Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tough Love for Ecke

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.


  1. "It is time to farm something."

    That pretty much made my 10- to 11-o'clock hour.

    ;^) <-- me

    :^B <-- a confused onlooker with buckteeth

  2. split the ecke ranch/encinitas off from the rest of the bus. take it public, sell only preferred non-voting shares at 2/m a pop to residents. clear the title. pay low bond like interest. u got a respectable number of yes votes, and if they really are supportive they may bite. i was a no voter but i would bite for 2 shares at 2/m a pop to rebuild ranch and would encourage others to do likewise. that way, u still retain control, the community still retains the undeveloped open space, and if the business ever fails the community(preferred shares) would get the property. come on paul,don't look at development as the only answer, try to think outside of the calkins box. nobody really wants u to split, we just don't want to open the flood-gates to development of the 130 acre ecke legacy. now or ever.

  3. We made a difference!November 10, 2005 2:09 PM

    You know, those ill advised, obviously biased Council Members, like Christy Guerin, Jerome Stocks, and yes, Dan Dalager, who overtly or covertly supported this issue, should have had a rude awakening when they saw the mandate expressed by the voters of this community!

    Nearly two to one voted no, Christy. Do you feel foolish for having blustered and bitterly complained about the Eckes losing their "property rights" at that Council meeting? Do you regret having signed the endorsement in the voter’s pamphlet, even though you should have remained neutral?

    Jerome Stocks, you were quoted in the Eckes' campaign pamphlet as saying voting yes would be a "win-win." Perhaps now you will see your support means a loss, loss for certain unrepresentative incumbents, because you have lost our trust, and yes, lost much respect.

    Speaking of which, do the voters realize that the way our election works Jerome Stocks and James Bond only got about 6,000 votes each, last Nov. That is less than 1/3 of those who voted, according to my estimation. Maggie Houlihan got around 9,000 votes. That seems to be less than half, if over 18,000 voted in that election. Pluralities do not make for good representational government. We need city reform. Let's start with asking for a charter. The people need more control.

    Christy Guerin and Dan Dalager will be up for re-election in Nov. 2006. They and their misguided opinions do not represent a majority of their constituents. The NCT article said council needs time to "decompress." So does our governor, I guess.

    People on all sides of the political spectrum are concerned about traffic, taxes, infrastructure needs, such as good roads, water, storm drains, etc. These needs are citywide, and should come out of the general fund. Our council people are paying a bundle for expensive consultants for another costly mail out ballot, come March. Vote NO on the storm drain tax.

    And by the way, does Council, after a couple of terms, qualify for the City's generous pension benefits? I believe Prop. 75 failed because people worried about firefighters, nurses, and teachers. People are very suspicious, however, of the benefits paid to city workers, on top of Social Security, that are so much better than anything paid through non-government unions, non-union employees, entrepreneurs, etc.

  4. It is tough love... The Ecke Family tried to their sad astro-turf campaign and failed. The deceptive marketing didn't work!

    A great day for Leudcadians!

  5. don't give ecke credit for the golf course.

    The City maintains and runs the course, and then we send Ecke a check (once a year I think). That should not be counted as philanthropy.

    What a scam.

  6. I was kinda going the way of justaplumber.

    I think they should start a charity for Ecke generation three. There a lot of people that were willing to give away thier rights and quality of life for them.

    They would probably send Ecke a check or two to rebuild the greenhouses.

  7. positive aftermathNovember 11, 2005 1:22 PM

    Glad to see the positive letter in NCT by Rick Shea, one of our original mayors. I didn't notice his comments before the election, but perhaps he helped with word o' mouth.

    We all handed out fliers, hoped, prayed, submitted poems, letters to editor. It worked! HOOOOOORAY!!!

  8. hypocritical CouncilNovember 11, 2005 1:36 PM

    At Wednesday night's endless Council Meeting, Christy Guerin was all dressed in black, as though she just got back from going to a funeral. We hope it was celebrating the end of her reign as Miss bossy pants.

    Fortunately Sheila Cameron and the head of the Taxpayers Association, came forward, during oral communications, and asked for the City Council to vote to validate the "advisory vote" of the electorate. Dalager, Council, City Attorney Glenn Sabine refused to do so, saying "the applicant had withdrawn the application."

    Sheila, dressed in colorful, flowered jacket, assured Council they could still vote to show the public respect. They refused. They said they would "get something to Taxpayers Association in writing," but Council didn't hint when that would be.

  9. Miss Bossy Pants is pretty classic.

    It's interesting to me that Guerin and Stocks were elected with 3000 votes each, the Eckes got 6000 votes, Prop A defeated by 10,000 votes and Maggie was elected with 10,000 votes.

  10. Paul, grow pretty flowers and charge tourist $10 to walk through them like in Carlsbad. People love that shit.


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