Encinitas considering MainStreet coordinator to promote economic development
The city of Encinitas wants to hire Peder Norby to be the Highway 101 MainStreet coordinator and has budgeted a healthy gob of money for the position.
At first I thought, "Wow, what a scam. Why can't the existing city staff provide infrastructure for the 101?"
Then I threw my head back and laughed and laughed.
Here is why I've decided to support Peder Norby:
He did a good job with the downtown Encinitas streetscape program. I remember when the city first talking about fixing up downtown coastal Encinitas a lot of people were afraid that they were going to bulldoze the whole thing. I think Norby did a good job of fine tuning and beautifying downtown Encinitas that enhanced it's historic ambiance.
Norby seems like a guy who gets stuff done. If he can do half of what he did for downtown Encinitas for coastal Leucadia then I think we can have a functional community that we can all be proud of.
As much fun as last Friday's Leucadia Nights event was, it exposed many flaws in the functionality of the coastal corridor (dark areas, dead zones, broken or no sidewalks, parking issues, etc).
Leucadia Nights also demonstrated just how fun and cool Leucadia is. With a little TLC, Leucadia can have one of the best main streets in California.
Norby seems like a pretty hip guy and I think he can help create a funky and functional Leucadia.
The coast highway is beautiful but the dirt medians kind of...suck.
Nothing has been the detriment to Leucadia more than the NCTD's scorched earth policy. It's unclear if Norby can have any influence on the NCTD (rumor is that the N stands for Nazi).
Leucadia is a great but places like this section could really benefit from improvements. Could Peder Norby be mediator between the heart (you Leucadians) and the head (the city of Encinitas staff and council)?
Sure, $100,000 a year is a pretty sweet gig but in a way we are getting Norby for cheap as he is courted by other cities willing to pay more.
Heck, I'm a little jealous. This 101 coordinator position is like, my wife's dream job. During her architecture school education she specialized in urban planning with emphasis on historical preservation and pedestrian movements. Plus, she is a third generation Leucadian so she gets it.
Peder Norby and I have exchanged a few e-mails and I think he is a smart, thoughtful guy. I like what he says here, I have visited and worked in over 300 downtowns during the past 10 years. There is no example that I can point to as a success, where they destroyed the culture and history of their downtown, replacing it with “generica”.
Besides, Norby now knows that he if turns coastal Leucadia into a touristy version of San Diego's Seaport Village then 10,000 Leucadians are going to march to his house with pointy sticks.