Thursday, August 20, 2009

Encinitas city council back from summer vacation

North County Times-ENCINITAS: Traffic consultant's selection causes conflict Council agrees to spend $1M on update to city's general plan

Excerpts:

The Encinitas City Council agreed Wednesday night that it will spend about $1 million to update a 20-year-old citywide planning document, then it promptly stepped into a controversy over who will do the plan's traffic study.

In a 3-1 vote, with Councilwoman Teresa Barth opposed and Councilman James Bond absent, the council agreed to put together a $110,000 contract with Austin Foust and Associates for the traffic study to be incorporated in the update of the city's general plan.

Before the vote, several residents told the council that they wanted anyone but Austin Foust. That company did a "very, very poor" job on a Leucadia area traffic study, argued one opponent, Steven Gerken.

Another man, Jim Cowles, said the city should get the best job possible on this traffic study because the data will become the heart of the city's new general plan, which will guide the city's development for decades to come.

Councilman Jerome Stocks said he didn't have an issue with the Austin Foust company, but wondered if the traffic study should be put out for public bids the way that the overall general plan update had been.

Barth asked if city staff members could do the traffic study. Murphy said he wasn't sure whether that was a possibility. Barth then said she would be voting against the contract agreement that night, saying she didn't have enough information to make a decision.

"This update is the most critical thing we're going to do in our community in the next 20 years," she said, later adding, "I want this to be a great kickoff, and this isn't the way to start."

Stray observations:


Patrick Murphy, the city's planning and building director "wasn't sure" if the city staff could handle a traffic study? That is just sad.

Jerome Stocks expressed a half intelligent thought with the public bids and then went ahead and voted for the controversial consultant anyway. Quack quack quack.

Maggie Houlihan is not a very good mayor.

Teresa Barth will get slammed for being the lone no vote even though it was the only logical vote.

Encinitas city hall has long lost it's enthusiasm for hard work and should just move back in with it's parents.

27 comments:

  1. Patrick Murphy is too busy going door to door for his Angry God religion.

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  2. Well, Encinitas is in the grips of Demonic bondage you know so you really can't blame him.

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  3. Very depressing. After articulate arguments by the public the dais dandies voted without facts. Who put that sole source contract on the agenda? Our mayor? And Murphy's claim he didn't know if Encinitas staff could do the traffic study? That is an unacceptable response. With it on the agenda the mayor should have insisted on Engineering staff being present. It all appeared to be a fait accompli.

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  4. 10;34 His God isn't as angry as yours.

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  5. Why is the city paying a consultant one million dollars for work that can be done in-house? No Council discuss on that.

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  6. We need two more Teresas on the council.

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  7. Not going to take it anymoreAugust 20, 2009 1:25 PM

    Elect NEW members to the council and FIRE ALL STAFF!!!!
    The citizens of Encinitas deserve better. When will the citizens demand more from the council and staff??

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  8. Why is the city paying a consultant one million dollars for work that can be done in-house? No Council discuss on that.
    The vote was 4-0 (Bond was absent) to approve the million dollar contract - done without any discussion of wasting the money on a consultant.

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  9. The fact is Staff can not do it. They are too busy counting the days until they retire and get their full pay pensions! There is nothing else to work on at City Hall.

    I bet they are working on how they can get all the incumbents, except Teresa, re-elected forever!

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  10. The Council did a favor for the planning staff by hiring the million dollar consultant to do the work for the department. Not fiscally responsible by the Council but a sweetheart deal for the planning department.

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  11. The city should fire the bottom 10-20% of staff every year, replacing only the staff that is needed. This will reduce costs and improve quality of city staff.

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  12. As Barth noted at the meeting, the General Plan is essentially our community's constitution. I welcome thinking that is fresh, which addresses real facts and understanding of 21st century challenges. The staff has been serving as scribes and lackies to the powers who define all growth as good growth and who never met a developer or big box they didn't like. We need resilience and sustainability (especially our economic context) rather than what we have been hearing these recent years. This project isn't bean counting or paving.

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  13. Who really thinks that this "update" of the General Plan will leave the document intact as it is today? The final update report will be so different from the original plan that even its own mother won't recognize it. Wake up, Encinitas, the Council has set in motion the rip, strip, and build mentality to become part of the city's constitution.

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  14. Seems like a million dollars would buy some qualified traffic personel at city hall for a long time. Wonder what we pay our engineers now? (on top of the million we're outsourcing to god knows who.)

    But that said, I love the new traffic study ad-hoc personel. I talked to a few of the students that were hired for the million dollar study sitting in lawn chairs at Leucadia Blvd one day that by hand were counting cars whizzing by. (When they weren't talking to me or other people that is). That company must feel good about creating so many new high tech jobs. Thanks, whoever you are!

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  15. 3:09
    Watch some of our favorite Rancho Santa Fe Realtors attend every Encnintas Gereral Plan update meetings. Wonder why they do that?
    hmmmmmm.

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  16. 12:49
    Is Mother Teresa still alive?

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  17. 12:25

    I don't have a god nor do I need one, jerk.

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  18. 4:04
    So far. But wouldn't you prefer annihilation to burning forever?

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  19. I bet staff and the consultants will tell us we need to accept 7 story buildings along 101.

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  20. As usual, Jerome talks one way and votes another. He should just keep his mouth shut and save us all a few extra minutes.

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  21. Anonymous 6:06

    Don't you mean MAGGIE talks one way and votes the opposite?

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  22. Maggie votes the line with the boys.

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  23. Doctor Feel Good. A million bucks would buy and intern for one half a year if you include their forever pension benefits. Could an intern do the General plan update?

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  24. Maggie is a great example why term limits are needed. Started off great and slowly turned to not great. Maggie just wants to be friends with Staff. Shame.

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  25. August 20, 2009 8:13 PM

    Yes. Who do you think will be doing the gunt work?

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  26. Nope, Jerome will verbally massage an idea and then vote the opposite every time. Maggie is a 50/50. Both are career politicians but at least with Maggie she takes the time to listen, look and then stab you in the back half the time.

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