Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The Plot Sickens
Related North County Times story
Many of us have wondered why the city council would have chosen a costly and cumbersome mail-in-ballot for Proposition C. It would have certainly been more fiscally responsible, expeditious and fair to have waited one more month until the general election in April. Even the city’s own survey indicated that the number of voters that would respond to a mail-ballot process would be dismally low. So why use a mail- ballot?
Until this week, we thought that we were aware of most of the loopholes and dirty tricks that have been used by the city and, unlike the supporters of Proposition C; have not been afraid to detail our accusations. Monday we became aware of what may be the real reason that the city chose this type of process and it could be the dirtiest trick of them all.
Let me back up for just a minute and explain the financial disclosure aspects of a typical election, maybe even use Proposition A as an example. For a normal or general election, the city requires that groups working on either side of an argument or proposition (candidates too), file a periodic statement detailing the amounts and sources of any donations and expenditures to date. We all remember how the Yes on Proposition A folks outspent us by a few hundred thousand dollars and how the exact numbers were published regularly by all of the newspapers. We even knew who the donors to each cause were. It was fair and above board. It is how all elections should work.
On Monday of this week, the Encinitas Taxpayers Association was told by the City Clerk that it is the intent of our city to not require Mr. Aceti’s group, Encinitas Citizens For A Clean Ocean, to file any financial disclosures. According to the clerk, it is city attorney Glenn Sabine’s opinion that a financial disclosure is not required because this is a MAIL-IN-BALLOT. They have no intention of requiring any information as to the source of funds used by Encinitas Citizens For A Clean Ocean to produce and mail the three color post card that was sent to 22,000 property owners (estimated to cost $11,000). They have no intention of asking …… where the funds came from to manufacture the hundreds of signs that were placed in the public right of way (estimated at $3000).
Interestingly, the city does want a financial disclosure statement from the Encinitas Taxpayers Association and we will gladly comply. We have nothing to hide since we have been funded by citizen donations ranging from $5 to $250. We are a 100% volunteer organization, and we have not had the benefit of a city sourced professional consultant.
We should all demand that Encinitas Citizens For A Clean Ocean volunteer to submit a financial disclosure form detailing their source of funds and we should contact our city council to express our displeasure with this latest trick. Elections of any type should be fair so that the results can be respected by the citizens. Why would this election be any different?
Encinitas Taxpayers Association