Wednesday, February 01, 2006

E-Mail From Steve Aceti


Prop C Opponents are Crying Wolf

In their ongoing effort to distract voters from the merits of the clean water ballot measure known as Prop C, leaders of the Encinitas Taxpayers Association made a lot of noise last week about being "duped" by city staff about who ballots would be mailed to. The ETA is so caught up in their own propaganda that they forgot about the paper trail at City Hall which refutes their claims as to what they requested from the city and when. An ETA member told the Coast News last week that he didn't file a written record request and that it's his word against the city's. Not so.

Take a look at the December 6 public record request that same ETA member filed with the city clerk asking for a disk of persons selected to pay the proposed water meter tax. That was the wrong list to ask for if the ETA wanted the list of people to whom ballots were being mailed. On December 27, the ETA finally got around to asking the city for the right list. Rather than admit its own mistakes, however, the ETA has chosen to blame others. That's not very mature, but it is consistent with the ETA's approach to campaigning so far.

Why did everyone else in the city know who was going to receive ballots except the ETA? A newspaper article published in mid- November, the city's Dec. 1 public hearing notice and a Dec. 14 city staff report all said that ballots would be mailed to "property owners" if the Council approved Prop C. Community activist Donna Westbrook knew which list to ask for on Dec. 1, so what was the ETAs problem?

So, did the city dupe the ETA, or is the ETA trying to dupe the voters? Are they the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight, or is this all a deliberate effort to make the city look bad when it's trying to do something good?

If they can falsely claim to this newspaper that there are no written records to establish what they asked for and when, what else have they told the voters that isn't true?

Steve Aceti
Co-Chair
Encinitas Citizens for a Clean Ocean
yesonpropc.org

KLF Blogger's take: all this talk of who disclosed what and who is paying who makes my eyes glaze over in severe boredom in all honesty. Forget the minutiae and let's use Occam's Razor to figure out this Prop C thing. It cost $3.5 million a year to run the clean water stormdrain runoff program. That sounds like a pretty reasonable amount of money to me to come out of the general fund. No need for a new tax. I endorse a NO vote on C. After March 7th I am going to have to battle Mr. Aceti on parking meters. It will be a cold day in Hell when a quarter slips from my fingers into an Encinitas parking meter.

51 comments:

  1. Steve Aceti isn't talking about the public money being used for the yesonpropc campaign. How does he get away with using the California Coastal Coalition office, paid for with public money, for his yesonproc group? Steve won't answer that question. Did the cities that belong to the coalition approve of the public use of funds? Pull out the finance sheet on the coastal coalition, Steve, so everyone can see how honest you are. Let everyone know which cities contribute to the California Coastal Coalition.

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  2. Maybe it's time for Steve Aceti to go home to Carlsbad and spend his time helping that city justify their illegal storm water runoff fee as hazardous waste.

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  3. No parking meters. No! No!

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  4. high on printing fumesFebruary 02, 2006 5:26 AM

    Steve .... Are you getting lonely out there?


    Your meetings must be a blast with a Carlsbad lawyer and the dude from Moonlight silk screening.
    If you let me come, I'll bring the salsa from your home ... New York City.

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  5. Asking for the wrong mailing list (more than once) when others got it right, then blaming the city for its mistakes ...

    saying there is no written record of said erroneous requests, when there is ...

    using a city-produced photo on its website, then taking it down and sicking the press on ECCO for using the same photo ...

    trying to make an issue out of campaign disclosure statements when there isn't one ...

    yelling at elected officals and making a spectacle of themselves on cable TV ...

    Guys - is the ETA really the best flag-bearer for your cause? The desparate nature of their campaign and their simpleton tricks are obvious and the public is picking up on it based on the e-mails and phone calls we're receiving. The collective IQ in town is very high and people here have a good nose for the truth.

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  6. Angela Lau, the U.T. crack investigative reporter had a great article today. She disclosed that Aceti is running the campaign with his CREDIT CARD. No wonder he doesn't want to file a disclosure ... Diners Club would cancel the card. So much for all of those contributors.

    She also published the final numbers for prop A. Looks good for the ETA.

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  7. CON ARTIST
    informal.
    1. a person adept at lying, cajoling, or glib self-serving talk.
    2. a person adept at swindling.
    syn.
    a con man, swindler, scammer, sharpie

    DESPERATE
    a.
    Beyond hope, irretrievable.
    a.
    wanting or needing something very much.
    syn.
    Frantic, wild
    n.
    One desperate or hopeless

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  8. Yeah, u-t subscriber, ground-breaking stuff. A whopping $184 on my CREDIT CARD for wooden stakes and staples from Home Depot. Lots of intrigue there.

    Said crack investigative reporter also pointed out that ECCO didn't receive any contributions during the last reporting period, so there was nothing to file by the January 31 deadline. The next deadline is July 31 and I'm sure that's the date the ETA will file its statement for the current reporting period. We'll file ours before that if the law permits.

    Neither the U-T nor the NC Times printed all the information we provided them about our finances, so here it is:

    ECCO has collected roughly $6,000 since early January, all of it from local residents and small businesses - no money has been received from outside Encinitas. Can the ETA make that claim? The majority of checks we have received are for $100 or less. We have used that money for a mailer (the design was donated and we got a deal on the printing), a website (designed by a friend of mine at cut rates - no invoice yet) and signs (donated by a local printer). Oh yeah, and the committee will owe me for more wooden stakes and staples because we're posting more signs around town this week.

    Steve Aceti
    Co-Chair
    Encinitas Citizens for a Clean Ocean
    www.yesonpropc.org

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  9. The ballots were to be sent to those property owners who had an active water meter on the property because they would be the ones charged with the fee. If the property had an active meter, the owner would be charged the fee. No active water meter, there's no charge on the property.

    Why would the city pull a switch on voters and give property owners, who don't have active meters and who won't pay the fee, a ballot to vote the fee on another property? Why would every parcel in Encinitas be given a vote if many of those properties won't be charged the fee?

    Steve Aceti doesn't seem concerned about the vote switch.

    City did a bait and switch. Steve's defending the city and championing their moves.

    Steve, answer the question about public money being used for the yesonpropc campaign. Why is the California Coastal Coalition governmental board of directors allowing you to use the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign?

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  10. j.p. - let's take the razor analogy even further - it's $5 per month.

    Switching hats:

    On parking, the survey says ...

    DEMA is almost done tabulating the results of the survey we sent to downtown residents and businesses last fall and the lack of parking is mentioned as the number one problem. As I explained to you in an e-mail message a few weeks ago, I never advocated for parking meters, but we (DEMA) included that in the survey, along with re-starting negotiations on Lot B (NCTD property) and other alternatives to make sure we found out what downtown wants and doesn't want. The majority of people who responded to the survey want enforcement of the two-hour limit (without meters)and construction of parking spaces at Lot B (which the city and NCTD have started to re-negotiate at the request of DEMA's and the Encinitas Chamber). DEMA will recommend that a public workshop be held on parking enforcement and, if the public still supports that concept, DEMA and the city will partner on hiring a part-time person to enforce the two-hour limit.

    Steve Aceti
    DEMA President

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  11. Steve's switching hats on the issue of the yesonpropc campaign to the parking meters downtown.

    Steve, answer the question about public money being used for the yesonpropc campaign. Why is the California Coastal Coalition governmental board of directors allowing you to use the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign?

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  12. Hers is another interesting wrinkle -- I live in a 24 unit townhouse project in Cardiff. We have three water meters. According to Alice Gonzales, city staff member, if Prop C passes we will not be billed $5 per month on our property tax bill but our property management company would be billed $15 a month. (However, she noted that they don't know how they are going to do that yet) So we get 24 votes for only three meters. Seems a little un-fair to property owners with one meter since this would only cost us .65 cents a month but other property owners $5.00. What happen to one meter one vote?

    Sounds like the city is just making this up as they go.

    Keeping Tab on city hall

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  13. Steve said ," Guys - is the ETA really the best flag-bearer for your cause? The desparate nature of their campaign and their simpleton tricks are obvious and the public is picking up on it based on the e-mails and phone calls we're receiving. The collective IQ in town is very high and people here have a good nose for the truth. "

    the collective IQ in this town did pretty well on the Ecke Ranch vote and if this had been put to a normal vote i'm sure we would shut down this new tax. With all the shananigans i'm not so sure.

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  14. anonymous - You're making the same error the ETA made. There was no bait and switch - just a miscalculation by the ETA or a calculated effort to manufacture and issue they could run to the press with.

    Angela Lau, U-T reporter who was lauded for her investigative skills in today's entry by "u-t subscriber," reported last November that ballots would be mailed to "property owners."

    The city's Dec 1 Public Hearing Notice was accompanied by a fact sheet that said the ballot would be mailed to "property owners." That same day, Donna Westbrook found out that the notice was mailed to all 22,000 property owners because she requested a copy of the list.

    A Decmber 14 staff report stated that ballots would be mailed to "property owners." Why, then did the ETA file a written public record request for a list of people who had water meters? (the existence of which they denied because they knew it would disprove their claim in the Coast News that they were duped).

    The lists the ETA received in response to its misguided request contained 17,000 addresses. Why, then, did they only send out 9,000 mailers? Clearly that was an economic decision on their part, but they tried to make this look like they were misled by the city.

    You want to talk about "bait and switch?" What about the ETA pulling a city-produced photo from its website, then crying wolf to local reporters about the use of a city-produced photo on ECCO's mailer?

    You can get sidetracked with a lot of personal issues that have nothing to do with the campaign, but it's interesting that no one seems to want to comment on the ETA's dirty tricks and attempts tp blame others for their errors in judgment.

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  15. Steve Aceti's entries are like the city's sewage spills- full of it.

    Steve, answer the question about public money being used for the yesonpropc campaign. Why is the California Coastal Coalition governmental board of directors allowing you to use the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign?

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  16. anonymous - go to www.calcoast.org and you'll see that CalCoast has private and public members.

    You have blinders on when it comes to the ETA and its ethics (or lack of). It's fitting that today is Ground Hog Day.

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  17. Steve, you didn't answer the question.

    Steve, answer the question about public money being used for the yesonpropc campaign. Why is the California Coastal Coalition governmental board of directors allowing you to use the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign?

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  18. Steve,

    Yes on C will improve water quality. That's the idea, right? Can you explain what mechanisms are being instituted by Prop C that will give us these improvements?

    What services or infrastructure do we get?

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  19. Yes, Steve, tell everyone what the city will give them for the illegal fee charge.

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  20. anonymous - maybe this will put this non-issue to rest.

    CalCoast is a 501(c)(4)non-profit corporation that receives its revenue from dues (public and private), conferences (see www.coastalconference.org) and private grants. No public money is being spent on the campaign to pass Prop C and no CalCoast money is being spent on the campaign.

    The same applied to my work on Prop R, which passed by 70% or more several years ago, and is helping the city restore local beaches.

    The answers to your questions about what the fee will help pay for are posted at www.yesonpropc.org.

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  21. Even better, go to Aceti's post a week or so ago where he say's that the proposed fee will help fatten the general fund so that the library might move forward. Even Steve knows that prop C has nothing to do with clean water. He is trying hard to save face, but not doing a very goon job of it.

    Merriam Webster got it right.

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  22. Steve, so your answer is: Yes, the California Coastal Coalition governmental board of directors is allowing you to use the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign. The calcoast.org website board of directors lists council members from five different cities (San Clemente, Carlsbad, Long Beach, Ventura, Santa Cruz) and County Supervisors from five different counties (Orange County, Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and San Diego County). Supervisor Pam Slater-Price is the Chairperson.

    There are no board minutes on your website. Could people contact the various board members about the use of the public funded office for the yesonpropc campaign and when the board voted to allow it?

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  23. If proposition c passes there will many more of these 'only $5 a month' deals.

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  24. steve,

    I went to the site. Seems like we are doing that stuff already. I want to read the part in PROP C that indicates exactly what new services we are promised. Everyone keeps saying we won't get any new services.

    How about an example?

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  25. Steve's site says what the clean water program does, and confuses this with what Prop C does (or I should say doesn't do).

    There is a huge distinction. The fact that Steve doesn't seem inclinded to seperate the two is what has caused so many people to wonder what the hell is going on.

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  26. My CLEAN WATER PLAN is to keep greasy haired consultants out of the rain.

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  27. The city's 2006 NPDES permit will require it to do more than it is currently doing under its Clean Water Program, so the cost of the program will increase.

    People aren't paying twice: most of the property tax collected by the county goes to the state. This is something that Gov. Wilson started back in the day to reduce the state's deficit and it's never been fixed. Cities have been left with sales tax to operate, so to say people would be paying twice for the same service isn't inaccurate.

    I'm not using CalCoast's office - CalCoast is using mine, rent free.

    I still find it interesting that no one wants to comment on the fact that (1) the ETA asked for the wrong mailing list in mid-December when Donna Westbrook was smart enough to ask for the right one (2)to cover its mistake, the ETA lied to the Coast News about whether or not it had filed a written public record request (it did), thus enabling the ETA to claim it as "duped" by the city when it wasn't and (3) the ETA took a city-produced photo off its website, then cried to the local press about the same photo being used in an ETA mailer.

    You all have strong opinions on a variety of subjects, but when it comes to the ETA, its mistakes, twisting of facts and unethical behavior/dirty tricks, it's all good, right?

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  28. Steve's the executive director of California Coastal Coalition. How much in salary do they pay you, Steve? Or is it called something else?

    You get paid with public money, but you say Calcoast doesn't pay for the office. You're letting them use it for free. Sounds like a ponzi scheme. Pull out the financial report, budget, and list of contributors for the Calfornia Coastal Coalition. It's time to show in black and white just how much public money you get, and where it goes.

    Pull out the financial report, budget, and list of contributors and give it to the city clerk's office.

    Are you afraid to make the organization's financial report, budget, and list of contributors available to the Encinitas voters?

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  29. Steve,

    1) Did cal coast lobby for or against the NPDES changes?

    2) Will the City comply with the NPDES requirements if Prop C doesn't pass? If you say yes, then how can you argue that Prop C is about clean water. It is about revenue.

    The "program" is paid for now, so "we" would be paying twice? Is that the idea?

    comment: anyone knowingly or negligently spreading deceptive info is no good. There is enough screwed up stuff in this City that making stuff up only distracts from the real deal... so if you are out there making stuff up, stop it. (did you?)

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  30. anonymous - you like to ask a lot of questions, but you don't seem to want to answer any.

    Answer these:

    1. Do you think it was ethical (or manly) for the ETA to ask the city for the wrong mailing list and then cry about being "duped" by the city when the city sent the ETA exactly what it requested?

    2. Do you think it was ethical for an ETA "leader" to deny to the Coast News that he had filed a written public record request for said wrong list when one actually existed (I have a copy of it Bob)?

    3. Do you think it was ethical for the ETA to post a city-produced photo on its home page, then take it down and complain to the local press about the same photo being used in an ECCO mailer?

    4. If Prop C doesn't pass (it will, but let's just say for the sake of argument it doesn't) and the city has to start cutting costs, would you be in favor of handing lifeguard and maintenance duties for local beaches back to State Parks?

    I look forward to your responses. johnny taco, carpetbagger, etal. - feel free to weigh-in.

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  31. ANSWERS

    1. Do you think it was ethical (or manly) for the ETA to ask the city for the wrong mailing list and then cry about being "duped" by the city when the city sent the ETA exactly what it requested?

    As stated. Unethical.

    2. Do you think it was ethical for an ETA "leader" to deny to the Coast News that he had filed a written public record request for said wrong list when one actually existed (I have a copy of it Bob)?

    Yes

    3. Do you think it was ethical for the ETA to post a city-produced photo on its home page, then take it down and complain to the local press about the same photo being used in an ECCO mailer?

    Yes

    4. If Prop C doesn't pass (it will, but let's just say for the sake of argument it doesn't) and the city has to start cutting costs, would you be in favor of handing lifeguard and maintenance duties for local beaches back to State Parks?

    Excuse me, Prop C says something about giving local beachs back to state parks? Is that the stated position of the City? ...and the answer is maybe. But, I seriously doubt that we won't give up stuff like an art director before we do that.

    NOW, answer my questions. You are the person that took on responsibility of informing the public, not us.

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  32. yes means unethical

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  33. For starters, the city officials could give back to the clean water program the $10,000 they spent on the citizen survey to make the city officials feel warm and cozy. And give back the $10,000 they will spend every other year for the the warm and cozy survey.

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  34. anonymous,

    CalCoast supported the bill by then-Assemblymember Howard Wayne (AB 411) that gave California the toughest clean water law in the U.S. It was known as the "Public-Right-to Know Law" because it not only required cities and counties to test the water, but also to let the public know when the water wasn't healthy. As with a lot of state-mandated programs, though, this one came without any funding for the locals to carry it out.

    CalCoast has nothing to do with NPDES permits. Those are issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board and they set the conditions. We don't lobby for or against what goes into a permit issued to a city or county.

    The City will be required by law to comply with the NPDES requirements even if Prop C doesn't pass. I have said since the first council meeting last fall that this is about the quality of in town. If the city has to pay for a clean water program, the cost of which keeps going up, something else has to give. What that would be is anyone's guess, but all-around, but the city looks better than it did 10 years ago and I would hate to go backwards. I lived in LA for a time and it's not cool to go to a park and see crappy or broken equipment, if there's any equipment left at all.

    It's not a case of paying twice for the same thing. It's paying a portion of the cost of one program so other programs can be continued or implemented.

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  35. No, Steve, it is about paying twice. The general fund is already paying for the program. The council wants to tax property owners to cover the increases in city employees salaries and the increases in their pensions. The city council made the decision to increase payroll and benefit expenses without regard for the cost.

    You don't live here. You don't pay taxes here. You are also getting public money that you haven't revealed in a public statement.

    Steve's the executive director of California Coastal Coalition. How much in salary do they pay you, Steve? Or is it called something else?

    You get paid with public money, but you say Calcoast doesn't pay for the office. You're letting them use it for free. Sounds like a ponzi scheme. Pull out the financial report, budget, and list of contributors for the Calfornia Coastal Coalition. It's time to show in black and white just how much public money you get, and where it goes.

    Pull out the financial report, budget, and list of contributors and give it to the city clerk's office.

    Are you afraid to make the organization's financial report, budget, and list of contributors available to the Encinitas voters?

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  36. Steve wrote, "It's paying a portion of the cost of one program so other programs can be continued or implemented."

    That's the point.

    That's why the signs say don't be fooled. The Council and your efforts don't pitch that as the issue. It is being pitched as a fee to make the water clean instead. Do you think that is ethical?

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  37. Most cities in San Diego County don't have voter approval of the clean water fees. The yesonpropc mailer doesn't give this fact. Is it ethical for the yesonpropc committee to mislead the Encinitas voters into believing that voters in other cities approved the same type of fee?

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  38. Other cities were able to collect clean water fees without getting sued by groups like the Jarvis bunch that acts like the guardian of taxpayer money, then profits from suing local governments around the state.

    When Encinitas originally passed the clean water fee, usual hearing process was followed and the public supported the fee. A majority of the fee still supports the fee.

    The city should never have been put through an expensive lawsuit and the cost of a special election that it was required to hold as part of the settlement.

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  39. typos corrected and more info added:

    Other cities have been able to collect clean water fees without getting sued by groups like the Jarvis bunch that acts like the guardian of taxpayer money, then profits from suing local governments around the state.

    When Encinitas originally passed the clean water fee, the usual hearing process was followed and the public supported the fee. A majority of the public still supports the fee.

    The city should never have been put through an expensive lawsuit and the cost of a special election that it was required to hold as part of the settlement.

    Listen to a CD of the hearing the city held a couple of years ago and you'll hear Bob Bonde himself recommend that the city base the fee on water meters.

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  40. Gee, Steve Aceti is showing his true colors. Let's see, Steve thinks it ok for cities to collect illegal fees as long as the cities aren't caught. Doesn't that go against the ethics classes taught in law school?

    The growers complained about the proposed graduated fee. The council was already leaning towards a flat fee.

    The council disrespected the rights of the Encinitas property owners. Blame the council.

    Ever hear of a nexxus?

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  41. typo correction -
    nexus

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  42. The fact that a person or entity is sued, doesn't mean that the case has merit. The lawsuit against Encinitas was settled, so maybe the Jarvis "crusaders" didn't think they had a good case.

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  43. Steve Don't forget this question,

    Q1:
    "Steve wrote, "It's paying a portion of the cost of one program so other programs can be continued or implemented."

    That's the point.

    That's why the signs say don't be fooled. The Council and your efforts don't pitch that as the issue. It is being pitched as a fee to make the water clean instead. Do you think that is ethical?"

    Additional question,

    Q2:

    Are you saying that the Jarvis Taxpayers association's case had no merit? Or, is that a distraction comment?

    If it was without merit, was it worth it from a cost analysis standpoint to give in to a meritless suite?

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  44. Steve Aceti inverts the truth again. The question is not why the "tax crusaders" agreed to settle the lawsuit, but why the city agreed. After all the city has deep pockets. The answer is that they knew they could not win. Previous case law had already shown this. The city agreed to stop collecting the illegal fee and to hold an expensive special election. They also spent a tenth of a million dollars to skew a survey to try to influence the election. This sounds like a loss for the city. The "tax crusaders" got what they wanted with almost no cost. This sounds like a win for the "tax crusaders."

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  45. Yes, "Hail the tax crusaders." Prop C will win and this whole thing will have been a big waste of taxpayer money.

    Except for the Encinitas Taxpayers Association, which is using Prop C to launch one or more candidates for this fall's City Council election. By then, though, they will have turned off enough voters to not make a difference.

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  46. I give Aceti credit for posting here and sticking up for himself.

    Somebody has to run for council this year, but who?

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  47. Of course Steve Aceti will run. He has all the attributes of a small town politician, an Enron corporate mentality, a raspberry to the taxpayers, and an ego bigger than outer space.

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  48. One more post and this epic page of 45 comments leaves the front page and goes into the archives.

    Oh well...

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  49. Good night, and good luck.
    --Edward R. Murrow

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  50. How comes that nobody is asking the right questions?
    The issue is not where Mr. Aceti lives, but who is he working for?
    Mr. Aceti lives in Carlsbad (1258 Plumb Tree Road), a 5 bedrooms BIG A.. house overlooking the ocean paid by all kinds of misused money. I just went to drop off some papers to his "Home-office"

    Do you know that a big chunk of the donation that you deposit every Sunday in SRF basket goes directly to his pocket? Yes, Mr. Aceti not only makes money as a consultant for the city but he actually is and has been full time employee of the Self realization Fellowship Church for more than 8 years. That’s why Calcoast is located at 1133 Second Street, Ste G, building owned by SRF. Check your public records and internet info.

    The church hired him to get an edge over other coastal property owners!
    While everybody has the need to protect their property front from the erosion, SRF has gone to the extreme of illegally hiring Mr. Aceti as a lawyer to do whatever legal or illegal maneuvers needs to be done to reinforce and maintain the sea wall/ revetment at the bottom of the cliff, to protect the temple at any expense, Who cares!!
    Oh, …..The experts sayd that there is not a better way to protect the property but to put a bunch of sand in front of it, no matter if this causes erosion to the neighbors, is screwing up the surf, or kills a bunch of fishes on the reefs. Who cares!!

    Oh, but…. there is a little problem. Sand is expensive, so go ahead Mr. Aceti, please have this suckers of Encinitas to pay for it.
    - Actually, have all the suckers that visit Encinitas to pay for it.
    And there he goes and passes prop 16 (TOT) increasing overnight occupancy taxes to pay for putting more sand on the beach…. in front of the church please…. .

    I can believe it work, So why not?... lets hit this suckers again, now with prop C.
    I disbelieve the church will do things like this.
    Perhaps just a couple rotten apples from within got greedy and decided to sell out to the dark side.

    I can’t believe they would even bother to hire a real lawyer. Mr. Aceti is not even licensed to practice law in CA. I did a search in the CA Bar and he is not listed, he is listed in New York.

    Are you volunteering for SRF While Mr. Aceti is making over 50,000 dlls a year, ON TOP of his six figure income as a Consultant and Executive Director of Cal coast.
    -I want my volunteering time back!

    Conflict of interest? Illegal? Sure, but nobody is asking the right questions..

    So here is the first question:
    Who should be the one putting money on the basket?

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  51. By the way, Calcoast is a non profit organization and by law all finantial records can be accesed by requesting them trough the District Attorney's office, but then again,
    nobody is asking the right questions.

    ReplyDelete

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