Monday, December 18, 2006


The San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Christy Guerin over the weekend. Click headline link below:

Guerin says she adjusted, but never changed

ENCINITAS – To those who say the Christy Guerin who stepped down from the Encinitas City Council on Dec. 6 was a different Christy Guerin from the one sworn in eight years ago, she has a simple response.

“I don't think I changed in office,” Guerin said in a recent interview.

She will concede a couple of points, however.

“I think I was a little bit naive” when first elected. And “I may have become more cynical at times,” she said. “Politics can be a game of 'I have to win, you have to lose,' ” when it needn't be that way.

Guerin chose not to run for a third council term, and in July she became district director for U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, the Carlsbad Republican who won a June special election to serve the remainder of disgraced Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham's term. Bilbray was re-elected Nov. 7.

Some thoughts about Christy Guerin:

The good: Christy, along with Dennis Holz, introduced the Community Character workshops. Even after the developers and some of the staff tried to sabotage the process she stuck with it.

Same thing goes for the Trails Master Plan. Again, there was resistance from some neighborhoods. But, rather than scraping the whole project Christy was willing to compromise and got as much as possible.

The bad: Christy took over the Sister City program and made it into an insiders club, which was worse than just taking over the program. She became a diva, criticizing public speakers when they had no opportunity to respond. She had a personal vendetta against Maggie Houlihan that was borderline irrational. Christy developed an US against THEM mentality at city hall which created a toxic atmosphere in Encinitas.

You get the feeling that Christy started to believe it was all about her and not about the community.

Before, when Christy was on the council with Maggie and Dennis and they were in the majority, Christy worked with Dennis on the Community Character Ordinances. Dennis was the strong one so Christy followed his lead. That was the good Christy.

When Dennis left, Christy was influenced by Dan Dalager, Jerome Stocks and Jim Bond and became the bad Christy because she discovered she was now the strong one. Jim Bond once said Christy is an alpha male and the only way to get along with her is to stay out of her way.

Christy used her seat to talk down to people and when she disagreed with a speaker (which was often) she lectured them as a parent to a child would knowing they could not talk back.

Christy was known to be divisive and vicious and the council as a whole grew that way because of her leading the way. Christy caused a great fracturing of the council by getting them to remove Sheila a month before her term as mayor was over.

Note the article in the S.D. Union today, "I gave her every chance possible to be a good leader." Not we, but I gave her every chance.

She spent money, planned activities and appointed people to positions without bringing such actions up at a council meeting. And was surprised when anyone questioned her.

She told the fire boys to "shoot for the moon" when requesting fire station upgrades; which is why we now have fire McMansions on the drawing board.

She made sure her boy Phil Cotton was chosen before she left by not doing a search and hand-picking one of the good old boys (and he definitely is one of the good old boys).

Now, let's look at her going away evening at city hall. Traditionally, many friends and supporters give the outgoing council member gifts and speak in glowing terms of how wonderful that person is and why. These friends and sentiments were conspicuous by their absence and we had instead the usual suspects - DEMA, the Enc. Chamber and THE FIRE BOYS.

It will be some time before the open wound that was Christy Guerin heals. It may even take the leaving of some of the council members she trained to follow in her path.

This blog was created in response to the Leucadia Redevelopment plan. I still remember Christy's astounding words at the volatile RDA workshop meeting, "I just don't see the blight."

I think her realization that an RDA was the wrong direction for Leucadia was key moment. It was also an eye opener for me that maybe the city council wasn't set in stone after all, that the public could change the council member's minds.

A lot of people didn't like Christy for her often sharp style at council meetings. On one hand I've seen here wisely take control of meetings that were getting heated with emotion. On the other hand, I think sometimes she was rude to some of the older residents who were not that experienced at public speaking. It doesn't make your heart swell with hometown pride when your mayor is rolling her eyes at some old guy just trying to get through his 3 minute speech.

Christy was always a little scary to criticize. As a former cop turned influential council person and mayor who is married to a local sheriff, she was a powerful personality. I kept waiting to get pulled over and have all the local cops go Rodney King on me.

Voters love to cast ballots for former cops, but I think it's a bad idea. Sure, voters love cops because of their public service and safety concerns. But cops are not about compromise. Cops are about enforcing power and taking charge of a situation. I wonder how times Christy Guerin dreamed of tazering perennial critic Lynn Braun?

Before her election to the City Council, Guerin worked as a sheriff's deputy from 1980 to 1990. She left that job because of knee and back injuries she suffered on duty. She said she can continue to receive a $2,000-a-month disability pension despite her return to the workplace.

Is she getting this $2,000 check every month for the rest of her life? Is she feeling better or is she in pain? I hope she can live a healthy life, but I never did understand how she could receive that check and run in a marathon. That seems like fraud to me. Maybe someone can enlighten me on how all of that works?

What are some your memories and impressions of Christy Guerin's tenure in Encinitas?

See also: Leucadia!: Little Known Facts about Christy Guerin


  1. Turmoil and chaos follow her wherever she goes and whatever she does. It is not in her character to be a team player. She has this need to be in the limelight because of her grave insecurities and huge ego. She is a professional conniver who will run over anyone who gets in her way and is proud of it. She's the only one who likes to hear herself talk. I say go away and stay are not needed. It's a big fall when you get knocked off your pedestal - SPLAT, OUCH.

  2. I get the NCT, so my daughter told me about the piece in the SDUT. Good piece, and EXCELLENT POST, JP.

    "Christy developed an US against THEM mentality at city hall which created a toxic atmosphere in Encinitas." That is exactly right, so true.

    Thank you JP for your honesty, intelligence, and your courage, everyday.

    I too am hopeful that we can affect some positive changes with the new year, and the new Council, a new dynamic.

    This blog does help citizens to air our concerns, and our grievances. At times I truly felt as though Council, including the City Attorney and former City Manager were not listening, and chose certain people, myself included, to disregard and disrespect.

    I am hoping that Phil Cotton will "step up to the plate," realize he has great power to encourage prudent spending, and a more open style of city administration. Open, accountable government encourages checks and balances, including a separation of powers.

  3. Great post, JP, again.

    I am surprised that some of the dissatisfaction with Bossypants Guerin didn't bleed over more onto Dalager in the very recent election. Despite his humungous signs, he didn't do nearly as well as Maggie Houlihan did, two years earlier.

    We are stuck with Dan for another four years, probably, though. I also am still hoping for changes for the better in the coming years, with Teresa Barth's encouragement and integrity setting an example.

    James Bond could have "stood up" to Christy Guerin. Just as he could have put Maggie in line for Deputy Mayor, with himself as Mayor. That would have been a good start for your term, Jim.

    I really liked how Maggie did stand up to Christy Guerin in the Union Tribune article.

    Christy ends up looking petty and petulant, as usual.

  4. I have to say that Christy Guerin always replied to my e-mails even when it became apparent that I was a huge pain in the ass.

    I will kinda miss Christy and I hope she does a good job for Bilbray.

  5. JP,

    You also had a well known blog. Many people were ignored by Christy. They were shut out. That goes over poorly in a democracy.

  6. I will not miss her. JP your post is brilliant.

    No need to defuse your observations by your last comment; is it "damage control?"

  7. Christy Guerin damaged her own reputation by her unreasonable actions, which left a current of distrust and division, elitism, in her wake.

  8. Let old acquaintance not be forgotten, nor ever be denied. May lessons learned be worth the price many have suffered through, under Guerin's self-serving "watch."

  9. Goodbye Ms. Guerin. You are "welcome" [NOT] for all the money you have received from us taxpayers. Your benefits, our expense.

    I hope our Council has enough gumption to deprogram themselves from your bully pulpit, micro-management tactics. If you are honest, Council, you have nothing to hide, don't need all your bogus closed sessions, anymore, "reality TV" style secret alliances.

  10. Christy Guerin will do anything for her political purposes. Christy, please stay away from future Council Meetings, do yourself and all of us who will not miss you, a bit, a big favor.

    JP might miss the drama a bit, or your buttons. No one will miss your gun.

  11. I have known Christy Guerin for many years. She has never run any marathon. Where the heck did that silliness come from?

  12. The famous race in Japan of course.

  13. Maybe the marathon doesn't count because it was in Japan.

  14. Old news. I hope the post helps you get over it and focus on the present and future. Our town is changing. The question is what positive changes can we make, so we don't end up some generic LA beachstyle community or San Marcos by the Sea?

    I say focus on making Leucadia a walkable community which will preserve peace in the community and be great for everyone to enjoy.

  15. Bogus Guerin racing on disabilityDecember 19, 2006 8:17 AM

    The Japanese race in the City formerly known as Hondo, was some type of relay race, not a marathon. Christy ran in the relay race in Japan, and has participated in races here, just not in marathons, which is 26 miles. She could not do that, and most of us couldn't.

    However, she shouldn't be running in any races and receiving $2000 per month in disability from alleged "stress fractures," presumably, to her knees.

  16. It isn't old news, really, previous anonymous, because Ms. Guerin is still wielding her bossy power through her office, still paid for by taxpayers, now working for the Feds, thru Bilbray, receiving beaucoup benefits and $85,000 plus per year plus her $2,000 monthly disability, so well over $100,000, on top of her husband's "Commander" Asst. Sheriff Al Guerin's $100,000 plus. Nice for them when they are cheating us taxpayers.

    Christy doesn't deserve disability, and the citizens don't deserve to be pushed around by her, or to have had information withheld by her, or wrongly given out by her, while she was with the Sheriff's dept.

  17. Some people are just born to suckle the taxpayer tit for their entire lives.

  18. Telling her boys to jumpDecember 19, 2006 8:22 AM

    Walkable sidewalks are nice, but I don't think we should just skip over the Guerinized post by JP. That is NOT a closed case.

    Guerin was intrusive when it come to Joe and Jane Public's private info, is secretive and deceptive when it comes to behind the scenes decisions and unilateral decisions in closed door sessions, or without any prior meetings of Council.

    Yes, BOGUS!

    Guerin's friends and family, posting here, would like nothing more than to distract us with other topics so that Bossypants Guerin can go on pulling strings from behind the scenes, or come to Council meetings and tell her boy, handpicked Phil Cotton, when to jump, and how high.


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