To Paul Ecke III,
I know you feel like you got punched in the gut and I'm not totally unsympathetic, but trust me when I say this is for the best. One of the main problems I had with this whole rezone issue is that it seemed very uncreative to me. Yeah, building big ugly stucco McMansions is the way to make money these days but it just wasn't the right solution to your problem.
High energy cost is something that affects everyone and not just you. All business owners must deal with this issue. Your quote about not selling your own assets to save the business angered many small business owners in the area who were originally inclined to support you.
Energy cost fluctuate but the rezone would have been forever. Once those homes were built you were never going to get to farm that land again. I know this seems like a defeat but it really is an opportunity for you to reach down deep into your farming roots.
Paul, you should know that the NO votes were against the Carltas Corp and not so much you personally (I hope). Carltas are developers, you are a farmer. It is time to farm something. I guarantee in the decades to come you and your children would have regretted developing that land.
Your dilemma is unique in that it your solution would have adversely affected all of us. I supported your golf course and shopping center because I figured it was better than a Wal*Mart and face it, people around here love golf. However, we made a deal and that deal was more than a reasonable and decent one. When you are the big chief wealthy landowner in a small community everything you do has a domino effect. Your neighbors just couldn't fill in that yes bubble, they have already given you enough.
(Classic quote overhead at Potato Shack-"My wife already buys his damn flowers every Christmas, what more does he want?")
Paul, you spent a lot of money on the campaign and got hammered. Why? Your tactics were all wrong. You can't bully people into voting for your cause. You can't hold your father's charitable contributions over our heads like that. Everyone donates time and money to charity, not just Eckes.
Barratt American CEO, Michael D. Pattinson did untold harm to your cause and was this year's scary clown. His drunken editorials in the North County Times alienated a lot your old school supporters. His tirade against the 8 acres of parkland "stolen" from you and then later using that 8 acres as a leverage for a YES vote was transparent and downright insulting. I am convinced that if not for Pattinson's editorials that the vote would have been much closer.
With friends like these who needs enemies?
I still say that owning farm land is a blessing and not a curse. Some people would give anything to own farm land on the coast of California, especially in Encinitas. What a unique privilege your father left you.