Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spending, Trimming or Cutting Back



Union Tribune story by Angela Lau

Spending, trimming, borrowing possible

ENCINITAS – The city will have to decide which is the lesser of three evils – trimming capital projects, borrowing money or spending all of its savings – when it finishes its budget for the coming fiscal year.

The City Council will hold budget workshops tonight and tomorrow night to review the city's five-year economic forecast. The budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year begins July 1.


Spending time with your family is better than spending the entire city budget on an overdesigned library that if done right would cost 10 million instead of 20 million.

Trimming on the nose is better than trimming city services.
Cutting back on your surfboard is also better than cutting back on city services.
I guess we'll be sending Kerry Miller up to Oceanside to one of those sleazy paycheck advance places so we can build some new firestations.


Or, let's send the city council to the local Indian casinos with the entire city budget. You never know, they might get lucky!

53 comments:

  1. We knew it. But they kept saying, "hey we are in great shape." Things must be pretty bad if they have to expose thereselves to the public now, before the election.

    Normally that would be the right thing to do, but with this bunch at the helm you know they have problems.

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  2. Those projects don't sound like "Warm Fuzzies?"

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  3. It is too bad that the City failed to put in a redesign clause into the architect's contract for the library, in case it came in over budget.

    Especially if it is true that his earlier library designs came in over budget too.

    Those are little things that add up to big dollars that our City does over and over. Lessons never learned.

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  4. Cut all capital projects until the city can afford them.

    We don't need a new library now. It can wait.
    People can use Cardiff and Carlsbad if they are desperate for a book.

    Fireman can wait for new firestations. They work now and will work for the foreseeable future.

    Open the gate at Hall property now as a dog park and build ball fields when we get the money. We do have Lake drive and all the schools to play ball on.

    Of course that isn't what bossy pants and lawnmowerman will do. They want your money to spend on thier projects.

    One of the news stories already mentioned coming back to the taxpayers for another shot at the lighting and landscaping fee increase.

    Don't be fooled, dump these people come November and elect someone that will also dump the city manager and city attorney.

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  5. South Lake Tahoe was left with a debt of over 200 million dollars. Encinitas is rapidly heading in that direction.

    Before 1999, Encinitas had some money in the bank and little debt. Capital projects were divided into funded and unfunded. That ended when this council of boobs took over.

    Council payback time for votes needs to end now.

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  6. We don't NEED new fire stations. Just like we didn't NEED that giant hook & ladder. If you haven't noticed, we have a fire station on every block.
    We don't NEED a new library. now that we have the internet, libraries are a luxury not a necessity.
    I think what our City NEEDS is a WIFE.
    Some one to keep them in check.
    Oh yea, that's the Mayors job.
    I guess what we really NEED is a new mayor.

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  7. Encinitas has "contracted" attorneys who are not true city officials. Yet they actually instigate lawsuits against citizens, like us, in the name of the People of the State of California, without any verification by Council. Oh yes, Council thinks they are immune from having to testify because of "Executive Privilege." This is BS, of course. How many lawsuits has the City initiated against citizens? That is a big factor, not just how many times the City has been sued.

    No, the so-called "City Attorneys" and Code Enforcement are not well familiar with the City's codes and ordinances. They let those in favor do a "blow job" on staff, who gives developers a thumbs up. But when it comes to the "little guy," like us, that big old thumb just comes crushing down.

    If people are concerned about the budget shortfalls, and we are, then we should have an accounting of all the money paid out to Sabine & Morrison, to all contractors associated with them in the last four years. The attorneys make big bucks, win or lose, everytime there is litigation. Also, outside firms are hired, as in the case of F Street, here in Leucadia. That is in the Court of Appeals now (more big bucks) as is our case.

    Our city was incorporated. It is a public corporation. We do not have a City Charter, which would act like a Constitution, to protect our individual rights. I'd like to ask potential candidates if it would be possible to enact a charter. This could help bring confidence back to the citizens of Encinitas. Right now, confidence has plummeted. We believe Council, the City Manager and Sabine & Morrison have broken the city's trust. These folks should be public servants, not paid henchmen, as in the case of our "city attorneys," Sabine & Morrison, who also work to violate individual's freedoms in other citys, including La Mesa, as we know.

    We honestly believe that the City gave Sabine & Morrison two raises in 2005 because they are so worried about the City's liability, they need these smarmy guys to watch their backs. City has made many mistakes that are now coming back to bite us all.

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  8. I think we reached the Sabine and Morrison bashing/exposure quota for the month.

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  9. S.D. Union-Tribune 4/26/06 Grand jury: charges by city really a hidden tax.
    "S.D.'s long-standing practice of charging water & sewer funds for services is a hidden tax on ratepayers to finance cash-starved depts., such as fire, police & trash collection, the county grand jury concluded in a report released yesterday."
    This is the same thing the city of Enc. is doing - hope the Grand Jury finds out about Enc.

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  10. WHEN WILL THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE CITY MANAGER FIGURE OUT THE REAL PROBLEM. WE DO NOT HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM, WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM.

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  11. what is a blog?

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  12. Mr. Chimpy I am honored you have posted a comment. A blog is something you acquire when your smart alecky attitude no longer amuses your friends at garden parties.

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  13. Bill,

    How wrong can you be. The City is poorer than some of our neighbors on a per capita tax receipts basis -- a true measure of a city's resources. Encinitas' city manager may not do a good job of running the financial purse, but the real problem is that the City simply does not collect enough revenue to provide the level of amenities a prominent southern California city typically provides. For example, Carlsbad has almost twice the tax revenue per capita that Encinitas does. This lack of tax receipts is a failure of the founders of our City (not the current Council), for not planning adequate revenue sources such as hotels (TOT tax) and retail (sales tax) to generate a revenue stream to provide the level of amenties the citizens of Encinitas are demanding and deserve. I believe the founder of the group you now head is, as one of the founders of the City, partially responsible for this lack of revenue stream. So be careful when you throw stones from your glass house.

    P.S. A friendly suggestion - If you are going to run for City Council this year, which it appears you are, I suggest you check your facts first and open your mouth second.

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  14. Who sets the quota?April 26, 2006 9:04 PM

    They are still bashing us, and they still haven't filed their Respondent's Brief in the Court of Appeal. Also, corrupt Sabine & Morrison already got paid by the City, and are now trying to make us pay $95,000.00 for their costs and fees in a nonsensical, vindictive lawsuit.

    If your right to privacy and property rights were robbed from you, you wouldn't think we had reached our quota. If you want to stick your head in the sand, anonymous, (after smarmy) go ahead.

    Lots of people want to know who is in control. We want to take back our power from corrupt contracted City Attorneys who are not city officials, according to the city clerk.

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  15. I smell stinky AcetiApril 26, 2006 9:22 PM

    Yes, I definitely smell a Steve Asceti skunk.

    You are a real piece of work, Mr. A. Stop making it seem like a bad thing that someone might want to replace Guerin and Dalager. Bossypants has been elected twice. Two terms is way more than enough of her, for sure.

    Most of us will be sooooooo delighted when both Guerin and Dalager are replaced. Just like Guerin replaced Chuck Duvivier, wasn't it? because we thought she would not be so blatantly biased toward development. Dalager, unfortunately, replaced Holz. Part of the reason for this is because of the way the vote is split up, between two or three candidates.

    We do need qualified candidates, with huge hearts, solid integrity, and wise minds, to fill the void.

    You don't live here, Asceti. Please go play your politics in Carlsbad. Maybe you can get some more lobbying money to try to develop all the Flower Fields there. Or to suck the citizens dry, through taxes. What are the amenities you say we are demanding? The ones that should and were planned for through the General Fund?

    Please do not put down our founding father, Bob Bonde. He's got a heart of gold, and really worked to incorporate Encinitas, long before you were around. He did not want to make it a playground for the ambitious, greedy few. And neither did I. We were incorporated to slow development, and to, hopefully, lead a frugal, balanced government of and by the people who live here. Not designed to enrich those who prey on us, like you.

    Why do you like Sabine & Morrison so much? Are they your pals? Nice they can afford their new cars and fat expense accounts, having to rent rooms here in Encinitas for some court dates, because they live, have their main office in Southeast SD. They are not dedicated to Encinitas, or justice, only to scoring their "nominal victories" and raking in their excessive costs and fees.

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  16. Anonymous with a spending problem,

    Do a little homework. Check out the articles in the local papers about the city salary raises and pension benefits that the city could and cannot aford. Check out the 4 day work weeks and ask yourself if you would run a business that way if you were going broke. Check out the money spent on silly studies. If your head is not spinning, add in the consulting fees that have been paid for to deceive the people and the cost of the lawsuits to defend the practices of our current leaders.

    Now drive your neighborhood (well maybe not your neighborhood since you live in Carlsbad) and look at all of the houses that have sold in the last few months and years at huge prices that generate huge propert taxes (revenue). Now drive down Encinitas Blvd. and see if you notice any bustling retail establishments (tax revenue). Coast highway would be another example (revenue). Now ask a resident about their water and sewer fees (more revenue).

    Think of a city as if it were a family because it is. If a family spends more money than it brings in, it will not fare well in a modern society. It may have to borrow itsef into bankruptcy.

    Our city has a spending problem. If you dont agree, call me when I get back to town on Saturday.

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  17. Level of amenities:

    When did Encinitas residents en masse demand that the city council tear down and rebuild 3 fire stations? When did they storm city hall and demand that hugh out of line increases in salaries and benefits be given year after year?

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  18. So now it's Bill Rodewalds fault that the city budget is a mess? Try harder bro. You suck at PSYOPS.

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  19. Bill is right. I tried to live large by spending more money than I brought in. The banks made it so easy by sending me more credit cards. Life turned ugly when the money was due. Learn from the mistake.

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  20. Does it matter what a house is made of? Wood, stucco, glass? If you bust the budget and try to live on credit, you lose the house.

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  21. Who is blaming Bob Bonde for this fiasco? Is Bob Bonde trying to remodel the entire fucking town at once? NO.
    Kerry Miller fucked up south Lake Tahoe and he is fucking up Encinitas. The only way Christy Guerin gets re elected is if she moves to fucking fire Miller.

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  22. TO:Anonymous with a spending problem

    I don't think that blogger is DEMA, represented by Aceti. Don't forget that Aceti is DEMA. I think the blog was by Bossypants or Lawnmowerman feeling the pressure for their impending run for reelection.

    Our city council wants to leave a legacy behind by building monummenmts to their time in office. Unfortunately they can only do that at our expense. They can only do that by either using deficeit spending or raising taxes. They have tried to raise taxes three times recently and should have gotten the message from their defeats, NO NEW TAXES.

    Don't forget it takes three people to pass any of their deficit sepnding or tax raises. Hoolihan, Bonds and Stocks are not for standing reelection in November but are also behind the attempted tax increases and proposed deficit spending.

    Again why do we need new fire stations, a library and more sports fields when we can't afford them? Delay until we can pay for them without deficit spending or new taxes.

    The big question should be, where did our money go? Someone pointed out in a previous blog, I believe it was Bill Rodewald from the EncinitasTaxapayers that the city spends 90% of its general fund revenue for staff salaries and benfits. That is the issue. Why do we have so much staff that works four days a week every other week? (Open city hall five days a week every week)Take a look around city hall and see if there is an older city vehicle like you might drive. I think you will find we don't ask our employees to drive old cars. City image and all.

    WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM, NOT AN INCOME PROBLEM. This should be the mantra for the next election in our city.

    Three cheers for Rodewald and the Encinitas Taxpayers Association for their efforts to point this out.

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  23. Sorry for my ignorence, but why does Steve Aceti keep getting involved in Encinitas affairs when he lives in Carlsbad? Does he have some special powers here? I can't figure it out.

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  24. Holy profanity!

    Is Steve Aceti the new boogie man? Do you really think he reads this blog anymore?

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  25. I don't know if Aceti reads this blog anymore, but I can tell you the City Council does not.They think it is ridiculous, and I have been told by one council member, that it is nothing more than a few people that have nothing better to do.I have to admit, that kind of upset me, since I do read it and have plenty to do. In other words, the Council is not the least bit interested in what the every day person has to say. Anything new there?

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  26. Don't forget, in 2005 they thought they would be getting millions from the proposed Redevelopment District in Leucadia-Kerry Millers' hidden agenda for coming to Encinitas. Everyone was lining up for a new job and a new salary.

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  27. Council members might claim they don't read the blog and don't care. But I'll bet a few of them do sneak a peak, and perhaps post comments. Yes Aceti might be the new boogieman. He earned that claim to infame by his biased, absurd positions re prop. C.

    I have long thought that yes, Council, by many of their capital improvements, is trying to erect monuments to their own vanity. We didn't have a choice over whether or not we wanted a new library, only over where the new library would be located. I liked the old library. We should not have demolished the old library, and moved the public works yard, unless we had a firm financing plan in mind, with a redesign clause written in for the Architect should the project come in over budget before the work could begin.

    Yes, a new library, with a coffee bar patio and an ocean view is certainly a "warm fuzzy." Moreover, two raises in one year, in 2005, for contracted "City Attorneys," Sabine & Morrison, and overspending, South Lake Tahoe financial stability wrecker, City Manager, Kerry Miller, were absurd. These items were placed on the consent calendar! There was no real discussion of the need for raises. We are tired of corporate executives (yes we are a public corporation in Encinitas) making absurdly high salaries. Public servants get many benefits, and in many ways have cushy jobs. They do not need to keep getting raises so that they can afford to live in Encinitas. The housing market has driven the average blue collar or pink collar individual out of our city. We can't increase salaries and benefits to the point that they can compete with developers and speculators.

    We need a change in consciousness. Yes, it is insane that 90% of the General Fund is going toward salaries, contrators, and benefits. And when will the Grand Jury investigation begin here? Sewer and water fees should not be raised to increase the General Fund. Doubling and tripling the fees is not right.

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  28. we should go a little easy on poor Kerry Miller. After all he is going through his second divorce and maybe he's just not concentrating.

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  29. Really. Since they are both city employees, which one of them will leave do you think.

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  30. Hopefully that other couple (Jennifer Smith and Glen Sabine) are watching Kerry's personal problems with a city employee.

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  31. Does the city council read this blog?
    Gawd, I hope not otherwise I'll end up in a swallow grave in Baja.

    Dalagher read this blog? No, he is sort of dopey and apathetic so why would he bother?

    Guerin? No, but if anyone should she should. She is really out of touch with the pulse of the town. Encinitas soft rocks!

    Stocks? Maybe he has but it wouldn't change his modus operandi on bit.

    Bond? Highly doubtful even he does love technology (but not as much as you, you see).

    Maggie? Who cares?

    Kerry Miller? I would have stopped reading it weeks ago unless he has really thick skin.

    Sabine? Please God, I hope not. I don't need some rabid attorney after me.

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  32. J.P.: Well said!

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  33. j.p.
    Sabine has a particular distaste for those that value their right to free speech. Be careful.

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  34. You can't be afraid to use your god given right to free speech.

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  35. Does anyone know what it takes to have a referendum in this town? Why can't we legislate the end of the city attorney as we know it and elect one. Can we recall city councilpersons?

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  36. City doesn't care about ConstitutionApril 28, 2006 4:49 PM

    Someone could contact Peter Scheer of Citizens' First Amendment Coalition, out of Sacramento, to ask about the referendum process. I believe this might be at www.CFAC.com. He might know the answer, or could give a good referral.

    Wow, what a lot of nepotism going on at city hall between staff. This should not be allowed in government positions, in my opinion. But it's probably s.o.p., standard operating procedure.

    According to Sabine's contract, his "services and duties," there is nothing listed as to his being for the people, that is representing the actual citizens, rather than just Council Members and Staff.

    The contract says he gets $500.00 per month for his car. This sounds crazy to me, particularly because he works for several other San Diego County cities. Also, the new contract, verified by Council on December 14, 2005, which meeting we attended, which increases Sabine's hourly rate for the first 50 hours per month, was adjusted from $140.00 per hour to $150.00 per hour. Additional hours were adjusted from $135.00 to $140.00.

    No one has been told the total of number of hours billed by Sabine and Morrison for the year of 2005, that we know of. Also, importantly, the raise was made retroactive from Sabine's "anniversary date of October 1st."

    This is bogus, and shows how the city can willy nilly pass retroactive laws. In this case the City stated the raise was retroactive. In the case of many laws, such as the one the city just tried to sneak through re grading and pad elevations and total building heights, the City would have just claimed, this was standard practice, and here is the law to prove it!

    In our case, Morrison has claimed that the City needs only to be concerned about the Constitutional guarantee against retroactivity (unless specifically mentioned as in Sabine's raise) when it's a criminal case. It seems as though City Council and staff are not concerned about the State and Federal Constitutions.

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  37. I thought the Red light cameras were going to generate bow koo bucks to pay for all the city services!! 1000 tickets per month @ 200+ per tik to the city coffers. Where's all that $$$ going? Perhaps ETA can ask that question. I can't ask that question no one listens to a bum, I keep asking for a restroom, but noooooooooooo,I guess I'll just have to keep using the alleys!!!

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  38. What is the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)? Encinitas city hall and maybe other city properties are leased to ABAG.

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  39. Bill "I'm running for City Council" Rodewald, you sure have your stump speech down...

    Try answering the questions, not just talking over them like a politician.

    1) Is it a FACT or NOT that Encinitas, does not generate the tax revenue per capita that some of its richer neighbor cities do?

    2) If so, doesn't this make it more difficult for our city to provide the level of services/amenities that they can?

    3) Is in not a FACT that the city employees are paid at roughly the mid-point of what other San Diego cities pay?

    4) As I understand it, the every other Friday off program was started to save energy. City employees work the same number of hours per week (40) over the year, they just work longer hours per day to make up for the Friday off. Is this not true?

    5) What is the ratio of our city staff per capita to other cities? Are we fat or lean?

    6) I don't believe this city spends more than it takes in, does it? If we are not and putting away some reserves for a rainy day, than what's wrong?

    When are you going to announce you are running for Council? It's clear you are, so just do it and start being accountable for your statements.

    I suggest again that you learn the facts and not from the newspaper articles you mentioned. Don't just spew rhetoric for your election campaign. You appear to be just to another politician. Our town has enough of them already.

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  40. This is awesome. The little world that these people have created is beginning to close in on them. They are stressing like a teenage girls with a zit before prom. Regime change coming this novemeber.

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  41. Anonymous ragging on Rodewald...

    It appears that you are the misinformed one. Where do you get your facts from? Perhaps you should heed your own words and get a handle on the issues you are spouting off about. You have misstated the facts and issues in what appear to be two of your blogs.

    Stay in Carlsbad, they need you Aceti. It is still amazing me that DEMA gets you to do their bidding. I would think they could find an Encinitas resident at the very least.

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  42. Out with deceit, in with the newApril 30, 2006 6:04 PM

    Aceti, Pattinson, or whoever, why do you make it sound like a crime that someone would want to replace our corrupt Council members? Or our ineffective City Attorney Sabine and Kerry Miller, awful big spending City Manager who left South Lake Tahoe in a mess?

    Who cares what cities "can do?" It is the people who make up the cities. The people are not asking for these vanity projects. The people were pretty happy with the old library, where now we have nothing. The people are not asking for three shiny new fire stations.

    Who cares that Carlsbad has more per capita income. I don't think Encinitas is mid-point for equal size cities for City Manager and City Attorney pay, either. Back up your facts. And because corporate executives are overpaid, does not make that right. That is like Enron saying it's above average on it's CEO, but other companies are also above average. This false logic does not justify excessive compensation leading to inflation in public servant salaries in our County.

    Carlsbad is much bigger. It has had even more new development than Encinitas. The new development rakes in higher property taxes. Also, Carlsbad must have more businesses, per capita, than Encinitas. It also rakes in more sales taxes. Carlsbad is an older city. I don't care if Carlsbad has a higher per capita intake of taxes, fees, and fines. We are dealing with our own budget, here. I don't live in Carlsbad. I live here. And I am tired of reading Christy Guerin in the Coast News saying she doesn't like lawsuits against the City, when she does everything she can to make sure they happen, by her wrongheaded, wronghearted votes and decisions, as our current mayor.

    She instigated a lawsuit against us, and others, too, so she is being a hypocrite. She likes to play Bossypants, and has really thrived after a history of being a jail guard and then a roadside crossing monitor.

    Guerin's power is using fear to promote "security," at all costs. Our power, to defeat her and her bro, Lawnmowerman, Dalager, is hope.

    Anonymous, who blasts Bonde, Rodewald, and all who actually live here, and who freely give our time and our hearts to bringing peace and abundance to all, not the greedy few, do not tread on us. We, the hopeful, the determined, and the honest, don't need your lies, your rhetoric or your hyperbole, and we don't need your hypocrisy, either.

    All we need is truth, and love.

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  43. The taxpayers are on a roll. The posers are in a rut. Figure out which bloggers are in which camp. Bet the ratio is 90/10 and that could be interesting come November. Geurin can get a real job, Dalager can sharpen his skills on a briggs and stratten. We need new blood on the hill that know how to bring people together and stop spinnin the truth.

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  44. JUST THE FACTS, BOYS AND GIRLS, JUST THE FACTS. Can someone actually do the research to settle this matter. Don't just beat up on the Blogger, prove he/she is wrong or right...

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  45. The Carlsbad comparison confirms what I feared all along. There are forces trying to push all the coastal towns into parody.
    Listen up, we don't want to be Carlsbad and Carlsbad shouldn't be like us. We don't want to be Del Mar either. If you like Carlsbad MOVE THERE AND WORK THERE.

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  46. Roadside park bumMay 01, 2006 2:10 PM

    Hey Johnny Taco,
    It's not your home being flooded every time it rains- do you know how long it take to dry out a sleeping bag?? And what part of no streetlights or sidewalks do you like?? Personally I prefer to not get rundown in the street while making my daily beer run!! A few sidewalks would help me immensely-keep a bum on the sidewalk, I say!!! But Oh Yeah I keep forgetting we don't wanna be like Del Mar or Carlsbad. They have sidewalks, streetlights and storm drains!!! We have weeds and dirt for our center median, and taking your life in your hands evertime I walk the 101. Drunk or not that's just wrong!!!

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  47. Go to Carlsbad, bumMay 01, 2006 5:15 PM

    Roadside bum, we know you are probably just Aceti or Pattinson, posing once again.

    People in Leucadia have told Council we don't need sidewalks, ok? A real bum wouldn't want street lights, either. We have got plenty of these. People use their own lights when there are no streetlights.

    You know who wants these amenities? People like Pattinson, the developers, to lure more SUV driving yuppies to town. Cuz they are the only ones who can afford the enormous housing costs, taxes, fees.

    And it’s just like you, Aceti, to cry sour grapes over the storm drain issue. We do need those, and they have been and will be paid for out of the General Fund. The big problem came during the 100 year storm. With global warming, we probably won’t have another one of those in some time. That’s why they are called 100 year storms; it rains that much only once every 100 years. But you are right, I do have more sympathy for the real roadside bums than you, Aceti, Pattinson.

    Fake Roadside Bum, go to Carlsbad if you want those amenities. That's where you are from, anyway. I haven't seen any bum poop in my alley, either. We just gotta get people to clean up after their dogs.

    I guess, Aceti, you think we won't listen to you in your Gucci duds, and Italian shoes, and you are right, we won't. Me thinks this bum speaks with a forked Aceti tongue.

    This new bum spin just goes to show that you're getting desperate. The only good thing about you is that when you post your BS, lots of good folks chime in to set the record straight. We don't need to prove our "facts." We know the facts, because we live here. We can see Council has been overspending, and poorly planning. We know the ratio of "operating expenses," to capital improvements is way off the mark. Even James Bond knows this to be true.

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  48. c1)It is true that Encinitas does not generate the tax revenue per capita that some other cities in San Diego COunty generate. Our "coastal zone" was developed with homes long before we even considered becoming a city. This FACT did not allow us to pencil in the number of freeway access commercial revenue producers that some of our neighbors have.
    2.)This FACTUAL situation does make it more difficult for our City to provide the level of amenities that the neighboring cities can provide.
    3.) It is a fact that our city employees are paid less than some and more than others. Do we need as large a city staff as the neighboring cities given the fact that we have less amenities and less commercial use requiring oversight? I do not know.
    4.) The every other Friday off program was embraced because it satisfied those trying to save 'energy' but also because it provided a 'perk' to try to adjust for the slightly lower staff pay by allowing occasional 'three day weekends'.
    5.) With the accepted Fact that we can afford less amenities than neighboring cities because of our reduced commercial tax base, does our city staff budget per capita ratio translate into a realistic scenero or are we maintaining a fat bloated(90% of revenue) work force trying to emulate these other neighboring cities? Are we fat or lean based on the current and projected future build of the community?
    5.) I don't believe the city currently spends more than it takes in. I do not believe that we are putting away significant reserves for a rainy day. I do think that we must be careful that we don't fool ourselves into believing that residential development can foot the bill for our dreams indefinitely. The SANDAG numbers tell us that in the long run the expense of maintaining the infrastructure of a community with an ever increasing densification of only residential development is doomed to an escalating loss of "quality of life," as the infrastructure becomes overburdened.
    6.) So as a community we have to decide what is important. Do we attempt to increase commercial zoning or do we slow development and densification and learn to live within our means. I suspect that I will be fertilizer before the "chickens come home to roost", but I would like to think that the quality of Encinitas as a place to work, live and raise a family can be retained. I personally try to make decisions in my life thinking about their ramifications 50 and sixty years from now. I'm no saint but I do care, and so should each of us. This city is very special and living here has been a gift for myself and my wife. I'm not running for anything. I try to avoid rhetoric and I am accountable for everything I say to whatever council is sitting and I won't go away.

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  49. Gil nice speech, however, you are wrong on several points. A city needs to learn to live within its means. This city has spent much more than it takes in. They do it by bonding. Bonding is borrowing money so that those people 50 or 60 years down the road can pay them off. It is a way that the a current city council can build edifices to themselves in the form of libraries, fire stations, public works yards, large sports parks, etc.

    This city has plenty of money to operate and keep infrastructure if it wants to use current tax revenues. Of course it will need to postpone some of its edifice building. This is very hard for some city councilpersons.

    Several people have pointed out that we don't need to become Carlsbad or Del Mar. Let's stay Encinitas with our own identity. Worse yet we don't need to become South Lake Tahoe or Manhatten Beach.

    The City many years ago went to a 9 hour day to help ease the energy crisis of the 1980s. Many companies and cities went to alternate schedules at that time. When the crisis eased the city went back to a traditional work schedule. They went back on the 9 hour work day as a benefit to employees during the late 90's. I have managed people in this alternate work schedule for many years. They produce no more work than they do under the 8 hour day. One hour a day is wasted on what the employees will call set-up or close down. Things that were done quickly just before opening and closing on a traditional schedule. Many cities such as Oceanside have decided to go back to having city hall open 5 days a week because of the outcry from its citizens. We don't have that uproar yet so we maintain the 9 hour day for employees.

    City worker pay! Cities pay their employees what they can afford. I dare say that if our employees left because of low pay we could replace them. We obviously don't need them five days a week because they are not there now. When a city uses 90% of its general fund to pay employees they have to look at alternatives to fund other city operations. That is why this city has tried to pass a lighting fee, land rezoning for more houses which means more property tax revenue (prop A) and water fee (prop C). They will try again because, unless they cut staff and salaries, they need more money to run.

    The City of San Diego has been caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar by raising water and sewer fees to fund other parts of the city. It would be my feeling that if someone investiagted the water and sewer districts that our city controls the same thing would be happening. If you live in the half of the city that uses these districts you would wonder why there has been an approximate 300% increase in those fees with no appreciative difference in service. Where is the grand jury when you need them?

    Enough rambling. Gil, I agree we live in a great city. One I have lived in for 40+ years. I hope we can maintain our quality of life but I doubt that we can with the current city council. Gil, why don't you run for city council?

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  50. I agree, we are not living within our means if we have to keep borrowing, and paying a high yearly "service debt" in interest on the bonds the city, or the Water District, in the case of the Hall Property, sells.

    Yes, I wish the Grand Jury would investigate our Water and Sewer Fees, as they are in San Diego. Who can we write? Perhaps the State Attorney General?

    I think we should go back to standard five day weeks, eight hours per day. If we lost some staff, that would be fine. No need to replace them.

    Also, I was disappointed not to be able to see last Wednesday's City Council meeting on Cox 19. It just didn't come on at the usual time, 6:00 P.M. on Thursday. I missed the week before because I didn't turn it to 19 until after 7:30. Either they didn't televize that one either, or it was over in less than two hours. This seems strange, because so many meetings drag on and on. I believe too much business is accomplished in closed sessions, and just passed on the consent calendar without discussion.

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  51. Hey, wasn't Jennifer Smith formerly Kerry Miller's assistant? Our awful city manager, Miller, recommended Sabine's two raises. He was the private "negotiator." And I'm sure it worked the other way around, too. Sabine recommended Miller's raises, I'd wager. Council is being led by the nose on this.

    When I would try to call Kerry Miller, I would get Jennifer Smith. She would never, not once, put me thru to Kerry. She would not return my calls, either. She and Sabine should know better than mixing business with pleasure. This does stink of nepotism, favortism, and turning public servants into royalty, or tyrants.

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  52. Blind, deaf, dumbMay 02, 2006 7:51 AM

    Was there an open employment process for finance director, the position Jennifer Smith now holds? We understand she is not qualified. We are worried that in our city the blind are leading the deaf and dumb.

    This is what happens when power corrupts, and privilege becomes more important than honesty and courtesy.

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  53. Straight-ShooterMay 10, 2006 12:23 PM

    I don't know where people keep coming up with the figure that 90% of the City's budget is spent on employee salaries/benefits....let's do the math:

    The City's budget is about $45 million.

    90% of that is about $40 million.

    There are about 250 full and part time employees at the city.

    Divide that $40 million by 250 resulting in $160,000 per employee.

    Not hardly. Not even close.

    Only one person gets that much, the City Manager. The directors average about $120,000, and the peons earn way less than half of that.

    Check it out yourself - all pay scales/rates are public information.

    Sorry to burst so many people's bubble.

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