Thursday, February 19, 2009

City-wide sidewalk Sale this Saturday


Remember when I used to rant on this blog on how I refuse to spend money outside of Encinitas city limits? Well now it's the hip thing to do.

Support our local businesses this Saturday Feb 21, 9am - 5pm at shops throughout all five communities of Encinitas.

Supporting local businesses supports our friends, neighbors and local revenue funds.

For more info about the Shop Local E campaign
Visit www.BuyLocalE.org to discover discounts, savor special offers, obtain a bumper sticker or post pictures of locals obtaining Encinitas goods and services.

10 reasons to shop locally in Encinitas

31 comments:

  1. Protectionism at the local level?

    I'd like the names of merchants who themselves are only going to buy Encinitas. Who is going to cut up their CostCo card?

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  2. Does this apply to surfboards too?

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  3. Now listen here- you'd better buy local because we need all your tax dollars so we can pay for the 50% increase in pensions for everyone that we snickered Council into approving last year.

    Come on folks its for my retirement pension!

    Otherwise we are screwed!

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  4. Your LOCAL government has been spending more and getting more into DEBT every day than you could ever dream.

    Locally in Encinitas- A $20 million dollar library that today could be built for $10 million dollars. Then, a $5 million dollar fire McMansion that should have cost about $1 million. Next, lets build a $100,000,000 million dollar Regional Sport Complex all on the dime of our small local town.

    Wow. Are our local politicians clueless.

    The biggest expense that our City Council needs to address is the HUGE 50% increase in every City Emloyees Pension for life. Just approved last year.

    Jerome Stocks and all are a sell out and bankrupting our City's future.

    See the below article.

    REGION: Huge pension fund losses could require reforms
    Stock market hammers county employees retirement program

    By EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer | Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:39 PM PST ∞

    SAN DIEGO ---- Drastic changes to the county's employee pension plan could be coming as a result of huge losses in the pension fund on Wall Street in recent months, officials say.

    The pension fund, estimated at $8.4 billion last year, has lost about $2.5 billion of its value in the last six months as a result of a downturn in the market, said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. She is also a member of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association's Board of Retirement, which oversees the fund.

    "There are going to have to be some changes in the pension," Jacob said Thursday.

    While the staggering losses are not directly linked to a 2002 benefit increase that resulted in a gap of more than $1 billion in the pension fund, some critics say the raise compounded the county's pension problems.

    The pension fund provides an average of $28,284 a year to nearly 13,000 retired county employees.

    Jacob sounded the alarm on the pension losses during her State of the County address last week, calling the losses "jaw-dropping." She said that even if the markets bounce back, the required annual contribution by the county could grow to about $700 million over the next five years to make up for the losses.

    If that happened, the county's share of the payments would be larger than what it spends on public safety, including the Sheriff's department and the District Attorney's office, which was about $500 million in 2008.

    The increased payments also would worsen an already ailing county budget. The Board of Supervisors recently eliminated 27 positions as a result of falling revenues, including building permit fees, state funding for health programs and lower than expected sales and property taxes.

    Other members of the retirement board expressed concern Thursday over the pension fund.

    "We're in new, uncharted territory," said Dan McAllister, a member of the board and the county's treasurer-tax collector.

    Pension fund managers said they are making adjustments to their investments to try to minimize future losses. But adjustments alone will not fix the problem.

    To make up for the pension fund losses, Jacob said the county may have to raise the retirement age, reduce benefits, and ask its employees to shoulder a larger share of the costs. All of those ideas should be on the table, she said.

    The county's annual contributions to the pension fund have grown over the past 10 years from $36 million in 1999 to $329 million last year. That doesn't include the employees' contributions, which were $45.5 million in 2008.

    Some of the increase in the county's share of the burden is because of a raise in the benefits approved by the County Board of Supervisors in 2002.

    In order to recruit and retain better employees, the supervisors approved a new formula for calculating retirement benefits that increased retirees' annual payments by about 50 percent, according to minutes of board meetings at the time.

    Under the old formula, county employees could expect to get 2 percent of their highest salary, multiplied by the number of years they worked for the county. The new formula increased the benefit to 3 percent of their highest salary, multiplied by the number of years they worked for the county.

    That means that a 30-year employee who earned $60,000 could expect to receive $36,000 a year at retirement under the old formula, compared with $54,000 under the new formula.

    The new benefit was made available retroactively to all county workers, which increased the pension fund's liability by over $1 billion. To make up the difference, the county borrowed the money to fill the gap.

    Jacob said the current problem has nothing to do with the 2002 decision to increase the benefits. She blamed the $2.5 million loss entirely on Wall Street.

    "The pension enhancements that the Board of Supervisors put in place in 2002 is not the reason for the projected increase in the county's contribution," Jacob said. "It is strictly the losses in the market. If we had not experienced the losses in the market, we would not be facing this situation that we're facing today."

    While the country's pension problem can't be blamed entirely on the benefit increase, it does contribute, said Lani Lutar, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

    "A significant portion for that was the increase in benefits," Lutar said.

    ITS TIME FOR THE TAX PAYER TO WAKE UP!!!!

    VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENTS!!!!

    ITS TIME FOR TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. You know why?

    when the voted for the pension increase, their pensions were increased in the same action.

    Vote them out. Its time for term limits!

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  6. anyone have a link to the story about the pension increase or know the date of that increase?

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  7. On Saturday I'm going to Lou's Records, Ducky Waddles and Fred Caldwell's Little House of Antiquities and Curios.

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  8. On Saturday I'm going to Costco in Carlsbad, Henry's in Solana Beach, and Ikea in Mission Valley.

    I will spend the minimum in Encinitas until the miscreants on the city council stop their reckless spending.

    I know some local merchants will suffer, but most have been supporting the majority that rules the council. Perhaps then they will support someone to replace dumb Dalager on the council in 2010.

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  9. On Saturday I am going to Just Peachy, Book Tales, E Street Cafe, and then Target!!!

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  10. I try to spend as much as possible in town, but when you buy TP thirty to a package its hard to find at Just Peachy. Maybe Costco could move in at Home Expo.

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  11. Now you know why we can't afford improving our beaches or parks.February 20, 2009 5:55 PM

    REGION: Huge pension fund losses could require reforms
    Stock market hammers county employees retirement program
    By EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer | Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:57 PM PST ∞

    (14) Comments Increase Font Decrease Font email this story print this story SAN DIEGO ---- Drastic changes to the county's employee pension plan could be coming as a result of huge losses in the pension fund on Wall Street in recent months, officials say.

    The pension fund, estimated at $8.4 billion last year, has lost about $2.5 billion of its value in the last six months as a result of a downturn in the market, said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. She is also a member of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association's Board of Retirement, which oversees the fund.

    "There are going to have to be some changes in the pension," Jacob said Thursday.

    While the staggering losses are not directly linked to a 2002 benefit increase that resulted in a gap of more than $1 billion in the pension fund, some critics say the raise compounded the county's pension problems.

    The pension fund provides an average of $28,284 a year to nearly 13,000 retired county employees.

    Jacob sounded the alarm on the pension losses during her State of the County address last week, calling the losses "jaw-dropping." She said that even if the markets bounce back, the required annual contribution by the county could grow to about $700 million over the next five years to make up for the losses.

    If that happened, the county's share of the payments would be larger than what it spends on public safety, including the Sheriff's department and the District Attorney's office, which was about $500 million in 2008.

    The increased payments also would worsen an already ailing county budget. The Board of Supervisors recently eliminated 27 positions as a result of falling revenues, including building permit fees, state funding for health programs and lower than expected sales and property taxes.

    Other members of the retirement board expressed concern Thursday over the pension fund.

    "We're in new, uncharted territory," said Dan McAllister, a member of the board and the county's treasurer-tax collector.

    Pension fund managers said they are making adjustments to their investments to try to minimize future losses. But adjustments alone will not fix the problem.

    To make up for the pension fund losses, Jacob said the county may have to raise the retirement age, reduce benefits, and ask its employees to shoulder a larger share of the costs. All of those ideas should be on the table, she said.

    The county's annual contributions to the pension fund have grown over the past 10 years from $36 million in 1999 to $329 million last year. That doesn't include the employees' contributions, which were $45.5 million in 2008.

    Some of the increase in the county's share of the burden is because of a raise in the benefits approved by the County Board of Supervisors in 2002.

    In order to recruit and retain better employees, the supervisors approved a new formula for calculating retirement benefits that increased retirees' annual payments by about 50 percent, according to minutes of board meetings at the time.

    Under the old formula, county employees could expect to get 2 percent of their highest salary, multiplied by the number of years they worked for the county. The new formula increased the benefit to 3 percent of their highest salary, multiplied by the number of years they worked for the county.

    That means that a 30-year employee who earned $60,000 could expect to receive $36,000 a year at retirement under the old formula, compared with $54,000 under the new formula.

    The new benefit was made available retroactively to all county workers, which increased the pension fund's liability by over $1 billion. To make up the difference, the county borrowed the money to fill the gap.

    Jacob said the current problem has nothing to do with the 2002 decision to increase the benefits. She blamed the $2.5 million loss entirely on Wall Street.

    "The pension enhancements that the Board of Supervisors put in place in 2002 is not the reason for the projected increase in the county's contribution," Jacob said. "It is strictly the losses in the market. If we had not experienced the losses in the market, we would not be facing this situation that we're facing today."

    While the country's pension problem can't be blamed entirely on the benefit increase, it does contribute, said Lani Lutar, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

    "A significant portion for that was the increase in benefits," Lutar said.

    Contact staff writer Edward Sifuentes at (760) 740-3511 or esifuentes@nctimes.com.

    ReplyDelete
  12. we get the point but stop pasting entire articles. Paraphrase and give the link please.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a good idea for good City Management.

    Build community parks for your own community, NOT SPORTS COMPLEXES FOR THE ENTIRE REGION.

    There is no reason why we should foot the bill for building a $100 million dollar REGIONAL Sports Complex with over $1 million in annual maintenance costs, when we would be better served by a more local serving park.

    Drop the Soccer fields to 3, remove the 90 foot lights and loud speakers, and get our Park Built.

    Come on Danny, you said you would get the park built, now build it for our community, not all of North County.

    Wake up and quite being so stupid. You are the typical dumb ass baby boomer that will sell out their children and grandchildren's future, so you can have your stinken trophy project.

    Give it a rest, we know what your about.

    Build the fricken Park.

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  14. How much is the city spending in tax dollars on the buy in Encinitas campaign? Is it $40,000 plus? It takes money to make money.

    ReplyDelete
  15. City attorney: Council is reminded of meeting law
    By Tanya Mannes
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    2:00 a.m. February 21, 2009

    ENCINITAS — Encinitas City Attorney Glenn Sabine has written a conciliatory letter to an attorney who contended that City Council members violated state law by conducting an e-mail debate about trees removed at Orpheus Park.

    While not directly addressing allegations by Encinitas attorney Marco Gonzalez, Sabine said in the letter to him that council members have been reminded of the state open-meetings law, called the Ralph M. Brown Act.

    Sabine wrote, “In the future, I am confident Councilmembers' communications will be in strict compliance with the Brown Act, for purposes of avoiding any real or perceived violations.”

    The e-mails began after an activist moved into a tree at the park Jan. 30 to save it from being cut down, setting off protests in which children held up signs that read “Save Our Park!”

    The council members sent e-mails to one another, expressing differing perspectives on the tree removal, continuing a sometimes heated exchange by hitting “reply all.”

    In a letter sent Feb. 6 to City Manager Phil Cotton, Coast Law Group attorney Gonzalez threatened to sue the city over those e-mails. Gonzalez said that council members violated the state law that bans a majority of an elected body from discussing business outside of a public meeting.

    Sabine's letter in response to Gonzalez was approved Wednesday in a closed session of the City Council and sent Thursday.

    Gonzalez had requested other e-mails from council members in which they communicated by hitting “reply all.”

    In the letter, Sabine invited Gonzalez to look at the past 30 days of e-mails among council members, saying that most other e-mails had been deleted. The city's e-mail policy, last updated in June 2008, states that electronic mail is not to be saved beyond 30 days “unless retention is required by law or where its retention would serve a useful purpose for the City.”

    Reached Thursday, Gonzalez said he was dissatisfied with that response.

    “I think the city needs to embrace transparency as a goal as opposed to a burden,” Gonzalez said. “This letter doesn't lead me to believe that they're intent on changing any of their past practices, and so we may have a problem.”

    He has not yet decided whether to seek a court order to prevent the city from future Brown Act violations, as he threatened in his original letter.

    Gonzalez said he has encountered similar e-mail deletion policies in other cities. While not illegal, “I think it's bad business practice,” he said.

    In San Diego, e-mail is deleted automatically from inboxes after 90 days. Employees are responsible for retaining important e-mails that constitute official records and should be saved longer, the policy states.

    In another local example, Oceanside's policy also is to delete e-mails from inboxes after 90 days.

    In Encinitas, the council members' e-mails began Jan. 30, the day city crews cut down 10 trees in Orpheus Park to preserve views for nearby condominium owners. An activist, Andrew Watkins, took up residence in the remaining tree, hoping to save it.

    Councilwoman Teresa Barth sent an e-mail that day to the City Council, city staff members and the media: “I would hope that we could at least save the last remaining tree.” All the City Council members, except Mayor Maggie Houlihan, replied with comments and copied their responses to all council members.

    Watkins abandoned the tree Feb. 8 and it was cut down the next day.

    Gonzalez wrote in his Feb. 6 letter that the electronic thread “reflects discussions that could lead to a collective concurrence” on the tree removal, prohibited by the Brown Act.


    Tanya Mannes: (619) 498-6639; tanya.mannes@uniontrib.com

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  16. Anonymous 10:11PM

    Ask Danny and the other two "fiscally conservative" boys why the field sports teams do NOT pay for field use.

    Anyone else that wants exclusive use of city parks, community rooms, etc. has to pay a fee. Why not the sports clubs?

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  17. Sorry folks, but the devil is making me do this. What song is famous for using the words "Double E" ? Go fo it Mary, bbondi and Lynn. Or anyone else for that mater.

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  18. Does antone know when and if there is a memorial for Bob? Please share it if it is open to the public. Thank you.

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  19. I like the idea of a Costco where Home Depot Expo used to be. It has parking, is in Encinits, and it would give us a lot of revenue. It also would not disturb residential neighborhoods. If I were on the Council I would check it out.

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  20. It looks like City Attorney Glenn Sabine finally got caught aiding and abetting violations of the Brown Act. I hope Marco Gonzalez continues with the lawsuit. Sabine's offer of the pertinent emails in the last 30 days is a joke.

    Insiders at the city say these email discussions leading to a "collective concurrence" have been going on for a long time. It's how the three men manage to sound like echoes of each other at council meetings. They don't need to hit "reply all" on the email, only reply to two others, and the Brown Act is violated.

    Those who fought to change the city's policy on email retention, most notably Teresa Barth and Lynn have been proven correct here. It's sad that our city always does its best to minimize transparency and openness.

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  21. your costco overlordsFebruary 21, 2009 9:59 AM

    We have no plans to expand and people from Encinitas spend too much time grazing the free samples and not enough time buying in bulk.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Does anyone want to take a guess as to how much we pay Glenn Sabine a year? It is staggering! And, half of the time he gives bad advice ie: the tatto parlor in Cardiff. Glenn had told the City it was OK to put certain provisions on it. Turns out, it is not true and once again, Glenn proved to be wrong. If we had term lmits, we could also get rid of Glenn if the Council voted to do so. He is an "at will" employee. He answers to the Council. They can hire and they can fire him.

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  23. 5:09

    Try the Encinitas 99 cents only store for all your bulk tissue needs. And stop using so much of it. They don't preforate those squares every 4" for nothing.

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  24. The tattoo parlor in Cardiff may have a sidewalk sale. Commissioner Gene Chapo expressed thoughts that the community has accepted the tattoo parlor.

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  25. Doc: that was easy...Bob Dylan, again."It Takes a Lot to Laugh, a Train to Cry"... it's on The Wigbillies set list. Leon Russell did a soulful version of it to.

    "Don't the moon look good
    Shining thru the trees
    Don't the brakeman look good
    Flagging down the Double E"

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  26. Anon: 10:40-You are way too low on Glenn's salary plus expenses. He gets a car allowance, over $600/year for continuing education, that he is mandated by the State of Calif.,to take anyway, and in one year he made about $900,000 from this City alone. He is also the contract attorney for La Mesa. I don't know how much they pay him. And, to add a little extra cushion to his lifestyle, he loses a great deal of the time. Then the City, in its infinite wisdom, allows his firm, to sometimes fight the lawsuits that he screwed up on in the first place. Don't believe me? Ask City Clerk, Deborh Cervone, to give you the records. They are pubic information. Pretty sweet deal huh? The last time I checked, the City doesn't even put his contract out to bid. Oh yes, he lost at the Planning Commission meeting on the tattoo parlor in Crdiff last Thursday evening. It is a bit embarrassing, although I am sure Marco Gonzales loves him. Marco can make money on Glenn's legal advice to the City.

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  27. The residents of Cardiff lost when the Planning Commission OK the continuation of a tattoo parlor. At all the meetings on the tattoo parlor it was recited that conditional use permits run with the land. But four attorneys, Glenn Sabine, two of his substitute city attorneys, and an attorney representing the owner of the tattoo parlor must have known something else in the law because they offered no objection to the specific condition when it was first proposed. The business owner agreed to the condition to get the use permit. Several years later the business owner wants out of the agreement with the city.

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  28. The attorney for the first tattoo parlor in Cardiff was Charlie Marvin. Shouldn't he have known, or did he play dumb to make money. Leucadia seems to love him. What's up with that? I remember Dr. Lorri appealed it the first time all the way to City Council and actually got Christy Guerin and Maggie to vote against the parlor. Of course they were outnumbered by the 3 unwise men.

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  29. Another illegal ordinance on Wednesday's Council agenda. The Council will vote on an ordinance that will allow them to give auto allowances to all boards, commissions, and committees. The city of San Diego is doing away with the flat auto allowance. Not Encinitas. Planning commission receives the first auto allowance if this ordinance is passed. If you disagree with the Council giving the auto allowances speak up.

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  30. Good one Mary. I guess we are both right, as I was thinking of the song by Waren Zevon called" Poor Poor Pitiful Me?" " I lay my head on the railroad tracks, Waitin for the Double E."
    Are you going to Bob's memorial tonight? If so, please introdce yourself, as I would love to know another music trivia person. I will be speaking about halfwy thru it, as I have a continuing education class today in San Diego until 5. Dody she would schedule me after 7PM. Hope to meet you there.

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