Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rumors Erupt Around the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce


Prior to the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce rewriting their contract with the city, which was then approved (3-2), it was rumored that the Chamber was not manning the visitor center. TCN then reported, "According to city officials, the chamber violated the contract in several ways without giving notice to the council."

Recently, talk of multiple resignations on their Board of Directors has widened. It wasn't long ago that Gary Tucker resigned as the CEO of the Chamber. He had these parting words:

I do not have confidence in the current Executive Committee and it's newly appointed Treasurer to guide the Chamber through these challenging times. I am concerned with the Executive Committee's refusal to follow the By-Laws that govern the operation of our organization. Continued failure to do so could lead to the loss of our 501 ( c ) ( 6) IRS Non Profit status. After attempting for the past six months to impress upon the Executive Committee the seriousness of the declining Revenue from Renewing Members, Sponsors, and Events, I have seen no plan or any significant efforts to address this crucial matter.

Total Expenses were below Budget for 2007 and 2008. Labor and Operating Expenses have been reduced to the lowest possible level without sacrificing the quality of our Chamber and Visitor Center Operations. The last major Expense to be addressed is Rent, which can be reduced only by renegotiating the current lease or by moving to a more affordable location.

A couple days ago this email was sent to the city and city council. It has been circulating since then:

Letter to City Council from Keith Shillington:

Date: May 27, 2009 3:41:29 PM PDT
Subject: Visitors Center; Chamber of Commerce

Dear Madam Mayor, Councilpersons,

I had planned to join you this evening to make a public comment, and was just reminded of a previous engagement to attend live theatre. (Not that City Council meetings don't qualify as live theatre...)

Of note, on behalf of the people of the City of Encinitas, I wanted to advise that the City would be served by requesting a detailed accounting from the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that Visitor Center funds are being correctly appropriated to the assigned contractual tasks.

This morning I resigned my seat on the Chambers Board of Directors for a combination of reasons, many personal associated with the shocking loss we all suffered on Valentines day.

I don't [emphasis added] believe there to be any malfeasance or fiscal misappropriation, I do believe there to be some rather serious lacks of prudence and recordkeeping. The visitors center is important to
the business community of Encinitas, and needs to operate on a regular schedule with an informed staff. I truely hope that we, as a city, are able to accomplish this small feat.

If there is a mechanism to put words into the public comment without being physically present, here are the words I would ask to so be put:

--------quote
Good eveing Madam Mayor, Councilpersons,

On behalf of the people of the City of Encinitas, I advise that the City would be served by requesting a detailed accounting from the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that Visitor Center funds are being correctly appropriated to the assigned contractual tasks. I do not believe there to be any malfeasance or fiscal misappropriation, I do believe there to be some rather serious lacks of prudence and recordkeeping. The visitors center is important to the business community of Encinitas, and needs to operate on a regular schedule with an informed staff. I truely hope that we, as a city, are able to accomplish this small feat.

Thank you, and good evening.
--------endquote

There is a lot of maneuvering happening at the Chamber and motivations are cloudy. Given that taxpayer dollars are involved, I'd like to see the Chamber and the City address this issue. If the issue is substantiated, we should identify who is actually responsible and not let the wrong people be thrown under the bus.

Orpheus Kinetic Yard Sculptures



Jeffery Laudenslager's website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You can get here by car, train, bus or boat

The song automatically starts playing when you visit www.theretrorocketts.com

"ENCINITAS 101"

Music and lyrics by Don Swanson

Verse 1

100 miles south from the smog in L.A. ...

20 miles north of San Diego Bay ...

There’s a town on the coast that’s got all you need ...

And famous flowers for all the world to see ...

Historic places to go to, lots of things to do ...

Encinitas is the best town ... for me and you.

Chorus

Encinitas is the town for me ...

there's nowhere else that I’d rather be

The best climate, ocean views and the Moonlight sand

There’s just no better place ... in all the land

Verse 2

You can get here by car, train, bus or boat ...

You’re welcome, every day, to the beautiful coast ...

You never knew that your paradise could be so near ...

There’s nothing more to get that you can’t get here ...

If it’s surfin’ or dining ... one thing is true ...

Encinitas is the best town ... for me and you.

Chorus

Encinitas is the town for me ...

there's nowhere else that I’d rather be

The best climate, ocean views and the Moonlight sand

There’s just no better place ... in all the land

Verse 3

There’s nothin’ like a cruise on Mainstreet 101 ...

All your stress and worries just come undone ...

When the golden sun goes down, and it turns to night ...

All the people in town, will always treat you right ...

With so much to offer ... you’ll never be blue ...

Encinitas is the best town ... for me and you

ENCINITAS: City gets its own song

Friday, May 22, 2009

San Clemente At-Grade-Crossings

The citizens of San Clemente have been able to figure out how to coexist with at-grade-pedestrian rail crossings. Here is world traveler Justin in front of at-grade crossing number 1.

Crossing number two gets tons of pedestrian traffic. It allows hundreds of people a day to get to the beach and pier. The crossing isn't much. The red circle shows the crossing.
Here is a link to a S.C. Pier/train crossing webcam. You can watch people cross safely.

Crossing number 3.


Yes, people have been hit by trains in S.C. People walking/riding on the tracks have been plowed. Many of them were near Trestles and they were doing dumb crap like wearing headphones or trying to race the train. Pedestrian tunnels would not help these people, especially at Trestles, where you can already opt to cross under the trestles to get to the beach.


See Also: Inconceivable and Encinitas At-Grade-Crossings.

Token Step for a New Leucadia Park


The second revision of the city's draft budget fixed some of the errors and made a few minor adjustments. It was still lacking entire sections.

The budget now has the Piraeus/Olumpus Park in the budget. Way out in Fiscal Year 2013/2014 there is $212,600 for planning the park. There is no money for construction.


See Also: Leucadia Gets Budgeted.

Supporting Local Business: The 3/50 Project

click image for large view

The concept behind the 3/50 Project is this,
Pick 3 local small business that you would miss if they closed down. Spend $50 bucks per month at these businesses (not $50 per business, just $50 total. Spread it around).
Local economy saved!
www.the350project.net

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Changes at Leucadia 7-11


So I hear that the 7-11 on Leucadia Blvd has a new owner and that the entire classic 7evey crew that has worked there forever has all been let go. Thoughts?

Leucadia 7-11 on Yelp.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome to Leucadia Sign area clean-up today at 5 pm


Hi everyone,
Patricia Bell from Embellishments and the L101 Mainstreet Assoc will be down at the Welcome to Leucadia sign with gardening tools and trash bags if anyone wants to help beautify the area. Thanks!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Streetscape Budget Pothole or Sinkhole?

The Downtown Encinitas streetscape cost $5.2 million, and that was back in 2002. The Leucadia streetscape project takes another 6 years to accumulate $5.2 million, in the draft budget (click below).
I'm not sure Leucadians should take this personally. Most of the city's general fund goes to staff and contracts and services. About $3 million a year goes to paying off the city's debt. In most years, the city only has about a million bucks a year of general funds money for capital improvements. That is not a lot; the budget is certainly not overflowing.

In the draft budget the city made some minor reductions to the Community Grants and Mainstreet Association subsidies. DEMA's budget was cut by $4,000, for example.

The Coast News Reported this exchange between DEMA representative Doug Long and Dan Dalager. Doug and Dan are good friends.
However, some groups were resistant to the reduction in spending. Doug Long, president of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association, said he opposes the city’s plan to cut its contribution to the organization by 10 percent.

While the council acknowledged the good work that the group does for the city, Deputy Mayor Dan Dalager said the $4,000 cut was necessary. He said the group would have to “share the pain” but volunteered to help out at fundraisers.
The budget document has been revised since then. Although the council did not direct it (in open session), the revised budget pours more money into the Hall property park. The finance department was able to find an additional $150k in each of the next two years. More money was not located for the Leucadia streetscape.



Revised Hall Park Budget


First Draft Hall Park Budget

The approval of the budget is on Wednesday's agenda.

See Also: Leucadia Gets Budgeted.

UPDATE: The found money for the Hall park came from additional errors in the budget documents. Here is a note on other errors in the budget.

Note: Hall park operations costs have been removed from the budget.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Moving Up

Instead of demo'ing and starting over these guys living on Leucadia Blvd (near Hygia) just lifted the ground floor up.Although large development projects in Leucadia have halted, you can still find residents carrying out construction projects.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Budget Error

Last week I reported on the Leucadia projects that were in the city's draft budget. Turns out the draft budget contained some errors.

The budget no longer contains money to close Leucadia Boulevard at the railroad crossing. Below is how the budget has been changed.


It's reported to me that another error surfaced. The budget has money for operations at the Hall property park starting in 2012 (that's a long way off). Apparently, the city doesn't even think they can expect operations to start by then and in the budget they will be pushing back the park opening even further. Operations are expected to cost $500,000 a year, so I expect they are being thoughtful about the timing of park opening.

See Also: Cadmus Error.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pretty in Pink




click photos for large view
Some of Leucadia's Hwy 101 center medians have pink and white flowers this year. Thank you city of Encinitas for this! Innocent question, why not in all the center medians?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Leucadia Art Glass

A few weekends a year Richard Blodgett, one of Leucadia's many artists, opens his studio to the public. You've seen his signs.

These signs guide you to the studio.

The backyard studio

Some of the work.

At work.





My daughter is into the striking colors. My budget conscious son likes the wholesale prices.


Leucadia's other glass artist is Joel Bloomberg. Joel's known for his jellyfish lamps.
Bloomberg's H101 Storefront.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Beacons Parking Lot Freshened Up


The handicap parking space has been repainted so now maybe D-Bags in their jacked up F150s will stop parking there.


It would be nice if this little common area was grassy instead of asphalt, it's actually quite the hangout during the sunset.

I like the new succulents they planted in the cobblestone planters.


The springtime south swells have been restocking Beacons with lots of sand.

Also, re: Beacon's trail access improvements, there has been a change to the scheduling of the Beacon’s beach access project. The City’s legal counsel has advised us that the EIR will need to be recirculated, such that we are now looking at a probable hearing date of July 16