Saturday, June 25, 2005

Jerome Stocks/Hall Property/Park. It's Gone Wacky

NCT Online Article by Adam Kaye

This is one of those stories that shouldn't be a story. The city bought the Hall property (visible from I-5, it used to be greenhouses, then it looked like a tornado hit it and now it is cleared and ready) and has sold $22 million bucks in bonds to build a neat-o park for all us to enjoy.

$22 million bucks is an insane amount of money, man we are high rollers! Heck, that kind of cash could almost solve the much ballyhooed flooding problem, but I digress.

The Hall/Park property is 43 acres. The city bought it for $400,000 an acre. So that comes out to what, $17 million?

Of course in the last few years land values have really shot up around here, even in the gnarly "blighted" areas. Now that land is probably worth around $900,000 an acre. Aye caramba! Who knew that land right next to a noisy freeway was so desirable? (but the hell do I know?)

So esteemed council man Jerome Stocks, apparently committing political suicide, wants to sell some of that property. We are talking equity bro.

Problem is the bonds have already been sold. If you purchased bonds in the interest of getting a park built for your kids you are probably feeling a little rat finked right now.

From the NCT article:

Revenue from a land sale could bring a completed park to the community sooner and all at once, rather than in phases, he [Stocks] said.

Stocks and a colleague, Councilwoman Christy Guerin, comprise a subcommittee exploring how to pay for a park on the property that would include sports fields, an outdoor amphitheatre, swimming pool, teen center, skate park, playground and off-leash dog park.

A cost estimate does not exist, but the price of construction would exceed "by millions" the $12.1 million set aside for the job, City Manager Kerry Miller said Monday.

I don't want to lose my cool here but, when does it take over 12 million to build a freaking park!?!

The problem is this the most over designed park in the history of parks. This thing is really fancy schmancy.

Realistically, we don't need anything more than a grassy field and some benches to sit on. We could get everything we need at Home Depot.

The best park around here is the old Glen Park in Cardiff. I know that thing didn't cost no 12 million plus to build. I've been going to that park since I was a little kid. Heck, I had my wedding reception there.

Another thing, the city shouldn't spend a bunch of dough on a skate park when the wealthiest skateboarder in the universe, Tony Hawk is from Encinitas. Ask him and his mega sponsors to donate one (or just leave the skating to the YMCA).

This is what we do, just give the kids a big pile of dirt and let them build their own dirt bike track. This is what kids do naturally and would be doing if there was any open spaces left around here. My friends and I had lots of little dirt bike tracks carved out where Target is now.

We adults need to stop micro-managing things so much. The kids just need a place to run around so they will get tired and go to bed early.



  1. Isn't city manager Kerry Miller's wife in charge of Encinitas parks?
    Is that a conflict of interest?
    Does she get a percentage of the final cost? Is that why the park is costing over 12 million dollars?

    Please answer. Thank you.

  2. the land is not worth that much if you consider how contaminated the property is. Crap, Hall should have paid us to take the land over.

  3. It is even worse than that. The City paid all that money to clean up the mess Hall left us (remember how devestated the place looked). I know that if I purchased new property and the property ended up more torn up by the end of escrow I would have made the seller pay for the fix up. In any case I would have not paid as much for such a mess.

    Mayor Dalager thinks of Hall as buddy, right?

    Not saying he would look the other way for Hall, just that he is uncritical and if it comes to his buddies... no way.

  4. hopeful future parkgoerJune 26, 2005 4:03 PM

    I wasn't driving by the Hall Property on a daily basis, as Judge Lisa Guy Schall claimed she was, before the Quality of Life Attorney asked her to step down. Glad Judge Annello has some commons sense, legal sense and decency. The City abused its discretion, according to Judge Annello's ruling, in beginning the process of construction, which starts with demolition, including performing the required Environmental Impact Report. The City has been in the misleading habit of dividing projects into phases and then giving some of the phases automatic "negative impact declarations."

    Now the City is appealing, claiming it does not have to pay fees for Quality of Life's lawyer, as Annello also ruled. City is making this process more and more expensive, and seeking ways to cover its mistakes.

    The biggest mess, according to our information was caused by the City's unlawful preemptive demolition.

    Remember, proper (fair, ethical) planning prevents pitiful poor performance.

  5. If Jerome was half the stud he thinks he is he would build a 10 million park and give the other 2 million back.

    Funny comment about gazebos.

  6. Don't forget that Jerome Stocks AND Christy Guerin were the AdHoc sub-committee to explore how to pay for the park. I thought they sold the idea to the public that the City was flush with money to develop a park with all the goodies the council wanted. Goes to show ya, just like kids in a candy store wanting everything in site without a nickel in their pocket.

  7. When this council runs out of taxpayers money - no problem. The council could assess property owners for the privilege of having the council's 12 million dollars park in Encinitas.

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