Monday, January 23, 2006

This Just In

Dear J.P.,

In the interest of balance, please add this post (below) to your website: Also, please add to your

Thank you,

Steve Aceti


“Don’t be fooled by opponents of Prop C”

Patronize a local coffee house on a regular basis and you'll spend more than
a property owner in Encinitas will pay each year if voters approve
Proposition C. At $5 per month per meter, it's a small price to pay to
ensure that our streams, lagoons and beaches remain clean and healthy and
that there is room in the general fund for capital projects like the new
library. Based on recent polling, the proposed clean water fee will pass by
a large margin, notwithstanding the efforts of a group of “tax crusaders”
who sued the city to force an expensive election and now have the audacity
to fight it.

For more than a month, the Encinitas Taxpayers Association (ETA) has engaged
in a campaign of misinformation to distract voters from the facts. The ETA's
website and handouts are replete with false information and manufactured
quotes from local officials. The group’s members adhere to a policy of talk
loudly and, if that doesn't’t work, start yelling. It's a campaign of
desperation and, as a result, everything the ETA says and does should be
taken with a large grain of salt.

Here's what the opposition doesn't want voters to know. The city's Clean
Water Program is not a voluntary effort. State and federal laws require that
the city keep its waterways; lagoons and beaches free from bacteria and
pollutants. Compliance with these regulations, which were thrust upon local
governments without any funding, requires that the city install storm drain
filters, remove litter and debris from storm drains and beaches, treat storm
water run-off before it reaches the ocean, test ocean water at local
beaches, post signs warning surfers and others when water quality is not up
to standards and make information available online about water quality at
local beaches.

The city's Clean Water Program is vital to our local economy and quality of
life, but it has required extra personnel and equipment to carry it out. The
current cost of the program is $1.3 million dollars and the $5 fee will not
even cover the full cost of the program. Changes in regulations have caused
the city to increase its investment twice since the program was first
implemented in 1999 and the cost will go up again this year due to new

The $5 fee will be fixed for ten years and it can't be renewed without voter
approval. The money generated by the fee will go to a dedicated fund which
will be overseen by a citizen's committee appointed by the city. Every city
in North County charges a clean water fee, but the Encinitas fee was the
only one met with a lawsuit. Don't be fooled by the opponents of Prop C.
They're fighting an uphill battle and running a dirty campaign that is an
insult to the intelligence of Encinitas residents who are smart enough to
cut through the smoke and mirrors. Vote yes on Prop C.

Steve Aceti
Encinitas Citizens for a Clean Ocean

1133 Second Street, Suite G
(760) 944-3564
(760) 944-7852 fax


  1. Ok. Time for discussion. Steve Aceti is a paid lobbyist for 35 cities and 6 or 7 counties. Hardly an impartial representative of the opposition. The address that he is using is the address of the California Coastal Coalition, the government group he represents in his other job as pushing the government agenda of sand on the beach, etc. Sand on the beach is one thing, but when he starts maligning taxpayers who are being taken to the cleaners by the insideous and devious misleading information given out by the city of Encinitas, the line is drawn. What does Steve Aceti get out of a million plus dollars tax increase on the Encinitas property owners? Perhaps an increase in salary or just job security. Does he live in Encinitas? Probably not. Encinitas tax dollars as well as other cities' taxes are used to fund the California Coastal Coalition. Membership doesn't come cheap.
    Why would anyone add their name to such a sleazy campaign that is being run by the city of Encinitas under the guise of a separate citizen team?

  2. Steve Aceti is also the guy throwing around the idea of parking meters in downtown Encinitas. Dude, stop trying to "help" us, sheesh.

  3. Aceti is pot calling kettle blackJanuary 23, 2006 11:31 PM

    I really appreciated all of the different commentaries at the last City Council Meeting on the 19th. Ugh!! Steve Aceti was the only one speaking in favor of Prop. C. Oh yes, he claims he represents the silent majority. I'll say they're silent!!

    Steve Aceti and the City are too busy patting itself and each other on the back to think about what is right and fair.

    We just got our ballot in the mail this afternoon. As was stated, this ballot is patently unfair. No oppositional material was allowed to be included. On the front of the ballot, it states the assessment will be $5 per month per water meter. On the back, under ballot procedures, #11, the ballot states, clearly, “Each parcel upon which the fee is to be imposed has one (1) vote.”

    The black and white ballot statements do not jive with what was stated at the 1/19/06 Council Meeting, Also, the article in the NCT by Adam Kaye, states, “The city will not count the ballots it receives for city-owned property, said Kerry Miller, city manager.” What does this mean? Someone else will tally those votes? Or that no one will include them in the tally? Was postage paid for these to be mailed out, uselessly, at taxpayers’ expense?

    I researched the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. vs. City of Salinas lawsuit of 2002, that Muni guy kept referring to.

    To me, it seems clear the law requires the vote to be held by either a majority of the affected property owners, or a 2/3 majority of the residents of the affected property, the subject property. Also this law, a Calif. Constitutional Amendment, is to be liberally construed as limiting the local government’s taxing abilities, and "enhancing taxpayer consent."

    In this case a vote is taking place. What is being absolutely misrepresented is which properties are affected, and whether or not the taxpayers of those properties, specifically are giving their consent. To me, affected would mean those parcel owners that are required to pay the tax, now.

    To say that any parcel owner may sometime in the future be subject to the tax is disingenuous, to say the least. Dishonest would be more accurate. It is Steve Aceti, the City Attorneys and the City Manager that are not being honest and open with the taxpayers. They are slandering our integrity for standing up to our property and civil voting rights. We do not deserve to be lied to, manipulated by pictures, or tricked.

    Encinitas Taxpayers Association, and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, would sure have an interest in taking this back to court, if necessary because of the unclear, deceiving ballot language and the very clear language of the California Constitutional Amendment that says the vote would be of the affected property owners, or 2/3 of the residents of the affected property.

    Steve Aceti, you are a poser and a brown-noser.

  4. Steve, while you are answering questions, answer me these.

    1)You call yourself an attorney and I hear that you represent the Self Realizers but there is no record of lawyer status with the California Bar Assoc. Whats up with that?

    2)Where do you live and how many parcels of land do you own that will be subect to this tax?

    3)Does DEMA get city funding?

    4)What will you say to those that can't afford designer coffee or a new tax? Maybe the seniors that live on a retirement check that does not get adjusted every time the city needs dough for pay increases?

    5)What happened to Frank Dudek? He was listed as one of the 3 people that volunteered to head the YES on a new tax. He, of course, counts on the city for many of his contracts and has a big horse in the race if he wants to see more work from Kerry.

    Here is some advise... Ask Kerry to play the banjo music during your next "strategy session". It will make bending over a more pleasant experience.

  5. J.P.
    Please leave this topic up for a day or two. This is great stuff.

  6. Sometimes responding to someone gives them more credibility than they deserve but I can't resist.

    It's just too easy to accuse the Encinitas Taxpayers Association of "misinformation" and "manufactured quotes" without backing up that statement with examples and proof. In politics thats called a "drive by" whereby someone slows down just long enough to lob an accusation, then speeds off. That does not require much thought.

    I did not see Steve at the city council meeting where Stocks and Guerin made the statements that we quoted, but he can pick up a copy of the tape at the city. Darn those microphones, but its public record and they were made in the context of the clean water discussion.

    Steve did get it right when he stated that clean water is "vital to our local economy", and is certainly correct that it is "not voluntary". That is why the city has been complying with all mandated clean water regulations since at least 2001, paid for by our current property taxes. Thank you for making our point!

    Steve shows his cards a bit when he says that $5 a month is a small price to pay to "make sure that there is room in the general fund for capital projects like a new library". Thank you again for punctuating our argument! If the city needs more money in the general fund, what is wrong with leveling with the voters and complying with a prop 13 mandated 2/3 vote? What is wrong with basic honesty about the need for a property tax increase if there indeed is one? Why has the city diguised a new tax in a pretty little box called "clean water", tied a bow around it, and called it a fee?

    Steve says that the opposition group is comprised of just a few folks and that we have an "uphill battle" We heard that same comment in the struggle to defeat prop A.

    Just one more thing Steve. On your web site I hit the button advertising EDITORIALS and found just a few letters to the editor. May I point to the fact that both the Union Tribune AND the North County times have editorialized on this topic. Those editorials are full of facts and might look great on your site. Credibility.

  7. Yard without a signJanuary 24, 2006 11:59 AM

    Monday, January 23rd, in a shocking display of power, Kerry Miller ordered three different departments to send out teams to remove all Vote NO on C signs. These signs disappeared from the city... even many from private property. One woman called city hall and complained that her sign had been removed from her private property and her sign was returned to her. Talk about admission of guilt!

    There is a seige mentality in this city. It's them against us. They are determined to get what they want.

    There is no level playing field and they know it. They have the money, the city employees and council members writing editorials. And this from a city who by state law is to take no active part either for or against a ballot measure.

    Is this the United States or what?

    There are so many illegal acts adding up that there can be no possible outcome but a lawsuit

  8. how long has this city been out of control?

  9. SHILL
    Self interested promoter: Somebody who promotes somebody else or makes a sales pitch for something for reasons of self-interest.
    To act as a shill for a deceitful enterprise.

  10. This from a guy that doesn't even live in Encinitas. He is also on the City Payroll. Who does he think he is? Not only does he bring disrespect on himself with his self serving attitude. He brings disrespect on the surfrider foundation and brings into question all the motives od their positions..

  11. So if clean beaches are so vital to our economy -- How about designating some of the Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) dollars to this Clean Water Fund? The city already does this for sand replenishment.

    And what happens to the fines paid by people caught illegally dumping stuff in the storm drains? My guess is that the polluters are not fined -- don't want to upset the flower growers and the councilmember's campaign supporters.

    And what does the city currently spend property taxes on? With the recent increase in property values and the rash of mansionization -- the city should have seen a nice increase. Where did that money go?

    Prop C is not about clean water -- it's about clean government.

  12. So if clean beaches are so vital to our economy -- How about designating some of the Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) dollars to this Clean Water Fund? The city already does this for sand replenishment.

    And what happens to the fines paid by people caught illegally dumping stuff in the storm drains? My guess is that the polluters are not fined -- don't want to upset the flower growers and the councilmember's campaign supporters.

    And what does the city currently spend property taxes on? With the recent increase in property values and the rash of mansionization -- the city should have seen a nice increase. Where did that money go?

    Prop C is not about clean water -- it's about clean government.

  13. Boy, there are a lot of people named "anonymous" in this city.


  14. How's your law practice, Steve?

  15. insert clever name hereJanuary 26, 2006 7:43 AM

    Steve, because you live in Carlsbad what is your opinion of the city trying to declare the Ponto area blighted and using eminent domain on the families that have lived there for decades?
    I want your real opinion from your heart and not whatever opinion will make you a paycheck.

  16. Gilbert FoersterJanuary 26, 2006 7:44 PM

    In the interest of balance I guess I am forced to respond and use my real name. Yes Steve, the Clean Water Program is not a voluntary program. It is a very necessary and valuable effort to clean our waters and the city is to be lauded for the effort and accomplishemnts that have been made since it's inception. I swim in the coastal waters, I fish in the coastal waters just as my family has done in California since 1886. In the old days you could drink from our springs and eat the fish caught from the shore. At one time the residents of encinitas obtained some of their water from the springs on crest drive that were feed by the watershed east of the crest drive springs. For those of you who have lived here for any length of time you may remember the two water tanks that used to be located on Santa Fe Dr. One where part of park place now resides and the other accross fron the 7/11. There is NO QUESTION that all of us want clean water. It is the unique gift that earth has that separates us from other twinkling lights in the sky. BUT...if this precious resource is as valuable as I believe it is, why is this an unfunded mandate of the state and federal government. Where are the dollars that should be coming from our government bodies to help communities clean and mainain this valuable resource. If the federal government would purchase one or two fewer B-1 bombers think how much that money could contribute to clean coastal waters. If our state was not required to hold special elections to replace tainted politicians think how much that money could do. As the son and grandson of lawyers(Morrison & Foerster)I am shudder, if I were a lawyer and lobbyist as you apparently are, why are you not working to get some of the unfunded mandates imposed upon the citizens funded. Yes, the cost of the Clean Water Act is going to keep increasing, NOW is the time for the citizens to say "Our community supports clean water BUT the cost of the program will certainly outstrip the coastal communities ability to pay at some point and our representatives need to address this NOW!! Every coastal community in California should be banding together and demanding that mandated programs be funded by someone other than the residents of the coastal communities. The fact that Encinitas is the only city or the first city to balk at this unfunded program and the source of the first lawsuit is not something to be embarrassed about it is something to celebrate. "We are sick and tired of unfunded mandates and we are not going to take it any more" should be a cry that echos across our state and nation until our legislators sit up and take notice. Judging from this and previous campaigns those in power are either afraid or unwilling to rock the boat.
    Hopefully the citizens of Encinitas are intelligent enough to see through all the double-talk and ROCK THE BOAT!! Vote NO on C!!

  17. Steve,
    As has been raised by others who have posted their thoughts here, I am curious about your claims to be an attorney. A consultation of the California State Bar shows no indication that you are a member. Perhaps you have the education, but not the certification. That's your business, but if you aren't a member of the Bar, why not? Or are you registered in another state?
    You see, my reason for asking is not just out of idle curiosity. It goes to the very heart of this Prop C issue because it speaks to your credibility and to whether anyone should take you seriously.
    You are welcome to say whatever you like, but if you choose something other than the truth, you deserve to be ratted out.
    I trust you will have the self-respect to respond to my query here where all may be informed about this matter.
    And if you choose not to reply, I hope JP would take that as an admission that you are not who, or what, you say you are and that he would take the initiative to either remove your comment entirely -- or preface it with a suitable disclaimer to the effect that the credibility of the author has publicly been shown to be absent.

  18. Evermore, anonymous and others who'd rather deal in rumors and conspiracies instead of discussing the merits of Prop C:

    I "don't claim to be an attorney," so I'm not sure what the deal is with that. Dig all you want for personal information about me. If you dig far enough, you'll find out I am president of DEMA and have been a DEMA board member for 8 or so years (I hope you filled out the survey we circulated to find out what people in town thought should be donw to create more parking downtown). I fought with others in town (including some of Prop C's oppnents)to stop NCDT from double-tracking Encinitas; I fought to stop the U.S. Postal Service from closing the downtown post office; I co-chaired Citizens for Sand, which campaigned for and helped pass Prop R, which raised the city's TOT to create a dedicated fund for beach restoration. That fund now has more than $1.5 million dollars, which has been helping the city pay the non-federal share of an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project that will restore our beaches. I helped pass 4 statewide parks and water bonds (Props 12, 13, 40 and 50) and I helped write AB 64 (Ducheny), which created the state's first beach restoration program in 1999. Last year, my non-profit organization was the co-sponsor of a bill that would have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for coastal projects and could have helped cities pay for clean water programs - except the Governator vetoed it. What have y'all done lately?

  19. Now it is your non-profit organization. My, my, Steve, aren't you a busy little bee that takes credit for money provided by the taxpayers of all the cities your organization represents. Have you told the elected officials that they are just window dressing for your organization? What would happen if all the cities and counties that pay into your organization pull out of your organization? How much taxpayers money would be left to run your organization? Your board of directors is make up of elected officials. Doesn't sound as if you have much in the way of deciding or demanding who serves on your board.

    As for prop c, your organization is a public funded organization. Public money is being used against the Encinitas taxpayers to ensure a yes vote for more taxes. Toot you horn when you put in all the money yourself, and stop using the public provided office for your campaign for more taxes.

  20. Steve doesn't claim to be an attorney, but he uses J.D. after his name. Is that the same as using esquire after a name? Maybe he should tell those law firms that he doesn't claim to be an attorney.

  21. Steve Aceti,

    We have been busy raising our families, trying to make ends meet, and fighting for honest, open government, that gives everyone equal protection under the law, does not cater to those who are "connected," at the expense of the little guy.

    Who are you to stand in judgment of any of us? Since you do not live here, you will not be subject to this fee. The businesses are the ones making up to $40 million, annually, on your promotion of our recreational areas.

    Personally, I think there's too much sand at Stone Steps now. The whole bottom part of the stairs are covered. People are welcome to come here, to enjoy. But the fact remains, some of our beaches used to be primarily for locals, for surfers.

    You can pat yourself on your back all you want. You are doing a job, that you get well paid to do.

    DEMA gets funding from the City of Encinitas, does it not? You are not an independent proponent of Prop C. You are a paid "go-fer." And that is putting it kindly.

    No on C, for Victory.

  22. The TOT for sand was for sand on the beach, not for reports.

  23. So much whining. I'm done corresponding with people who hide behind "anonymous" and other tags.

    Over and out.

  24. The reality is that the vast majority of people voting on prop C are anonymous. Is calling them whiners part of your strategy?

  25. "I'm gonna take my ball and go hoooome!!!"

    Since this blog offers an "anonymous" option, I see no conflict. Steve is one of those guys who likes to pick the fly poop out of the pepper. He's not reading the words, he's trying to dicredit, thereby derailing the argument. This a blog, sir. Grow some wood and take it like a man.

  26. Steve,
    I'm wondering how you were so easily duped into believing the best way to pay for compliance with the Clean Water Act is to tax only property owners who have active water meters. And why did you so easily buy the proposition that all assessed water meters should pay the same amount, without weighting to represent their contribution to the water that needs to be 'cleaned'? And why was it so easy for you to overlook the leading wording of the survey that told you clean water is an important issue to the residents of Encinitas and then spin that into overwhelming support for an unjustified tax? The bottom line is that the City has spun the data to support their motives and you've jumped on board to create the impression that this additional tax is a good idea. Trying to sell this lemon is the equivalent of duping unsuspecting old folks out of their retirement money. You should be ashamed of your duplicitous behavior concerning your support of Prop C. Do me a favor, stop telling City Council what I want and need. You've shown an amazing capacity for being played for a patsy.


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