from rockmycar.com« PUBLIC BENEFIT?Small park doesn’t justify sacrificing agriculture || It’s not about moneyEcke proponents dodge the real issuesOctober 28th, 2005 “I’m not going to sell my assets to save this business,” Paul Ecke III told the Union-Tribune recently. “It would be foolish to do that.”If it would be foolish for Ecke to sell assets to save his poinsettia ranch, then it’s insane for the city to give up its assets to do the same. If he won’t, then neither should we.Ecke and his crew pushing Proposition A — which asks the city to rezone half of his land to make room for 101 houses — have said opponents are hung up on the load of cash the Ecke family has amassed over the years. “To grade me on how much in assets I have is ridiculous,” Ecke said. “It’s frightening that a successful businessman is being attacked.”The Union-Tribune, in yet another display that the paper has no grasp on what happens north of Highway 52, joined the fray in an editorial — accusing the “No on A” crowd of being envious and attempting to bilk Ecke Ranch for more than the proposed 8-acre park. Where did they get that?The opposition to Prop. A is not about Ecke’s bank account. It’s not really about the flowers, either. We’re not after any more from Ecke or his ranch, and we’re not attacking him because of his success.It’s about preserving one of the last pieces of agriculturally zoned land in the city for something other than houses. Most of the nursery and farming facilities in Encinitas are operating on land already zoned for residential. Some day very soon those greenhouses will be homes.In an area overrun by sprawl, the remaining land zoned for agriculture is a jewel, an asset to the city. In fact, Ecke agreed to keep that land as agricultural in 1994.Ecke says he needs the profits from the housing development to modernize his farm. Opponents have asked him to prove it — and rightly so.When college students apply for government loans, they have to prove their need. The same is true for people who apply for Medicare, welfare or any other government subsidy.That’s the only reason money is in this debate. We don’t fault Ecke for his success. But he is asking the residents of Encinitas to give up a city asset to “save” his business. It’s only right that we should ask him to verify his need.The attempt by the Union-Tribune, Ecke and the “Yes on A” folks to obfuscate the real issues surrounding Proposition A is shameless, and you shouldn’t be fooled.They’re only trying to distract attention from the fact that the ranch won’t show us that it really needs to develop the land to remain competitive. They’re dodging the fact that Ecke refuses to use his own assets.After all, if Ecke won’t use his resources to “save” his business, then why should we?
I went to that forum.Ecke was damn good. I am not at all kidding when I say that his presentation did cause me to waiver in my determination to vote no. But, then I remembered that he was not being challenged on what he was saying... such as his philanthropy. He makes it seem like he has done all those things and that his family did ALL those things purely to help the City. Wrong. He also is a little deceiving. For instance, Quail Gardens is on his list and people certainly are likely to believe that Ecke donated the land for Quail. Wrong.The actions and comments by the people running the "forum" made it clear they were completely uninterested in hearing from the other side or challenging Ecke's claims. They had their minds made up alread and they didn't even have a clue about most of the facts in the mix, like Ecke signed a contract saying that they would never do what they are attempting to do. Although, the pubic wasn't allowed to ask oral questions of the reigning Ecke, the people sponsoring the event shot off a question that Ecke had no issues responding to. Everyone else had to write a question down on a card and hope that Ecke choose to respond to your question after thumbing through the cards. Self-selection wasn't the real problem. The real problem was that the set up was designed to ensure Ecke's answers and presentation went unchallenged.The President of the club said they wanted questions written because of problems at previous forums, but he could not cite a specific incident when a local reporter asked him about it before the meeting.The President of the club running forum ended the meeting with a "personal" comment about how he owns dozens of acres in Riverside and would hate to have to go through the same ringer that Ecke is going through to use his own land. One of the other officers couldn't help but blurt out a laugh and a "that's right you better believe it/praise the lord" type of support comment. It was a sham set up, not a real forum. I hope the President didn't sign a contract saying he would not rezone his property.It was clear that he didn't even realize that Ecke had done that. He would have if he had read Bill Rodenwald's flyer (Bill is President of the Encinitas Tax Payer's Association), which he politely passed out just prior to the forum beginningŠ which caused a stir among the members of the group. How dare he pass out No on A flyers! Exposure to such information might expose Ecke for his scam. Watch out. It looked like they were going to try to kick Bill out. Why? Instead, they should have invited him or Gil Forrester, who was also there, to speak or also respond to questions. If Gil or Bill are so nutcake in their stance (which was the group's spin) they should have been able to shoot them down right? I loved it when Bill told the President how many years he had been a Republican and thought he should be allowed to watch the "forum." It was a Republican Club meeting.Ecke answered several questions about the details of the new deal, including one question that I liked a lot. Where can we read the details of the new deal? Ecke answered honestly and said the details haven't been written yet. That was related to the last question after which, someone spoke up and asked Ecke if he thought there was any problem with sending the deal to a vote of the people when the voters can't be sure what the agreement will actually look like and added if he thought that seemed backwards. Good idea, vote on an agreement and then write it up. He basically said... well that's the way the Council wanted it. Four of the Councilmember have strong ties to Ecke, which historically been the main force in our Council elections. The other Councilmember has been beaten into submission by accusations by Ecke family members, a lampooning clown that chased her around, major hit pieces being mailed by an Ecke inlaw (that cloaks the family connection with a different last name = Meyer) and a well funded political hit rag funded by Ecke and Barratt during the election cycle.What on Paul III's list of philanthropy are actually P III's ? And since he brings this up, how does he compare to most people. How much of his revenue does he donate? What proportion of his disposable income does he donate? I am certain that there are lot of people in this town that give more of what they have in time and money to the benefit of this City than this trust fund baby grown up.Maybe his ancestors were great donors to the City, but we have not been convinced that Paul III inherited any of the philanthropy genes. Which doesn't matter in regards to Prop A anyways, but when a he plays such a huge role in screwing with our City by run it deserves to be commented on.Paul III if you are reading this, please take your money out of controlling our City Council and go purchase yourself some greenhouses.
It was Flower Pac (the Ecke's political machine) that brought us Dalager's campaign. He boasts that he didn't have to do anything to get elected. So easy bra (when Ecke is behind you). Now we have Gomer Pile for Mayor. Thanks Paul Ecke III and David Meyer (Ecke).
We will never give up hope. We are still envisioning a "playing field" that is more fair, balanced, operating in harmony, in the best interests of the people, for the common good.Although we were out of area, we probably could not have gotten in to the "open forum" anyway. We don't make enough moola to be registered as Republicans.But whatever your political persuasion, local issues are one way we can take a stand for truth, integrity and fair play. Don't fall for the self-aggrandizing deceit, patronizing delusions of the spinmasters and their yes men/women.Save the day. Vote nay on A. Come November 2006, give Encinitas a breath of fresh air. Vote out corrupt, biased incumbents. We are not calling one another names, but defending our rights, our heritage, and the truth.
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