Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Leucadia Property Owners Supply Massive Tax Base with Little Return

Today's NCT story is about the city jumping for joy that they've been overtaxing Encinitas families despite several years of fear mongering:

New employees, programs proposed in Encinitas

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS ---- Despite a flagging real estate market, strong property tax income means the city can build increased cash reserves into its $53.4 million budget and pay for new programs and employees, finance officials said Monday.

The information is part of a proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2007-08 that will be considered by the City Council at a 5 p.m. workshop today at City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave.

Also up for debate is the city's six-year financial forecast and capital improvement program.

No action is scheduled today and the council it set to adopt its spending plan on May 23 or June 20.

The plan for fiscal year 2007-08, which begins July 1, shows the city receiving $4.1 million more in revenue than it plans to spend.

Operating budget revenues are anticipated at $53.4 million. That's a $2.4 million or 4.7 percent increase from the present fiscal year.

The projected increase follows a recent pattern: from fiscal years 2004-05 to 2005-06, the budget increased by $1.4 million or 3 percent, from $46.5 million to $47.9 million.

From fiscal 2005-06 to 2006-07 it increased by $3.1 million or 3.1 percent, from $47.9 million to $51 million.

The operating budget, also known as the general fund, pays for employee salaries and benefits, materials and supplies, contract services and debt payments.

Most of the general fund's projected income ---- $33.1 million ---- comes from property taxes.

Property tax revenue is anticipated to increase $2 million or 6.4 percent during fiscal 2007-08. That's because the taxable value of older homes climbs substantially when they are reassessed and sold, said Jennifer Smith, finance director.

While property tax income remains brisk, officials are budgeting for reduced growth in Encinitas' second-biggest income source: sales tax.

Sales tax income for fiscal year 2007-08 is budgeted at $9.1 million. That's a $180,000 or 2 percent increase. During most years, officials anticipate 3 percent to 4 percent sales tax growth, Smith said.

She said new shopping centers in neighboring cities have drawn away customers who previously spent their money in Encinitas. The city also lost one of its top sales tax producers, Mossy Chevrolet, when that business closed last summer, Smith said.

Other income sources for fiscal year 2007-08 include miscellaneous taxes and fees ($3.4 million); licences and permits ($163,000); intergovernmental revenue ($453,000); charges for services ($5.2 million); investment earnings ($991,000) and fines and penalties ($834,000).

The budget's expense column shows employee salaries and benefits as the city's top cost, $22.6 million. Personnel costs in fiscal 2007-08 would increase by $1.4 million or 6.6 percent.

Part of the increase comes from plans to add 3.4 employees to the payroll, which would bring the number of full-time equivalent positions to 240.8 employees.

Two of the positions would support the city's clean-water program. Also budgeted is the $29,000 purchase of a new, off-road vehicle for the "Stormwater Environmental Specialist" to complete his or her duties.

The coastal zone manager's job would increase from a 20-hour to a 36-hour-per-week position.

Another full-time position, program assistant in the Parks and Recreation Department, is proposed to handle registrations at city facilities.

Elsewhere, contract services would represent $20.2 million in fiscal year 2007-08. The largest single contract, to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement services, is budgeted at $11.2 million.

In future years, new expenses include budgeting for maintenance of a planned park in Cardiff. Starting in fiscal year 2010-11, the city will set aside $250,000 for park upkeep. That amount would increase to $500,000 beginning in fiscal year 2011-12.

Starting in fiscal year 2008-09, the budget shows $500,000 annual contributions to a fund to pay for retired employees' health benefits.

Sooner, in fiscal year 2007-08, the operating budget would contribute $3.7 million toward the cost of capital projects planned for the year.

This year, nearly $2 million in unanticipated property tax income has meant the city can increase its rainy-day savings to $9.1 million, or 20 percent of planned expenditures, Smith said.

The Finance Department also has proposed establishing a so-called "budget stabilization reserve" ---- with an initial allocation of $1 million ---- to restore the budget in the event of a recession, she said.

Also up for debate today is an estimated $11.1 million worth of capital improvements, including: $80,000 for the state-mandated collection of hydrologic, hydraulic and water quality data for four lagoons in North County; $15,000 for a community opinion survey; $90,720 for improvements to a new Encinitas Visitors Center on Second Street; $500,000 toward a comprehensive general plan update; and $765,000 to establish a quiet zone at the Chesterfield Drive rail crossing. In recent years, the city has studied how to modify the crossing so it could stay safe if train horns were silenced.

Burning questions: If the budget is so kick ass why were we threatened with street lights going out and a lack of a clean water program? Why doesn't the coastal Leucadia mainsteet on Hwy 101 have a streetscape program and why are Cardiff's alleys still oozing? If the budget is so solid why did the city borrow $20 million in bond debt? Can the city afford to build the $35 million Hall Park? Is there any chance of the city ever reducing fees? Why are our water bills filled with strange increases? Why no mention of the "shoot for the moon" firestations?


>>UPDATE<< Today's NCT.com recap of the budget workshop,
Encinitas mulls $53.4M budget

55 comments:

  1. I agree. A regional park should be built by Carlsbad and San Marcos considering they are doubling the population in the region. I think council should build a more passive park with a few multi-purpose ball fields to accomodate local Encinitans.

    No need to focus on a small sports group and inconvience the masses for regional sports tourney. Lets leave that to our overweight sister city to the north.

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  2. We can't decide whether to build more housing or office buildings. But one thing is for sure, there is a heck of a lot of raw land here in private ownership and we can't afford to buy it up for open space. Can't stop the owners from developing it, but we do make them provide new park space - check out the Robertson Ranch debacle.

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  3. Lotta burning questions JP.
    the threats of street lights going out and a lack of clean water were foils to try to get the property owners to pony up the money for the programs. The property owners said, "Nope". Those programs will now be paid out of the general fund as necessary. The North Coast Hwy 101 Streetscape program is funded at 500,000 for the 07/08 fiscal year. Cardiff alleys are still oozing because someone thought that Cardiff residents would buy into a flawed Cardiff Streetscape program. Nope. The city borrowed against the library to free up money for the other capital improvement projects. The city has budgeted 15/million for the first phase of the hall property with a major chunk coming out of the bond issue but only 1/million for this year. No, there is no chance of the city ever reducing fees. We live in a desert and water is not going to get cheaper, scarcer maybe, but not cheaper. Fire-station reconstruction is budgeted at 13.5 million. The projected long term expenditures for the total 101 active capital improvement projects is 109 million. The 55 higest priority projects of which 38 are existing and 17 are new have a guesstimated cost of 65.7 million. The amount budgeted for the next year is 11.07 million.

    The budget meeting was very interesting. At the direction of Phil Cotton, the way we produce our buget was changed this year. Instead of simply adding some percentage increase to each department, each department was directed to start with a zero budget and required to justify every dollar requested and every staff or contract service alloted. This produced a balanced budget for the first time and provided the ability to set aside a reserve account and recession contingency fund. And yes that is also figuring in the service on the bond payments.

    Weren't many community members at the meeting but that may have had more to do with the 4pm starting time.

    Again, I will leave the city handouts at Anderson's Stationary tomorrow morning where anyone can get a copy if they desire. For an in depth study you will have to go to City hall and ask to look at the "white" and "black" binders.

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  4. Do the water bill increases reflect water shortages (doubtful) or something else?

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  5. The water bill will continue to increase. I believe the current increase is not for underground "infrastructure" as reported in the NCT, but was really to help pay for the $3.5 million dollars for "rights of use" of the Mossy Property publics works yard. What about that, Gil? Was more money budgeted for the development of that beyond the $10 million already figured in?

    That seemed crazy, and I don't see how a lease revenue bond could have been used based on the library, as that does NOT produce a revenue stream.

    I wish I could have gone today; but yes, it did start at four, not five, JP.

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  6. Roadside Park BumApril 24, 2007 10:27 PM

    I've been telling you for several years now that Leucadia pays more in taxes than it receives from the city. So now you get it, don't you!!

    Puked upon:
    Let's see now the city is flush with cash and yet.....told the residents of Leucadia that if you want some flowers in the center median of 101 to pay for them yourselves!!!

    Pissed upon:
    The city is flush with cash and yet it won't pay for portapotties at Leucadia beaches!!

    Shit upon:
    $15,000 for a community opinion survey that the city is already paying $10K for now. Two surveys in less than 1 year??? No wonder the ex-city manager is laughing at you!!

    Puked,Pissed and Shat upon:
    $765,000 for a quiet zone?? $765,000 to tell Amtrak and the Coaster train to silence the whistle??? $765,000 that could be used to add sidewalks to Leucadia, add streetlights to Leucadia, $765,000 that could be used to add flowers and landscaping to Leucadia, $765,000 that could be used to rebuild Beacons Beach access.

    Is it any wonder that Leucadians are considered chumps and losers!!The city of Encinitas has been ripping you off for 20 years and continues to cheat you and leave Leucadia an eyesore and ugly. But fear not for precious Maggie and Teresa will be our saviors. After all they are going to help plant some trees in the park!! And after the trees are planted everything will be just peachy again in Leucadia!!!

    RSPB
    PS- After the tree planting why not ask Maggie and/or Teresa about the orange sandbags the disgrace the railroad tracks, ask them why aren't there more sidewalks for Leucadia(after all don't you want Leucadia to be a walkable community?) Ask them about a safe access at Beacons Beach, ask them about portapotties for the beaches and now that you know the financial solvency of the city, don't let them double talk you with lies and half truths about lack of $$$.. IT IS YOUR $$$$, regardless of what the politicians and bureaucrats tell you!!! And there is plenty of $$$ you chumps and losers!! They just don't want to spend any $$$ in LEUCADIA!!!!

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  7. Curious mind wants to knowApril 24, 2007 10:58 PM

    The Blue Ribbon Committe report was isued in 2001 when Maggie was part of a Council majority with Dennis Holz.

    Why was nothing done in the ensueing years to actually establish an Environmental Commission!?

    They were the Council Majority and yet did NOTHING!

    They failed to eliminate esmoking on our beaches as well.

    I believe Maggie and company don't want to actually solve these issues as much as they enjoy the political benefit they get from being able to scream about them.

    Their act is wearing thin!

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  8. The arts administrator is getting a good salary increase, from $89,431 for this fiscal year to a nice round $102,005 for the next year beginning this July.

    The council is starting its redevelopment agency with the hiring of a Hwy 101 corridor coordinator at another $100,000.

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  9. Hire the HW101 coordinator and fire the Art Coordinator. DEMA is a huge success and L101 is getting there. What has the Art Director done to prove he benefits the community worth more than $100k per year? 100k per year could pay for a lot of nice art pieces.

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  10. A bitter person the last three post.

    Teresa's budget comments were excellent. The council agreed to move up the general plan review by two years based on her recommendation.

    All in all, the drama last night was a 25k contribution to a tourism promotion organization that was cut to 5k. In my opinion the less promotion of Encinitas to Arizona and LA the better.

    That discussion and presentation by the leader of the group took 1/3rd of the meeting. THe other 50+ million was prety agreeable to all parties.

    One of the other items was the question of "a parking lot or the 101 Artists' Colony" for the future of the gas station building at the bottom of city hall.

    Parking is a huge problem but losing the 101 Artists' Colony is a bigger problem.

    What is the wisdom of the great bloggers of Encinitas on this choice?

    It will be a future agenda item for council.

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  11. not you adnon 721.

    but the three before you :)

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  12. Roadside Park BumApril 25, 2007 7:57 AM

    Anon 7:25-Bitter I am not!!! Realist I am!!! Deal with it!!! In the mean time don't forget to be ready for the tree planting in the park, after the trees go in EVERYTHING will be perfect in Leucadia!!! We won't have to do anything to make Leucadia a better place, because it will be perfect......if you are a loser and chump!!!

    As for a park bench or picnic table in the park, several of my ol' bum buddies can't wait to return to the park and get drunk and loaded on drugs again. All thanks to the generosity of a bunch of "feel good do gooders".

    I can hear the ex-city manager already....Hahahahahah.

    RSPB

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  13. Haven't all the Leucadia bums dead? They've been getting hit by cars and throwing themselves in front of the Coaster. It's time to bring the picnic table back.

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  14. the 101 Artists Colony is a joke

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  15. im on the road in LA trying to make sales today and so couldn't get by andersons with the docs. tomorrow 4 sure sorry.

    The water folks are retrofitting the electronic meter readers and the underground infrastructure is aging.

    The mossy property is asking for more $. The amount is unknown until the bids come back in june, but probably another million.

    Fill the blog today with comments and ?'s and ill try to convey what I gleaned from budget meeting tomorrow.

    Blog on!

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  16. Ex-City Manager!!April 25, 2007 10:06 AM

    Leucadia???- Hahahahahahahahaha

    Streetscape project??-Hahahahahaha

    Planting trees in the park,adding benches and seating???-Hoahaohaohaoahoahahaoahoahaohaoahaohaoahoahaoahaoah
    Too much, too much, my gut hurts from all the laughing.

    Maggie and Teresa saviors?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHOHOHOHOHOHH.
    Too much, it's all just too much, I never dreams I would be having sooo much fun.

    Ex-City Manager

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  17. I'd rather see the Artist Colony move to north Leucadia if possible.

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  18. Ex-City Manager!!April 25, 2007 1:14 PM

    L101 paid $7,500 for plants in the center median.....the city had the $$$ all along!!!
    HAhAHAhAHAHAHAHAHahahahahahahaha.

    Chumps and Losers!!!
    HOHOHOhohohohohohohohoh!!!

    $$$$ for Leucadia???
    HOo,hooo,hooooo,hoooooo,Haaa,hahaaaa.

    Artists colony in Leucadia??? Weren't they there 2 years ago???
    Hahahahahhohohohoh,ooohooohoooho.

    Life is good here in NoCal, no more pissy little do gooders and their trees!!!
    Heheheheheheheheh.

    Ex-City Manager

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  19. have the artists take over the trailer parks. All the people should get along.

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  20. So convenient that the city manager is now manager of City of Folsom, that way when he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and he gets sentenced to prison time Folsom Prison is right there.
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahaha!!!!!!!
    Don't think he'll laugh much in Folsom Folsom prison and it won't be his gut that hurts once he's in there.
    hohohoho hahahaha

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  21. Lotsa copmments from Leucadians. How aboy a couple residents running for the city council to give it a new direction. It takes more than two to tango

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  22. Yes, I hope we get some more good candidates for 2008.

    Guess what, I don't think we need an art director here at all. I liked the Art Commission's plan to have a volunteer art jury to make decisions about certain art grants, etc. The Art Director is getting paid so much more than the City is actually supporting the arts! And his salary was already over $100,000, BEFORE when you add in his benefits.

    This job does not have to be indefinite. I would object to a salary increase. That's ridiculous; it's to pad the budget so they can spend the surplus, while we have to pay off the interest and principal of more and more bogus lease revenue bonds.

    Sometimes people do get bitter, that's true. And there is a reason for it, too. Leucadia deserves a quiet zone just as much as Cardiff. And our crossing here seems much more dangerous, too.

    What is the 101 Co-ordinator? Lots of people couldn't go to the meeting, which began at 4:00 yesterday. Seems like this is one more thing that staff could be doing. We do not need more staff positions. For a city of only 62,000, including kids, who don't vote or pay taxes, we have more than enough staff.

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  23. Peder Norby is the 101 coordinator.

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  24. That dude knows his shit.April 26, 2007 7:31 AM

    The HW101 coordinator will manage DEMA, L101, and Cardiff's new mainstreet association. Mr. Norby has done an amazing job with DEMA, he is very supportive of Leucadia keeping its unique anti-generic appeal, he not in favor of a redevelopment district for Leucadia N. Coast Highway specific plan, and he is very very knowledgeable on how to create a thriving vibrant unique mainstreets (micro-tourism locations) that keep our identity and will maximize Encinitas citizens quality of life.

    I consider myself a funky leucadian and am strongly opposed to a redevelopment district (the area is redeveloping just fine with the existing market forces). I talked at length with Peder and learned he is very valuable in our efforts to keep Leucadia HW101 a top knotch unique beach community and improve the walkability and business climate of the area.

    I feel fortunate that Peder is our HW101 coordinator- That dude is well worth the quan. WELCOME PEDER NORBY TO LEUCADIA. I suggest any of you that do not know Peder, go talk with him and judge for yourself.

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  25. Staffing and budget overview,

    There are five new city employees as part of the budget plus one contract for services, Most but not all in engineering to do inspections, ($120,000 inspector salary) monitoring, ($85,000) and other compliance stuff. All of these folks get benifits and retirement.

    Next year there will be a new full time sheriff Deputy (Cost $500,000 for one full time deputy+car)

    The new 101 coordinators position is (100K contract, non city employee)

    Encinitas Chamber got $93,000 to pay for visitors center/chamber move in cost furnishings, Plus the $90,000+ annual contract to operate visitors center.

    Leucadia Mainstreet remained the same at $20k and DEMA took a 10k cut from $50k to 40K.

    San Diego North con-vis was cut from $28,000 to $5,000

    Planning cost are going down, engineering cost are going up (mostly clean water stuff was the reason stated)

    750K for rail crossing quiet zone implementation at Chesterfield

    Capitol improvemnet projects were funded at a higher level because of the windfall from property tax. (55 diferent projects including many in Leucadia)

    Over all similar cost as percentage of budget for staff (now around 220 for the city) and more money percentage wise to city's reserve (from 15% to 20%) to a new rainy day fund (?) 2% and to capitol projects.

    53 million plus change budget.

    Very little disagreement or questions from the council, a lot of the meeting was about the 20k cut to the San Diego North con-vis 5-0 vote, and what the future of the heritage museum old gas station location will be (future agenda item.)

    Teresa moved up the general plan review by two years (500k) and Jerome moved up the hall park maintanince by two years just in case it gets built fast. both of those where 5-0 votes

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  26. Peter must have made a serious turn around on the redevelopment idea. Didn't he say something, or even write it in a letter to the editor, that it would be irresponsible to not go forward with redevelopment?

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  27. What a second.

    "he is very very knowledgeable on how to create a thriving vibrant unique mainstreets (micro-tourism locations) that keep our identity and will maximize Encinitas citizens quality of life."

    Downtown Encinitas is one its way to loosing its historic character. Pacific Station is not in line with historic character nor is it really any assistance in drawing people down there. If the parking sucks it will keep people away. I don't think DEMA was against Pacific Station.

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  28. The hwy 101 coordinator position may be a contract position, but contract employees get benefits. Count in another 25%-30% of the $100,000 salary for a total of about $130,000 for the 101 coordinator.

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  29. Yes, Peder Norby was a booster for a Redevelopment District in Leucadia. He was quoted in the Coast News as being "very familiar" with the redevelopment process and claimed Leucadia met the conditions of "blight".

    We can never let our guard down on this issue-EVER.

    From an editorial in yesterdays' Los Angeles Times written by Doug Kaplan called "Redevelopment Follies":

    "In California last year, redevelopment agencies spent more than $5 billion. They consumed almost $3 billion in property taxes. They forced people from their homes and businesses. And what vital service did they provide? They built shopping centers.....Redevelopment is unwise, unjust and unnecessary and should be repealed before billions more dollars are wasted on public subsides for private developers who-trust me- don't need the money."

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  30. Redevelopment provides hidden and overt subsidies for developers. Not support, SUBSIDIES.Anybody wonder why Stocks, Dalager want a redevelopment district?

    At the least, if we have a 101 czar, we should do two things.
    1) Justify the cost benefit of this position. Think of all the work that could be done with the salary going to the position after just a few years of salary and benefits.
    2) Hire the 101 CZAR as a contractor for specific purposes. This controls costs, alows for flexibility AND ensures that the CZAR doesn't spend a bunch of time actually laying the groundwork for the redevelopment agaency, hiden from public view.

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  31. I'd like to add one more comment. I don't hate Peder Norby, nor am I trying to pick on him. He supported an RDA, and I didn't. It's as simple as that, and I hope sincerely that he realizes that an RDA is not good for Leucadia.

    "Redevelopment also exposes California's cities to an unsettling amount of risk. Unlike schools, courthouses or city halls that usually endure, shopping centers often don't. Strip malls are enclosed to make regional malls, which a few years later, are torn down to make "off price" centers, which are later broken up to become "lifestyle centers" and on it goes. Shopping center developers struggle to stay in fashion and often lose a lot of money trying. But when taxpayer-subsidized projects fail, IT'S THE PUBLIC THAT IS LEFT HOLDING THE EMPTY BAG."

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  32. The trend of the councils is to hire contract employees and then convert the positions to full time city employees. Don't expect the hwy 101 corridor coordinator position to fade away into the sunset.

    Many hwy 101 high density projects are already in the pipeline, so what is the coordinator's job?

    Has DEMA done a good job with their money? Who knows. How many DEMA budgets and financial reports are given to the public on a city agenda?

    The downtown streetscape cost almost $5,000,000. The planning department and the planning commission have approved projects that will demolish and destroy part of the downtown streetscape, the stone walls, sidewalks, etc. that were paid for by the city.

    The developers aren't required to repay or compensation the city coffers for the destruction of city property.

    Why is the city council allowing the destruction of city property?

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  33. Contract employees and consultants do not get benefits. The hourly rate is inclusive. Its its $100k in the budget. It will not cost $130k.

    I agree with keeping staff increases to a minimum. Big government is bad government.

    I bet Peder reads this blog. I would love him to set the record straight on his position on Redevelopment. Maybe someone that knows Peder could ask him and provide his quotes?

    Our maybe Adam Kaye or our very own JP could interview him and write an article about the new responsibilities of the HW101 coordinators responsibilities, vision for the area, and position on redevelopment.

    I think DEMA has done an amazing job with turning down town Encinitas into one of the nicest coastal main streets in all of CA. I welcome Peder as the Mainstreet Coordinator for our 3 mainstreet programs.

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  34. That would be an awesome interview J.P.

    Peder would never do it though.

    What the hell is the D all about. Most normal folks spell it Peter.

    Of course I guess that is funky in a way!

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  35. Pacific Station is not a redevelopment district. It is changing by existing market forces. T

    hose people who live in Pacific Station will walk to the local shops as often as they can. Live and walk to shopping or entertainment/eating events is awesome. I do it as much as possible. I hate to get in my car and on the weekends I dont.

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  36. 500K for a cop!

    That has to be a typo.

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  37. pacific stationApril 26, 2007 2:13 PM

    It is changing by existing market forces.

    Sorry, but the ultimate explaination is the 101 specific plan. The City did it. I certainly don't hold anything against the developer for executing their development rights, granted in the 101 specific plan.

    The specific plan has ensured the destruction of the historic character.

    Building Pacific Station doesn't change the amount of walking people who live here already will do.

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  38. Roadside park bumApril 26, 2007 2:51 PM

    Peder Norby is expected to be named the new 101 cooridinator, that's all fine and dandy. A few questions if you will??
    1- What is it that you are going to do that isn't being done now??
    2- Why should we expect you to accomplish more on 101 through Leucadia than L101 or LTC??
    3- Is this position a "full time job" 40 per week and will you be working ONLY for Hwy 101 and COE?
    4- Will you be consulting for other cities or municipalities while H101 Czar?? If so, why???
    5- Will you be earning a salary from these other cities?? If so how much??
    6- Does your position allow you power over the Railroad right-of-way??
    7- When can we expect the orange sandbags to be removed??

    Just a few questions that will need to be answered!

    RSPB-PS- There are many in Leucadia that are HAPPY with the way things are now, in fact they are NOT HAPPY with the changes that are coming to LEUCADIA, such as flowers in the center median and sidewalks.
    You must not allow these people to influence you in anyway!! They post on this blog, THEY ARE CRAZY!!! THEY WANT TO KEEP LEUCADIA UGLY!!! IGNORE THEM AT ALL COSTS!!! But remember as Leucadia changes for the better, (and yes sidewalks and streetlights and flowers and portapotties at the beaches are better for Leucadia),these people will grow more radical as their power base erodes beneath their feet.

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  39. RSBP,

    are you saying JP or M Fleener don't like flowers in the median. Who on earth doesn't like flowers in teh median. Maybe it is time to vote some people off the island?

    So who am i voting for?

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  40. The flowers in the median were heavily critized in the past as being weeds!

    They rock and are looking great! I like the fact that they have seasons as oppossed to always green.

    Thank you Leucadia 101 mainstreet for a great effort!

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  41. Below is a reminder of Peder's quotes on Leucadia. I like his perspective.

    What it's about

    Eclectic shops, restaurants, yoga studios and art galleries line the commercial zone along the coast highway. The district has a "natural, homeopathic feel to it," said Peder Norby, director of the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Assn. "The challenge will be to maintain that in the face of upcoming revitalization."

    Some local favorite hangouts include Pannikin Coffee & Tea, housed in a train station built in the 1880s and favored by the arts crowd; Lou's Records, with a collection of new and used CDs and records; Calypso Cafe, built in an old house and offering a beach-vibe music scene (Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin is a regular performer).

    Leucadia's beaches may be the last true hide-outs of the Southern California surf scene. Very much off the beaten path, there are three popular spots — Grandview, Beacon's and Stone Steps — that are hidden gems, tucked away at the bottom of steep staircases.

    *

    Insiders' view

    "The best thing that ever happened to Leucadia is that nothing ever happened to it," Norby said. But the winds of change are blowing. The Leucadia 101 Main Street Assn. was formed to protect the area's character, in particular the preservation of North Coast Highway 101's classic roadside architecture.

    Yet other residents feel that change cannot come quickly enough. John Portilla owns Fulano's Café: "The powers that be would like to keep Leucadia junky…. Hopefully, some of the new growth that is coming will help it change."

    Despite the debate, change is under way. Small improvements (new sidewalks, landscaping, parking) have community support. Locals cite the Gold Coast Plaza, an old courtyard motel converted to boutique shops and a spa, as a good example of sensitive redevelopment. The most controversial project — a 130-room luxury condominium-hotel to be built on the ocean bluffs at Leucadia's northern edge — is moving forward. The hotel will be built by KSL Resorts, which owns the La Costa Resort and the Hotel del Coronado.

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  42. Roadside park bumApril 26, 2007 5:13 PM

    Survivor- after 2 years of my tutelage J.P. is understanding the importance of the quality of life issues that face Leucadia, others can not be helped and are hopeless. Ignore them, they are crazy!!

    Their catch phrase of Keep Leucadia Funky is code for Keep Leucadia Junky, Ugly, Backward, 3rd World and Delapidated!! They have a financial interest in keeping Leucadia the butthole of the city!!!

    Hopefully Norby will ignore these nutcases, but they are LOUD and vocal!!

    Only time will tell whether my questions are answered, or if Norby uses this position as a stepping stone to other consulting jobs while holding this job. If he does so then it's a 7 figure salary for him!!!

    RSPB

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  43. Lightning Soccer Dad, blog lurkerApril 26, 2007 6:07 PM

    Thought I would disclose right up front that I am a friend of his family. So discount my comments because I am not a Leucadian and I like the guy.
    I know his brother Niels better, he is the president of Lightning soccer, the league my daughter plays in and the owner of San Dieguito Trophy. It’s funny in way to read about him here.

    Both Niels and Peder give back in volunteer time to North County. Peder has turned down offers for big money to help in the east village redevelopment near Petco. Why. He lives in paradise, Coastal North County and does not want to commute. For several years larger cities have been trying to hire him but he won’t do it.

    He started a foundation in Carlsbad called Kids a Worth a Million and has raised and helped to raise several million dollars to help kids in the class room and teachers.

    He donates any professional fees he gets from speaking. Last year Illinios, flew him out for a conference to work with cities. He found out that the state directors son had cancer or something, he donated his fee plus his own money to the local foundation. He will never tell you that.

    Next week he is opening his home that he built to 1000 folks to help raise $50k for the local Library folks.

    I also have seen what has happened in downtown Encinitas and it’s great. I don’t know much about his profession but think Encinitas has been fortunate.
    I suggest you get to know him or at least Google him.

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  44. Sorry RSPB, but the catchphrase "Keep Leucadia Funky" is NOT code for junky. I've given up written editorials on the subtle difference because apparently you just won't read them. Your third world comments are a little over the top too, but whatever. Your mind was made up a long time ago. You want Leucadia to look like the little faux Dutch village that Carlsbad wishes it was. Dude, just move to Solvang already.

    AND,

    I love John Portilla but some of his families properties were/are the most run down in town so I don't know where he gets off with the junky smack talk.

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  45. The downtown streetscape cost almost $5,000,000. The planning department and the planning commission have approved projects that will demolish and destroy part of the downtown streetscape, the stone walls, sidewalks, etc. that were paid for by the city.

    The developers aren't required to repay or compensation the city coffers for the destruction of city property.

    Why is the city council allowing the destruction of city property?

    Come on Stocks, Dalager, and Bond and explain why you will let developers destroy city property.

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  46. Peder is going to be the best thing that ever happened to Leucadia. There is going to be planing starting for Highway 101 upgrades that will affect all of us. He will help sheppard that process along with Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association and other stakeholders.

    Peder showed his skill in Encinitas, and he will do it again in Leucadia.

    Among other things, I hope he works to bury those damn railroad tracks! How awesume would that be?

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  47. yeah riiiiiightApril 26, 2007 8:31 PM

    Lots of Peder Norby kool-aid drinkers online tonight or is it the same person posting over and over?

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  48. Roadside Park BumApril 26, 2007 8:34 PM

    J.P.- If you think I want Leucadia to be like Solvang, you are wrong!!! I want Leucadia to be more than it is.( I notice that you stopped touring the 101 here on the blog, too depressing and rundown, dare I say blighted!!)
    If you think that sidewalks, streetlights,flowers and portapotties at the beach are going to turn Leucadia into a Little Dutch Village, then there is no hope for you either. If you don't think Leucadia is 3rd world, then you need to spend more time walking this community and less time surfing!! Walk the dirt alleyways, the dirt streets, take you life in your hands as you go down 101 without sidewalks.

    Interestingly, I thought you might make a good 101 Czar, but if you can't see the problems then it is obvious that you are part of the problem and not the solution.

    I suppose you are going to tell us that a train running through town at 70 MPH 26 times a day is "funky", well it is not!! It is dangerous and must be lowered asap. Hopefully Norby will understand that and work towards that solution while you and the others hold candlelight vigils for trees or whatever nutty idea comes to mind.

    RSPB- Noone, NOONE wants H101 to be El Camino Real with all the big box stores and fast food joints. But to maintain the status quo is to die and remain the 2nd , 3rd or 4th thought for the city when it comes to Leucadia.

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  49. Peder Norby may be a nice guy who donates time and money. That does not mean that we should contract with him for $100K to do something that we could have a 101 Commission doing, for free.

    Dalager says he doesn't want "another level of bureaucracy. But he’s okay, apparently with instigating all these extra paid positions on staff. I don’t get why he says he does not want an environmental commission as the Blue Ribbon Committee recommended. It would be Zero F.T.E. (full time employees).

    I did appreciate Dan’s position on saving the old gas station. I think Maggie and Teresa will go along with this, and the gas station can be rented out, perhaps, to the Artist’s Colony, or someone else who can pay a lease.

    I liked Donna Westbrook’s comments. I don’t see why the Visitors Center, which is staffed by volunteers (who did not want the move to downtown), is getting $92K in moving expenses, and $91K per year in operating expenses, when in many other cities, the visitors centers are self supporting.

    Donna brought up the loss of property tax revenue from the Mossy Property. Someone asked about the Mossy Property, Maggie. I thought the explanation was entirely unsatisfactory by some member of staff. It supposedly was to be turnkey ready at 9.5 million. We had thought the appraisal was for 8.5 million, but apparently that didn’t count the “structures,” which were valued at $1 million. So the total, which suddenly was to include $500,00 for converting the structures, is now up to $10.1 million spent SO FAR! They are asking for another $400,000 for “redevelopment,” and more, after that, for “maintenance. This Mossy Property is a huge liability, and it’s entirely unfair what happened to the San Dieguito Water District ratepayers, in the process of slinging monies from one “govt. entity” to another, where the Board of Directors of SDWD are the exact same people as our City Council Members.

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  50. I'm all about improving Leucadia101. But unlike you I want to improve Leucadia because I love Leucadia. You want to change Leucadia because you hate Leucadia and that is the difference between us.

    The tour will continue as soon as I locate the disc with the rest of the photos, lol.

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  51. I liked that Bill Arballo, from the Coast News, posted on this blog.

    He suggests that more people from Leucadia should run for office. We do have two City Council members from Leucadia, Maggie and Dan. I also think Dan should reconsider his position on an environmental sustainability commision.

    I watched a replay of the Council Meeting tonight. It froze on Jerome Stocks before the meeting was adjourned.

    One other comment I have, staff uses too many acronyms in its reports. They refer Council to charts and materials the viewers and the vast majority of the general public don't have. This is a not so subtle way of keeping information from us.

    Also, I didn't much care for Peter Norby's position on the Beacons Access. He was a little unclear on whether or not he wanted a seawall; most of the audience at the Planning Commission was solidly against a seawall.

    Staff also said that the roundabout bids are coming in higher than expected. I definitely feel we should begin with only one, at Hyemetus. The one at Hermes, the Street Dan Dalager lives on, is not needed according to the City's traffic figures, and projected figures.

    Santa Barbara had to take some roundabouts out. Fortunately, they built the roundabouts in such a manner that they could be temporary. There is no way they should begin any Leucadia roundabouts before they handle the orange sandbag situation.

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  52. JP, nice post, and nice comments, here.

    Anyone who reads this blog, over time, will see that it is usually RSPB or the other persona, ex-city manager, (probably the same guy) who come off as nutcase jobs.

    No one said we want weeds, or that flowers are weeds. That is factually incorrect. What was said is that drought resistant plants would be preferable. Leucadia Roadside Park should not be overwatered to keep away the homeless. We should not have to cut off our nose to spite our face. Overwatering is part of what led to the death of the beautiful, historic cypress trees. RSPB doesn't care about the historical nature of our community from his comments. He thinks those who would like to preserve it are junky and crazy. But his comments just mirror his own distorted thinking. He is correct on some points though; some of his questions are right on, for Peter Norby.

    The park used to have a bench and a picnic table. People remember picnicing in the park! Will Peter Norby make sure we get one? Will he cater to the general public or a few selfish/bitter individuals who do not want the park actually to be used as a park?

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  53. In my humble funky leucadian option, the park should be a centerpiece for downtown leucadia with:

    1. Nice growing cyress trees-4 to replace the previous trees.

    2. A world class surf art piece to represent what our community stands for; maybe with a fishing reel.

    3. some really nice flowers.

    4. Some benches to sit and appreciate the art and landscaping.

    5. Patrols to keep the bums from roosting.

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  54. I love the idea of making the Park a centerpiece for Leucadia. How cool would that be?

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  55. hey anon 928,

    That same person was dropping bombs saying that hte cardiff people wanted the hall park to stay vacant. They could only name Dietmar when challenged to name one person that wanted that. Turns out Dietmars CQL website put up years ago provides ample evidence that he wants a community park put in.

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