Sunday, January 28, 2007

Moving Forward Together

The following letter was delivered to the Encinitas council verbally and via e-mail. I am posting it here for everyone to read. I like this letter because a) it is well written and intelligent and b) it explores turning a negative situation into a positive one. It may also help shed light to newer observers of Encinitas politics why there is so much angst in this town.

Re: Encinitas City Council Goals for 2007

To many of us in the community, it appears that the City Council does not have a coherent vision for the City. I say “appears” because it may be that you do. However, if you do, I propose that you are not communicating it to the community. Instead, it seems that decisions are made reactively, rather than proactively. The following seem to be true:

* Decisions appear to be made on a project by project basis with little regard for the cumulative effect of such projects on traffic, community character, and quality of life.
* Developers appear to have the consistent ear of the City, whereas, in general, residents are restricted to three-minute presentations at Planning Commission and City Council meetings without the opportunity for actual two-way discussion.
* When major changes are proposed, such as amendments to the General Plan, the City merely fulfills the word of the law, rather than the spirit of the law, by posting the announcement in the obscure public notices on the back page of the paper, the City website, and by posting it in City Hall. This puts the responsibility for finding out important information on the residents rather than on the City for ensuring that residents know about and have time to respond to such changes. The same holds true for significant rezoning proposals. Community Participation Plans only involve neighbors within a 300-500 foot radius of the proposed development, whereas, as is the case with the Brown property, the increase in traffic caused by such rezoning will affect a much larger segment of the population, not just those living right next to the property. The entire community should not have to find out about these important issues by word of mouth.

I propose that when you set your goals for the year, you include:

1. Preparing and publishing, with resident participation, a comprehensive vision for the development of Encinitas over the next 5 years that addresses traffic, community character, and affordable and sustainable housing.

2. Specific methods for communicating more positively and effectively with the community.

3. Specific ways for working more closely with the community to minimize the adversarial interactions that are becoming increasingly common.

I believe you will find that attending to these matters will benefit both you and those of us who live in and love Encinitas.

Sincerely,

Carol J. Minster

Way to be Carol!

29 comments:

  1. Very well written, C.J. I make you an honorary Cardiffian in case you live in Leucadia or another part of the city.

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  2. I believe I heard this excellent letter read at this past Monday's goal setting meeting.

    Yes, Carol, way to go, as JP said. Thank you for making a difference in our community.

    I too made a brief comment, at that same meeting, but provided no letter to Council. I suggested, agreeing with you, that Encinitas does have far too many situations that escalate to court action because of the City's adversarial stance, particularly with respect to litigation.

    The City has not shown respect for us citizens; it has not complied with State Environmental laws. Citizens groups, such as the Citizens for Quality of Life and Leucadia Cares, are forced to take the City to court.

    Jerome Stocks has openly bragged that "they" can go ahead and sue; the attorney will get a new car out of it!

    And in the reverse scenario, Encinitas has spent hundreds of thousands hiring Glenn Sabine and outside attorneys to take people and businesses to court when all that could have been easily avoided through cooperative and courteous negotiations instead of "preemptive attacks."

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  3. Why only a 5 year vision. Why not 25?

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  4. Five and twenty-five year plans would both be great.

    Doesn't the City already supposedly have a five year plan? Already the reserves are diminishing. This is called the law of diminishing returns. Operating expenses are going to be going up and up as more and more people retire. Add this to escalating capital expenditures, and we have a recipe for financial disaster, simmering now, but ready to boil over, down the line, as is happening in San Diego.

    My thought is that all City Development, that is capital projects initiated through the City on the taxpayers' "dime," should be finalized in open sessions before City Council, as agenda items, and should require either an E.I.R. or a negative impact declaration, or a specific explanation why no such finding or negative declaration is required.

    The Beacons Beach access, with or without seawall, and the planned roundabouts should come before Council and the general public before bidding begins.

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  5. 1) What will be considered afforable housing in Encinitas when the median price of a home is over $800K? And which neighborhood wants to be blessed with the affordable housing in its midst? No one from this group will complain about lowered property values, right?

    2) Is it time for town criers again? With the prosperity of this community, the proliferation of Internet access should guarantee that the City's website suffice as a panacea for citywide communications. Heck, aren't we all using this medium here and now to "get the word out"?

    3) More advesarial? Isn't that always a two-way street? Or is this just an attempt way to blow smoke up someone's heine?

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  6. el encinito you are not in the loop enough to understand the context of the letter and get a correct interpretation. I guess the city's website isn't enough.

    on your points:
    1) the letter addresses the activity of your council and your State Reps. They are about to bring on a nutty affordable housing "plan." It will devalue many properties directly, leave the current residents to subsidize this, cause more traffic issues, and allow big developers to reap another windfall. See the Nov 27 and 30 posts.

    2) A website helps but certainly doesn't do it all. If it did this blog would be totally redundant.

    3) You must be a bully if you think that all adversarial interactions require two sides to be to blame for a relationship breakdown.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I agree; because one, or a group, resists a "bully," does not make those who take a stand responsible for being bullied.

    Too often, our City has acted like a bully. It takes two to Tango, but someone can beat himself up all by himself. Sometimes I think that is what our City Council has been doing to itself with its misguided decisions, too often made behind closed doors.

    Speaking to one of el encinito's comments: I would not care so much if my "property value" went down, in terms of dollars, really. Because I'm staying here. I could ask for a reduction in my escalating property taxes.

    However, I'm sure we all want to preserve our property values in terms of quality of life. I do think we need some affordable housing in this community, and that diversity is a good thing. I don't want a bunch of Stepford Wife families monopolizing the roadways with gas guzzling SUV's.

    The City is attempting to monopolize our parks, and to encourage the Encinitas Union School District to sell the Pacific View property for more commercial, high rise (for this town) residential development. Oh, it could be worse, they say.

    Most people do not want a lot of hardscapes at the Hall property, and do not want regional sports complexes with big lights that will disturb the neighbors. And I don’t live near there, either, so please don’t dismiss me as a NIMBY. The workshops, and people's input were twisted and ignored; the participants' expressed desires were bulldozed by Christy Guerin and associates. Yes, time for a fresh look, a fresh start.

    We want a pocket park at Pacific View!

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  9. Nice Letter- Although there is no easy solution to housing costs. I hope many folks will take free enterprise and economics courses to better understand the issue.

    Home prices are market driven. You push affordable- you get high density crap like the proposed development on Sante Fe and El Camino- Everybody screams no upzoning. You propose a condos on Quail gardens property everybody screams- no condos. You propose a trailer park in Olivenhain- I don't think so. Trailers in Cardiff- I don't think so. You can't just wish things to be affordable, something gives. Encinitas currently is affordable otherwise we would all move which would cause prices to drop dramatically. You can make it affordable by selling your home to someone for $400,000. Go for it. You can also make it affordable by lowering the quality of life so it’s as nice as Oceanside or Vista. That would lower the prices.

    I personally like our general plan and do not like upzoning, but how can you yell for affordable housing without having upzoning?

    I'd say one of the biggest threats to moving forward in a transparent open forum is having to listen to the endless rambling of Lynn and likes with no factual information, no constructive suggestions, just pure crappolla. When I think of Council having to listen to her rambling on and on, week after week, with the same old message, I want to give them all a huge pay raise.

    Even worse, Lynn and her never ending chain of personalities focused on "conspiracy" are greatly diminishing the enjoyment and value of this blog.

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  10. "John," please get over yourself and your obsession with me.

    If you aren't enjoying this blog, feel free to stay away.

    Of course you'd like to give Council another pay raise; you are practically one of them. And you turn every issue around on personalities. You are the one who thinks all the posters are me. They are not. You are the paranoid, not me, and you know exactly who you are posting as. If you are so "transparent," why don't you post your true full name, first and last, instead of naming someone else, over and over, so you can vent your venom and bile, distract from the issues. You are a classic example of disinformation, an agenda of personal profit, and lack of accountability, lack of honesty. As others have said, you are a hypocrite and a coward.

    Everytime you write and post my name, you give my viewpoint more attention and power, taking away from your own strained credibility.

    So, go for it. Go back to rehab, cyber bully, RSPB . . .

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  11. Lynn you are now directly pushing people away. This is not your blog if you want your voice to rule please start your own blog. Obnoxious.

    Do you think the change in venue here has anything to do with you? I bet it does.

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  12. Goal number 1 is a concise description of the General Plan, except our General Plan can be modified every year. If you don't like what it says, and the new vision is supported, ask the city to change it. I don't think we need to create any new study. We just need to work within the system.

    That vision thing is interesting. I'll bet there are as many visions for our city as there are citizens.

    I also understand the author's frustration. In city government things move slowly, and often in the opposite direction from your vision. What is most important is that all actions be done with respect. We can't always win, that's democracy, but we should always be listened to respectfully.

    In my dealings with the city, I've often been on the short end of a decision they made. If I disagree strongly enough, I can try to vote out that person next round. That's the system, slow and imperfect, but better than any on the planet.

    Lastly, I would suggest review of the existing Specific Plans, especially Downtown Encinitas. They can easily be ammended if the will is there. That should have been a goal.

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  13. leftcoast/starman/john/RSPB, why don't you start your own blog; you have enough phoney personas.

    You aren't going to succeed in pushing anyone away, and your over inflated ego will not rule anyone.

    And whoever wants to will continue to call a bully a bully. You are an anonymous twit targeting someone because you have major problems.

    A little early to be drinking isn't it, RSPB?

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  14. lynn you are fucking out of control.

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  15. You are out of control, RSPB. You are a mirror of your own excesses, reflecting your own potty mouth, and your huge ego.

    Go sleep it off. . .

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  16. sorry, leftcoast. Your post, here, was decent.

    I don't feel the City always moves slowly, though. Sometimes it pushes stuff through, and the individual citizens feel powerless.

    And as the author, Cindy, said, we ofen do not feel our input is respected.

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  17. Babbler guy wants this blog to deteriorate and Lynn doesn't get that she is helping Babbler guy.

    JP most of us would be happy if you stuffed Lynn and the babbler guy up for a while. Sometimes having an active moderate is real good thing. If they don't like it they can get their own blog.

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  18. Did you know, angry person, attacking him whom you call babbler, and lately, some poster, lynn, hate is definitely a form of attachment.

    If one doesn't want to give power to something, one can use self control, ignore it. Otherwise, one's attention, and the attention of the readers here, who post or who don't post, is directed at the very agenda with which you so vehemently disagree. Let it go, dude.

    "The [anonymous poster] doth protest too much, methinks."

    --From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)

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  19. Is "active moderate" kidding himself?

    JP is a good blog administrator, a fair moderator. He's not going to stuff anybody.

    JP's post, here, is "Moving Forward Together," not "Stuff anyone with whom you disagree."

    Most of the posts here were about just that, moving forward, until john (before george) came back in, dumping on us with his personal attacks. Through his various anonymous identities, john now claims someone is pushing people away. I don't see that, unless it's john, himself, starting something and pushing himself away, really. You can't control it, john. One can only control oneself if one chooses to.

    People can and do skip or skim over posts they don't have the patience to read.

    I've gotten good info on this blog, myself. And I've referred many people here, to check out local politics. People commenting here can choose to talk about the issues, or they can play dirty politics, and attack.

    Bullies tend to navigate toward politics. It has to do with ego. Wanting to sit up on high, greed, status, confusing net worth with quality of life, values.

    But sometimes, people participate to serve, to share, to listen, and to learn.

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  20. "If one doesn't want to give power to something, one can use self control, ignore it."

    too bad you, Lynn, don't practice what you preach

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  21. Yeah, Lynn should just ignore you, Bossypants.

    You mistake preaching for your own inability to listen, or to care, Bossy. Guess you like to have the last word, don't you, scummy one.

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  22. What's this about, anyway?

    "Encinitas currently
    is affordable otherwise we would all move which would cause prices to drop dramatically." That's bull crap. You and I and everyone else knows that most of us could not afford to move in at today's prices.

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  23. Are you talking about renting or owning?

    If owning, remember that you need a seller AND a buyer to for a house to sell. There have been less sales lately but there have been sales.

    You know it wasn't hard to sell out the Encinitas Ranch and those are very expensive houses. They are afforadable, just not to you.

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  24. Renting or owning, but especially owning, most of us who have lived here for ten years could not afford to move in at today's prices.

    In the 1990's, $200,000 seemed like a lot for a small home. That same home would go for at least $700,000, probably, today, depending on where it is.

    Property tax on $700,000 would start at $7,000 per year, plus all the City's added fees for sewer, and other fees not counted in the 1%. Property tax goes up 2% a year, compounded interest. So in 10 years, someone would be paying about 25% more.

    Sure, some can afford this. But not most of those who've been living here awhile. And anybody would be very lucky to find a home for under $800,000 near the coast.

    Please don't tell me to cash in and move to more roundabouts in Arizona.

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  25. I have never been able to afford to live in Rancho Santa Fe. I love all the open space, golf, quaint feelings. I really would like to live there. I hope they build 72 five story cond complexes. Maybe then I could afford it.

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  26. Smith you and Lynn should cash in and move to Arizona. We'll... I mean you'll be alot happier.

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  27. Suddenly all of these posts in support of roundabouts are making sense. I did a Google search with Roundabouts La Jolla Bird Rock. And guess what comes up in number one position? It is a Union-Tribune article about the Barratt American development Seahaus complete with roundabouts in Bird Rock.

    Wow! So it is Michael Pattinson or one or more of his colleagues praising the roundabouts and claiming their efficacy and safety. I guess it's easier to say that rather than how the roundabouts will drive development and more traffic.

    The Nantucket project at Sheridan and Andrew was not enough for David Meyer and Michael Pattinson. They must have big plans for Leucadia. I can't see how this will be good for Leucadia after what happened on Andrew. How low will Barratt American stoop with personal attacks and insults in order to get what them want in Leucadia and earn their forty pieces of silver?

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  28. Barratt American plans for Leucadia have Jerome Stocks' fingerprints all over them.

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  29. Thank you, last two posts by anonymous. You are bringing in actual information, not just adding to the distraction and personal attacks, using me as a target.

    What Smith said, before, is factual, as well. I don't see that he was promoting more high density development. I know I don't want that, personally!

    It is a simple fact; most of those who have lived here for any length of time could not afford to settle down here, for the first time, now, at today's prices. As a community, we can come together and find solutions instead of hurling insults and threats around.

    One way to address the affordable housing issue is by taking advantage of the municipal codes already on the books with respect to accessory units. We citizens don't want more high rise, high density developments like Pacific Station, and the one now being promoted for Pacific View School's replacement, now that the public works yard will be moving to Mossy.

    Good neighbors support a Pocket Park for Pacific View!

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