Members of the public have asked that this policy be brought back for consideration by the council. It will be up to the mayor to determine whether and how the discussion will proceed.  
Mr. Dalager has not been forthcoming about his personal financial dealings and conflicts of interest with city business. I hope he will rise to this occasion and give the citizens who pay his salary the opportunity to participate constructively in our democracy.
Lisa Shaffer

Support for McDowell for DMUSD
Steven McDowell needs to be re-elected to the Del Mar Union School District board because he provides continuity and a strong understanding of education finances. He knows how to ask the hard questions and he will work to keep our schools the best in the county (Academic Performance Index 961). 
DMUSD is no longer mired in costly litigation on the Shores site. As the invested sale proceeds grow while commercial property values continue to decline, the district’s purchasing power has increased as we seek to find a more suitable home for our administrative offices. McDowell wants to help complete this important project.
DMUSD’s financial bottom line is better now than it was four years ago and the reserves have increased. McDowell’s goal is to keep property taxes local and to be prepared if there are state takeaways again.
Steven McDowell is focused on meeting the needs of our children in these tough economic times. He has been part of the board that moved the focus from facilities back to the children’s needs. 
As current board president, McDowell has conducted positive efficient meetings. He has participated in many hours of California School Board Association (CSBA) classes and conducted his own research to gain a better understanding of the specifics of school finance. He understands the long-term implications of changes in DMUSD contractual agreements. He is also leading a Table Talk “How to use information from the Department of Education” presentation at the next annual CSBA meeting.
 Steven McDowell recognizes the importance of identifying things that work well at each school site, and educating other sites on that approach while respecting the individuality of each school. 
Please keep McDowell on the School Board and help us keep an enriched program that supports 21st century skills.
The Saier Family
San Diego

1 comment

Real Encinitas October 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I wish to thank Lisa Shaffer for her letter which highlights the totalitarian approach of Encinitas Council members Stocks, Dalager and Bonds, who have denied local residents the right to discuss Encinitas issues in Encinitas Council meeting unless the 3 of them vote to allow a topic to be discussed.

The only way to return the Council to its actual purpose as a body serving voters, is to elect Tony Kranz and Teresa Barth in November. We are an educated community, and we should not allow for these presently serving theives to take and keep our freedom of speech, and steer not only the conversations–but our constitutional right to have them!!

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