Thursday, June 28, 2007

Killing 2 birds with 3 stones

Encinitas approves $10,425 for survey; Questionnaire will not include question about beach smoking ban

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS -- The City Council voted 3-2 Wednesday to spend $10,425 for a community opinion survey amid calls from speakers that the survey include a query about a beach smoking ban.

Councilwomen Teresa Barth and Maggie Houlihan sided with representatives from the American Lung Association, Surfrider Foundation, and anti-drug groups in asking that the survey quiz respondents on whether smoking should be banned at Encinitas beaches.

Mayor James Bond and Councilmen Dan Dalager and Jerome Stocks voted to leave the 31-question survey as an Oregon-based firm, Moore Information Inc., had prepared it ---- without the question on a beach smoking ban.

The same council bloc in 2004 voted down a smoking ban proposal. Stocks is pushing to put a beach smoking ban measure on the 2008 ballot.

"The topic on hand is not smoking on the beach," Stocks said. "The topic before us is are we going to do a citizen satisfaction survey which measures how people like or dislike the services or amenities the city provides. I will never vote to have a survey that takes a pulse of the public on pet political projects and issues."

The yuppie orphans who hang out at Moonlight Beach and enjoy smoking will not be happy with a smoking ban.

In 2003, neighboring Solana Beach enacted a beach smoking ban, and since then, all cities on the north coast, with the exception of Encinitas, have adopted similar bans. Smokers also can legally light up at state-controlled beaches in Carlsbad. The county of San Diego prohibits smoking in its parks.

Barth, who served on a subcommittee with Stocks to develop the survey, said that posing the smoking question would be well worth adding an additional $225 to its cost.

"I see it not as a political issue but rather as a quality-of-life issue," she said. "Our primary, top recreational activity in our community is our beaches and I want to know how our citizens feel about that."

Debra Kelley of the local chapter of the American Lung Association told the council that her organization would pay the $225 to add the question.

She noted that Oceanside, one of 13 jurisdictions in the county to enact smoking bans, consulted with constituents by placing a survey question on their water bills.

Dalager told his colleagues he did not want the survey to become an opinion poll.

Bond said that most of the state's shoreline -- including many Encinitas beaches -- is under state control and that the Legislature should be responsible for enacting a smoking ban.

A healthy lifestyle means smoking and diet Pepsi.

In 2005, an Encinitas survey by the same company revealed overall satisfaction with city services but room for improvement with road conditions and information delivery to the public.

Moore Information randomly polled 300 residents who said they were 18 or older. The survey's sampling error was plus or minus 6 percent.

A majority of respondents said the beaches and the weather were what they liked best about living in the city.

-- Contact staff writer Adam Kaye at (760) 901-4074 or

Leucadia Blog: Burning Questions about the Beach Smoking Ban

Leucadia Blog: The Surveys Usefulness is Dubious

*note-The subjects in the photos all pitched their cigarette butts on the pavement and not the proper receptacles.


  1. another day in MayberryJune 28, 2007 8:22 AM

    Mr. Dalager appears to be unclear on the concept of this survey. The survey is an opinion poll, nothing more, nothing less. Voting for or against a smoking ban in 2008 is nothing more than an expression of a voter's opinion. This is a missed opportunity especially considering that an outside organization offered to pay for the smoking question.

  2. If you did not see the council meeting last night, be sure to watch the replay tonight. I have never seen the three men look so foolish. The two ladies had the more persuasive arguments. Teresa Barth received the only applause from the audience when she pointed out the the survey was only worth doing if it had statistical validity, so why not include the question about a smoking ban.

    Jerome Stocks started the meeting in an upbeat ebullient mood. But when the survey agenda item came up, he turned downright nasty. He kept insisting that the poll was only a satisfaction survey. Maggie Houlihan pointed out several times that staff notes said otherwise. The audience was stunned by his petulant stubborness. He is digging his own political grave.

    Dan Dalager and Mayor James Bond went along with Stocks. It all looked prearranged. Bond's reasons for not including the smoking ban question were so convoluted and contradictory that audience members were looking at each other in puzzlement. At one point he seemed to be arguing against himself. He seems to have a slipped a cog or two in his brain.

    Kevin Cummins again spoke effectively. He called the survey as approved "fluff." That is exactly what it is: a cleverly designed survey to elicit positive comments from the respondants. It showed the political desperation of Jerome Stocks for any kind of positive PR, as he led the charge to spent $10,000 on a useless poll.

    Maggie said she didn't think she would learn much from the survey unless changed. The three men voted not to change anything. Clearly they don't what to learn anything that might upset the comfortable cocoon in which they live.

  3. Nice writing by last anonymous.

  4. Where is the opinion poll about using a lump sum 3.3 million dollars of taxpayer money to pay off the fire employees unfunded pension liablilities?

    The previous city council in 2005 gave the fire department the 5.1% pay raise for 2006,2007,2008, and 2009. That in turn increases the pension debt. Contrary to private companies where the employees pay part of their pension plan, the city of Encinitas has paid everything for the employees.

    Where is the opinion poll on the council's unchecked spending?

  5. What was the survey for? That is really confusing.

    Why is making a financial adjustment a bad idea?

  6. Maybe the fire department raises are good for the local economy. That way the boys can buy more stuff when their out shopping and walking around during their shifts.

    Do you think they'll spend any of their own money to decorate their 3 new fire mansions totaling more than $20million dollars?

    Don’t get me wrong, fire fighters have THE JOB and we all are envious. I just question whether or not the City might have other needs that the citizens might rank higher than buffing out all the sleeping, movie watching, and exercising quarters for the fire fighters and shiny truck. Is there a higher priority for $20 million plus all the huge pension liabilities in perpetuity?

    I think one problem is Dan, Jim, and Jerome don’t know the meaning of perpetuity judging from their handling of "Save the flowers- build more houses campaign."

    Maybe that should be a question in the survey- “Are there any project that you think rank higher than upgrading the 3 remaining fire stations in Encinitas?” “If so, what are the highest priority improvements in your opinion?”

  7. I think this blog serves as a kind of "opinion poll."

    The City does have unchecked spending and shows favoritism to staff and Council's personal needs, over the needs and desires of the taxpayers, of us citizens.

  8. If the last poll revealed that the beaches are what people like best about living in Encinitas then it makes sense to include more detailed questions about the beaches in this year's poll, including questions about smoking.

    Maybe people in Encinitas really like smoking at the beach? Now we will never know. Thanks Jerome.

  9. Suggestions for the J.P. citizens survey!

    20 questions of interest to the citizens to guide the decision makers.

    1. Should we ban smoking on the beaches.

  10. informed researcherJune 28, 2007 12:43 PM

    The city employees agreed to a three year contract on March of of 2005. The first year the employees paid 2% of retirement the second year they paid 2.3% and this third year they are going to pay 4.6%.

  11. A firefighters life is not just a job. Few people can stomach looking at shreaded flesh oozing out of a mangled car,pools of blood coming out of an a child hit in the middle of the street. Doing mouth to mouth on a baby that was found at the bottom of a swimming pool while its mother is screaming hysterically. Going into a house engulfed wifh flame searching for anylife that may have survived.The next time you want to Knitpick trivial things that fill your bored minds just remember that when you are in need they will be there to rescue you without hesitation.No I'M NOT A FIGHTER JUST AN OBSERVER!

  12. give me a break. There is a huge demand for firefigher jobs in places like Encinitas AND it is not like firefighers turnover is so great that we have a crisis. Actually informed person, how many encinitas firefighters have been hired in the last 10years? How many quit and took up new careers because the work and benefits were so bad? Becareful. I know the answer.

  13. To the fire fighter response-

    Sorry Ms. fire fighter that’s your job and there are a ton of people willing to take your job if you think it’s too tough. Apparently they don't.

    More impressive than the paid paramedics are the millions of citizen first responders that volunteer to save lifes by helping the people with oozing brains, blood pools, vomit and body parts all over the place.

    Fire Fighters are definitely needed, although their unions have did them in, by getting them compensation packages that are so far outside the normal compensation to value range that they now take shots from the public for being the ultimate government freeloads.

    The fire fighters should really look if their union is doing them good in the long run.

    And to Jerome and Jim- you call yourself republicans, yet your biggest allies are the public employee unions, because you continually increase the government perks and future liabilities. What is up with you two?

  14. Then tell me I can find as well. BE CAREFUL OOOH I'M REAL INTIMIDATED BLOW HARD.

  15. Stocks, Dalager, and Bond to Encinitas, "We DON'T WANT to KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. WE DON'T CARE"

  16. I gave mouth to mouth to Christy Guerin after school at the community pool in 7th grade. She was good to go.

  17. I'd guess the only fire fighters that leave Encinitas are the ones that retire on full benefits (like 90% of their highest paid year, or something ridiculous like that). Some like the last chief, were given 4 free trips to Japan partying with his councilmembers.

    Go ahead know it all- tell us.

  18. the smoking ban really won't keep cigarettes off of our most popular beaches ... they are state beaches, where smoking will still be allowed. has a map.

  19. Last post is wrong-

    The City has agreements with the State to operate and maintain all the state beaches in Encinitas including restrictions. Hence, City ordinances apply. We also get to foot the bill for the lifeguard costs. Something Carlsbad does not do.

    sorry go ahead and smoke at moonlight, and the people of Encinitas will stick that butt up your Ash!

  20. council observerJune 28, 2007 4:28 PM

    Who ever said that Jim is an ally of the employees has never seen him vote on anything to benifit them. Jim has always blasted the union employees.

  21. Hey, while searching for widgets for my blog, I stumbled upon and wow! I found what I wanted. A cool news widget. My blog is now showing latest news with title, description and images. Took just few minutes to add. Awesome!

  22. council observer.

    Jim gave huge pension increases to the unions just a couple years ago.

  23. Aren't we lucky we have our own version of the three Stoogies...Manny, Moe & Curly Joe....AKA Jim, Danny & Jerome

  24. Bossypants post was funny.


    4:58 pm post is spam.

    Nice post, JP. I like the title, too.

  25. Maybe the survey should say "how many times will you tell Maggie Houlihan that you reject her clean water fee?" Last time it was by two to one!And she ran the committee raising money and politicing in favor of it. She's clearly "out of touch" with the Encinitas voters.
    Maybe the survey should ask who should be on the council and we can avoid the nuisance of an election!
    Maybe there should not be a Council or a survey and Encinitas should become a part of the unincorporated County again if we are so darn unhappy with our elected leadership.

  26. Jerome Stocks was too wossie to stand firm on his antismoking ban bandwagon. He was the one that came out and said he wanted the residents of encinitas to decide. He is also the one that loves this survey. The survey would have been a great way to see what the residents wanted. The 3 men didn't like that idea because they DON'T want to know what the residents want. They know what the majority want and they don't like it.

  27. classic stooges!June 29, 2007 8:04 AM

    Sooo funny-

    The three stooges sit their and talk about the right of clean air, clean beaches, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap....and even acknowledge that 90% of the citizens support the ban.....yet Dan, Jim and Jerome continually block implementing no smoking at beach.

    With one vote from Danny, Jim, or even Jerome, the City would save thousands of dollars on implementing the will of the people. Try use common sense and save our city some money boys.

  28. Can anyone explain to me why Jerome Stocks is so invested in not wanting an opinion poll on a beach smoking ban, let only an actual smoking ban itself? Is he financed by the tobacco companies? Is he a smoker? Is he politically adrift after the death of Jack Orr? Or is he just being ornery and crotchety?

  29. Most likely all of the above. He would like to be a politco, needs money and big tobacco has it. He is a grump and probably even smokes on the beach.

  30. we need firemen. But, perhaps they should work 8 hour days so we sren't paying them to watch TV, work out and sleep.

    We should restrict thier salary until we cannot keep them on the job any longer. Hire new kids from the fire acadamies to replace them. The new kids are stronger and harder workers than the old, sloopy firemen I see shopping on duty at the grocery store. Why bring a 100 foot ladder truck to buy a dozen eggs and some hamburger?

  31. Pro firefighterJune 30, 2007 11:11 AM

    Because you never know when there is going to be a fire, that's why! The firefighters, as well as cops, deserve what they are paid and I think we owe them a debt of gratitude. I would love to see one City Councilperson, or any person go into a firey building, or a stifling hot fire in Cuyamuca and see how they would do. The older firefighters KNOW what thy are doing. Pick on some other group if you must. At least firefighters and cops put their lives where their mouths are. And NO I am not an ex-firefighter, married to one, or, for that mater, even know one personally. I am just sick and tired of peole picking on these groups who actually do something, unlike most bureaucrats.

  32. Speaking of bureaucrats, I was surprised to hear, when they were talking about the PERS (Public Employment Retirement System) numbers at the last Council Meeting, that the San Dieguito Water District only has 22 employees. Many of these are mostly in the field. Yet at the very time when we are looking at water shortages, restrictions, and rising rates, SDWD was forced to relocate to the Mossy Property, which is still sitting, mostly unused? This was at a charge to ratepayers of 3.5 million dollars for rights of use, only.

    Before, SDWD owned it's own land, and its building, and got $10,000 a year rent from the City of Encinitas for using that location as the public works yard.

    The Mossy Deal was a fiasco. We were told by Dan Dalager that it was turnkey at 8.5 million the appraisal quoted in the paper. That mysteriously went up to 9.5 million, and we were told the 8.5 figure didn't include the "structures." Now taxpayers have spent an addition $602, 000 on getting it "ready to go," and staff has said they need another $602,000.

    This did not have to happen, and wouldn't have happened if open hearings had been allowed. Closed sessions only benefit those with something to gain, like a big fat kickback, from Mossy, for example.

    With only 22 employees, many in the field, why would the SDWD have to support this "capital expense" y the City of Encinitas?

    Simple, the Board of Directors for SDWD is none other than our sitting Council. This is a direct conflict of interest for the ratepayers. For $10.7 million dollars (amount projected for total cost of purchase and redevelopment of Mossy Property, the City could have surely purchased Pacific View from the Encinitas Union School District. The public works yard has been there now, for years, with no complaints from the neighbors. And that DOES qualify as public use.

    No zoning change for Pacific View!

    The government, whether through redevelopment agencies, or through sleight of hand, as with the Mossy Deal, and now, the Pacific View issue, should not be in the business of profit through "finder's fees" (did Dalager get one? We think so) and private redevelopment.

  33. Sorry fire fighter 11:11-

    Don’t try and bring cops along your side. Cops have a thankless job and earn every penny. that’s why only a few show up for Cop Openings and Interviews.

    Contrary- thousands show up for fire interviews because every one knows that the fire department jobs are the shit. Shine the trucks, give kids tours of the stations, mop up body parts on the road, spray water on the occasional fire, drive paramedic EMTs to accidents, shop, BBQ, watch movies, workout, BS, and sleep. Work about 10 days a month. As Captain- earn well over $100k without a college degree and perks to retire at $100k per year after 20 years.

    I'd say fire fighter jobs are the Shit. I'd say everybody else knows it as well, that why you have 1000 people applying for each position.

    Cops earn there money and have difficulties recruiting worth applicants. Fire Departments are the epitome of the easy government cake job. Contract non union EMT earn what is appropriate for the position. Lets go contract non union fire district for fire and most govenment jobs.

  34. Logan Jenkins of the San Diego Union Tribune is not down with adding a smoking question to the $10,000 survey.

  35. Logan's smelling his loadiesJuly 01, 2007 7:32 AM

    Obviously, Logan has his head up his ass!


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