Thursday, September 07, 2006
"Shoot me for it," Dalager said.
Five in the race for two City Council seats
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer NCT.com link
ENCINITAS -- City Council candidates staked out their positions Tuesday in the first forum leading up to November elections.
Incumbent Dan Dalager and Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Doug Long were generally supportive of the decision-making at Encinitas City Hall, while community volunteer Teresa Barth challenged many recent policy actions.
Contractor Thomas Brown called for improving communication between City Hall and residents, and Paul Martens, who approaches the race as an outsider, said he, too, would work to bring residents together.
The candidates are competing for two open seats, one of them Dalager's. Incumbent Christy Guerin, who has taken a job working for Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, is not running.
Hosted by the Cardiff Town Council, Tuesday's forum drew more than 100 listeners to the auditorium at Ada W. Harris School.
Questions came directly from members of the audience.
Candidates were asked to state their positions on Proposition A, the November 2005 ballot measure that asked voters whether the City Council should rezone agricultural property for housing.
Long defended his work on the measure's steering committee.
Landowner Paul Ecke III's offer of property for a park and roads ---- and the tax base the new homes would have brought ---- were attractive, Long said.
"I'm not at all upset about being behind that," Long said.
Dalager also supported the measure, which lost badly at the polls.
He said council members had demanded eight acres for park property before approving the measure for the ballot and that had the measure passed, he would have asked for more amenities.
"I voted for it but was not out there campaigning for it," he said.
Barth said Prop. A's defeat amounted to a vote of no confidence for the City Council.
"I voted no," she said flatly. "I campaigned hard against it. I walked the streets and passed out fliers."
Brown said he "was just a voter at the time" and was at first skeptical of the measure. After learning more about it, he said, he voted for it.
As with many questions put before him, Martens did not provide a clear answer. He did not say whether he supported the measure.
"With respect to the way things like Ecke Ranch should be handled," he said, "I don't know the answer."
One question, directed to Dalager, put him on the spot for his decision in 2005 to rename the city-sponsored Encinitas Holiday Parade as the Encinitas Christmas Parade.
He said he stood by his decision and that it stemmed from a conversation he had with Wendy Haskett, a local historian who died in February.
"Shoot me for it," Dalager said.
Long said he marched in the parade when he was a boy and when the event was called the St. Nick's Parade.
"I don't feel a problem with what it's called now," Long said. "It was such an uproar in favor, you'd face a lot more criticism now changing it back."
Brown said he would leave the event's name as the Christmas Parade.
Martens said that if the decision were up to him, he'd call the event the Christmas Holiday Parade.
Barth said she is Catholic and noted that one of Encinitas' most famous icons is the Self-Realization Fellowship retreat, where adherents celebrate the unity of all religious faiths.
"What bothers me most is (the name-change) became an unnecessarily divisive issue in the community," Barth said.
-- Contact staff writer Adam Kaye at (760) 943-2312 or email@example.com.
***Not that I care to revisit the parade name change but if the parade was called the St. Nick's Parade when he marched in it then why didn't Dalagher change the name to that? His earlier explanation of tradition has no logic to it.
I say call the event The Encinitas Christmas/Holiday Parade. See? A win win.