The Coast News Group

Letters: Oct. 15, 2010

Hit piece boomerangs
Last week, Encinitas voters received a revealing slate mailer. This hit piece, targeting Teresa Barth, was paid for by Dan Dalager and Kristin Gaspar. By providing falsehoods on seven issues and insinuating misuse of a city credit card, it presents disturbing insights into these candidates’ lack of ethics and character.
Some truths: Barth routinely supports the Hall Community Park but objects to 9-story-tall stadium lights that violate the city’s General Plan. Regarding Scripps Encinitas’ expansion, Barth objected only to staff-imposed recommendations taxing local residents through a Special Assessment District for future road improvements. Barth, Bond, and Houlihan all opposed contracting for desalinated water at unspecified future rates. Regarding the Performing Arts Center, Barth opposed changing height limits for the entire campus from 30 to 34 feet, again violating the General Plan. Barth supports the Sand Replenishment Tax but vetoed paying extra for a separate election, six months after voters approved an 8 percent increase, to increase vacation rental TOT tax by 2 percent specifically for sand replenishment.
Using her city credit card to pay specifically for expenses accrued while attending authorized official functions that benefit the city, Barth spent $2,500 per year for registration fees, transportation, etc. In contrast, Dalager has spent only $20/year. How has he been working for us?
Kathleen Lees

Campaign flier misleading
I’m afraid the entire city of Encinitas received the $5k flier paid for by special interests that do not want open government and do not want to lose their control of City Hall. Personally, I would not vote for anyone who thinks he or she must misinform voters to win.
Anyone, who would like to truth can go to Teresa’s website Let’s start with two facts just as examples:
Teresa supported the Scripps Hospital Expansion, but voted against a city-imposed condition that could require surrounding homeowners to pay for future mitigation measures needed to deal with traffic impacts created by the hospital.
The city never voted to support or oppose desalination. The council voted against a proposed San Dieguito Water District contract to purchase desalinated water from Poseidon at an undetermined future price. The vote was Bond, Barth and Houlihan to protect ratepayers with Stocks and Dalager opposed.
Teresa represents the entire community of Encinitas. That flier was a slick way of misleading the voters of Encinitas. Please support the two candidates who are running a grass roots campaign and telling you the truth. Please check the facts before you vote.
Rachelle Collier

Out with the old
Farrah Douglas has credentials that are implacable. I had the privilege getting to know her when she ran for counsel seat the first time. Met her at a Carlsbad fair, she had a booth and seemed very concerned about our city. Liked what I saw and heard. We talked at her business place.
For almost two hours I must have asked a million questions about my concerns for Carlsbad. She answered in a patient manner, never losing her cool. I’ve gone to her home to receive some instructions and found it very nice. Keeping a place neat, tells me a lot about a person. We need people like her to make our city better then ever. Someone with business savvy, good ideas and forward thinking.
I do my best to vote out incumbents (power goes to their heads) and vote for women candidates often. Farrah Douglas is a woman and a new candidate, my vote goes for her.

William Hart

All for selling fairgrounds to the city
This letter supports the sale of the Del Mar Fairgrounds to the city of Del Mar.
At the present time the fairgrounds is supervised by board members appointed by the California governor who rewards large contributors with this perk. When we observe this method of governance in foreign countries we call it crony capitalism. The purchase of the property by the city of Del Mar will put public lands in the hands of another public agency operated by elected officials. Representative government is the norm in this country, not government by the friends of the governor.
All fairgrounds employees will be retained by this transfer of the property. The only ones to lose jobs will be the fair board members and probably General Manager Tim Fennell whose relentless antagonism to Del Mar is the main reason the city wishes to gain control of the property.
Finally, I cannot help being amused by Mr. Nussbaum and Fennell crying about not being heard, they who ignore speakers at their board meetings. Both these gentlemen are notorious for holding private conversations during public testimony: a behavior forbidden by the ethics rules for those engaged in public service.

Jacqueline Winterer
Del Mar

McDowell an asset to DMUSD
The Del Mar Union School District is not unlike Solana Beach School District a few years ago. Solana Beach hired a new superintendent that was not a good fit for their district and a year later hired their current superintendent who has been very successful. Del Mar now has strong calm leadership and is maintaining a staff that is focused on learning and children versus facilities issues. Experienced leadership will benefit our students for many years to come.
Steven McDowell understands that the board’s job is to update priorities, mission statement, and policies to ensure we are providing the learning environment where our students can succeed. He believes it is important to prepare students for the future by providing enriched standards based programs that push them to be creative, to be responsible, make them believe they can succeed. Our excellent API (961) scores support student achievement.
Steven McDowell has participated in California School Board Association Governance training, San Diego County Office of Education Strategic Planning Committee, DMUSD Rep. Legislative Action Network, Schools Education Foundation, and North City West Facilities Finance Authority.
Steven McDowell has financial strength. He has encouraged the district to maintain strong reserves and provide effective financial management in tough economic times. As a result of questions he has asked, the district was able to avoid teacher layoffs. He listens to the community and thoroughly reviews the analysis provided by district staff.
Four years ago Steven McDowell’s goal was to raise the bar across the board. Our district today is in better shape to serve the students of it’s future. Steven McDowell is running again, to support our community and to keep our district the best in the county.
Jennifer McDowell
Del Mar

Violations of ethics and public trust
Acknowledged ethics violations by Dan Dalager, Encinitas’ mayor, have placed him on front pages of local papers. In response to citizens’ complaints, the Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating three violations. However, those charges are only some of Dalager’s actions violating public trust and thwarting democracy.
Did you know the only reason Dalager is mayor now is that the three “Good Ol’ Boys” overrode Encinitas’ traditional practice for mayoral rotation so he would be mayor during this campaign?
On 7/26/2009, they ruled that putting items on a council meeting agenda required three votes, not one or two. So, they control what items are discussed and Encinitas is governed by these three, not the five elected councilpersons, silencing the minority.
Councilpersons cannot add short statements to meeting minutes clarifying positions on votes? Are these your ideas of democracy and transparent government?
While Dalager takes credit for city’s 2001 purchase of the Hall property, he wasn’t elected until late 2002? Dalager falsely claims the park will be “redesigned” if he is not re-elected. In fact, all councilmembers favor the park! Only 9-story-tall stadium lights, not part of the original concept and violating the city’s General Plan for height, are opposed!
Despite Dalager’s claim, the only objection to San Dieguito Academy’s Performing Arts Center was changing height limits for the entire campus from 30 to 40 feet, again violating the General Plan.
Likewise, the plan to expand Scripps Hospital was not opposed. However, some disapproved of city staff’s plan to tax neighbors with a new Special Assessment District for future road improvements required by the expansion!
Do you think Dalager should have disclosed conflicts of interest and recused himself from those votes? Dalager’s cavalier handling of these ethical issues shows poor judgement and/or arrogance. How can we trust him to represent us with integrity?

Dennis Lees

Encinitas deserves the best!
I agree entirely with the U-T and Sheriff’s Association in their sole recommendation for Encinitas City Council. As a citizen who wants a clean “SWEEP” — “Starting With Each Elected Politician” — this November, there aren’t many choices in our council elections. Incumbent Dalager seems to have shot himself in the foot and incumbent Barth has her own unique baggage in not being able to “play nice” with others at a cost to the city. So we are left with two unknowns — both of whom have no prior experience in government. Kranz, aligned with Barth, has recently amended his financial statement following a complaint made to City Hall in which he apparently accepted more than permitted from a single donor and does not warrant my support accordingly. However, I do know, support and recommend Kristin Gaspar. She is the youthful, intelligent, fair-minded, financially-responsible, civic-oriented mother of three we solely need to end the rancor at our City Hall. Encinitas deserves the best and Kristin Gaspar, as one of the council’s new members, will prove herself to be the best for our city!

Harry Eiler

Barth and Kranz votes mean transparency in government
Dear fellow citizens, I am asking your help in restoring fiscal responsibility in Encinitas by voting for Teresa Barth and Tony Kranz. Both are demanding full transparency and access to public records. This is the best way to know exactly where our tax dollars are being spent. On the other hand, while Dan Dalager has been in office he has added 35 percent to the pension liability, attempted to negate more than $200,000 in city fees for a developer who loaned him money, and, if he has his way, will spend over $100 million over 30 years to build a sports facility for private sports clubs — without asking for a vote. Taxpayers never had the opportunity to vote on whether or not they wanted to invest so many of their dollars on such a large project. That is an unconscionable abuse of power. Vote Barth and Kranz for access and accountability in city government.
Tammie Sharp

Thanks to Kelly shooting heroes
Hooray! Something potentially deadly was challenged and defeated . . . I mean the deranged gunman who jumped the fence at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad and started shooting at our city’s children.
Heartiest congratulations to those who reacted with speed and efficiency. To Carlos Partida, who used his truck to knock the gunman down, to Steven Kane and Mario Contreras for running down the shooter and Scott Chandler for offering another set of hands to assist. The gunman was tackled, stripped of his weapons and held for the police. The children were held safely by their teachers and administrators until parents picked them up. The two little girls who were shot are also brave and I wish them a speedy recovery.
This attack could have been so much worse had it not been for fast-thinking action. On behalf of the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, we thank Carlos, Steve and Mario (from Chula Vista) and all our Carlsbad residents who worked so well together — school personnel, law enforcement, parents and children. “Bad things happen when good people do nothing” is not the way we live in San Diego County. We take action. Thanks to each of you.

Yvonne Murchison Finocchiaro
Chairman of the Board, Carlsbad Charitable Foundation

Vote to have a voice
It’s your money. Do you care where and how your tax dollars are spent? Mr. Dalager did not bother to ask taxpayers if the city should spend $45 million to purchase the Hall property. Construction and added costs will put the figure closer to $100 million. And did you know that this “park” is not for the average citizen to enjoy? No, it will be a sports’ facility built for the exclusive enjoyment of less than 10 percent of Encinitas residents who are enrolled in private sports leagues. You, as an Encinitas taxpayer, get to subsidize private, for profit sports clubs (with about 2,500 players, not all from Encinitas) to the tune of $40,000 per team member! Did you know that Dan Dalager in his zeal to maximize the number of soccer fields managed to squeak out just one tot lot on 44 acres available, that all of the trails and picnic features are enclosed in the buffer zone that is supposed to shield adjoining residences from park activity? No, this is not a community park where you can use all those fields whenever you want — they will be reserved for the private sports leagues first and foremost. How then can you have your voice heard? The only guaranteed way to ensure that this park is a park for our local children’s teams to use is to vote for Teresa Barth and Tony Kranz in November. They have promised to take the special interests out of this glorious park and keep it open for all to enjoy.

Cerc Schwaebe

Need a new council
This on the Dalagar/Gaspar election mailer I received:
Dalager/Gaspar support Hall Community Park — $14 million for an athletic park when there are no free after school programs in any Encinitas Public schools.
Dalager/Gaspar Support Scripps Hospital Extension — Federal law requires Scripps expand their emergency facilities or face multi-million dollar lawsuits. While Gaspar/Dalager snoozed Scripps parlayed this expansion into a zoning variance for a third 68,000-square-foot office building and added paid parking for the whole facility, increasing local traffic and making your $10 copay a $15 copay. All courtesy of our inept city council.
Dalager/Gaspar Support Sand Replenishment paid for by tourists, not residents — A bunch of trucks bearing sand show up and drop sand, at great expense, on our beaches. Two months later, the sand has washed down the coast. Find a better way to spend tax money.
Dalager/Gaspar Supported Performing Arts Center at San Dieguito Academy — When SDA’s test scores are compared with other schools drawing from families with similar education and income, SDA’s test scores are in the bottom 10 percent of the rankings. This is a school with more important things to worry about than a performing arts center.
May I comment on is the uniformly tasteless development we have had in Encinitas? Every time a nursery in Encinitas is sold, a new development is built that makes the town look more like Poway. Cardiff shopping center puts up office space in its prime ocean views and builds two claustrophobic restaurants downstairs. The new condominiums on 101 with their two-story overhangs and cheap construction promise to further degrade the look of our city.
We need to get rid of this council and elect people with some taste who care about our city.

Brian Gulino

The meaning of Gaspar’s claim
It’s emblazoned on her large signs next to those of her co-candidate Dan Dalager, “LAW ENFORCEMENT’S CHOICE.” It turns out this claim is based on the endorsement of one group Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County, or DSASD, whose website describes itself as “the professional labor organization” of the county’s Sheriff’s deputies.
Any public official who has too cozy a relationship with their government employee’s union has an inherent conflict of interest, since it is his or her responsibility to represent the taxpayers in negotiating salaries and benefits. This conflict is so clear that candidate Teresa Barth previously refused this union’s invitation to be considered for its endorsement.
As a country, we face paying for disproportionate pensions of government unions that displace other vital services, while still creating economy-destroying deficits. It’s a shame that candidate Gaspar seems oblivious to this.

Al Rodbell