Thursday, March 17, 2011

BIG Cracks at City Hall

NCTimes It takes two to get an item on the agenda

"I'm going to support it because I can't certainly subscribe to what it was before," Barth said, mentioning that she would like to have the 60-day time-limit to make certain an item gets on the council's agenda quickly. 

Others on the council said they didn't see a need for a time limit at this point, saying council-requested items do end up on agendas and very seldom fall through the cracks.

The city council promised several times to agendize a discussion of the disposition of the city's property on Quail Gardens Drive. That discussion has not happened.  It won't be heard publicly because the council is too afraid of the public.

Only under pressure, Council Members have spoken as if they have a secret plan for the site. A public discussion of the topic would make them have to dredge up old and secret, if passive, decisions and it could ruin their secret plans.

Kevin C. requested that the city bring up the property for discussion as far back 2007, and the whole council said they were for the sunshine (who could be against a public discussion of a public asset, when put on the spot?).

Well, those in power were against a public discussion of this public asset. The meeting never happened. Yes, Kevin reminded them and they ignored it.

A good retrospective read on why the council should have had the discussion prior to borrowing $20 million, is Matt Walker's 6 points, which explains a whole different financial approach for the city and shows that Kevin C wasn't the only one talking about pension reform before the market crash.


  1. It is unusual for an agenda item like this to be re addressed after it was voted on. As you recall, Gaspar originally made a motion to allow two council members put an item on the agenda. What she omitted is any time frame to address the agenda item, which would cause the agenda item to fall into a black hole. Barth added an adendum to the motion to have the item placed on the agenda within 60 days. All agreed. Then Gaspar re stated her motion omitting the time frame. Barth corrected her and the amended motion was passed. Now, months later, the approved motion was re brought up that changed it back to no time frame on agenda items that are postponed.
    The black hole is back.

  2. Love the comment in the NC Times Article. It seems like people are finally starting to wake up to the pending collapse.

    observor said on: March 17, 2011, 9:09 am
    "It's nice to see that Gaspar voted in favor of the new policy - it has been a long time in coming. The next major agenda item this council needs to address is pension reform. There are already former civil servants of Encinitas that are receiving 6 figure pensions, and for routine jobs that were only of a normal functioning of a municipality. As the years progress, this pension obligation will break the city's financial back."

  3. Unfortunately Gaspar didn't support the hearing of a proposed agenda item within 60 days. This means that if there is no willingness to hear an item, such as pension reform, from the mayor and council majority, it disappears.

    Gaspar betrayed us. A council minority still has no guarantee that an item will be heard. She is still totally aligned with Stocks and Bond.

  4. Gaspar voted exactly like the 4 others.

  5. I have to agree with Cardiffian. Just because Gaspar voted like the other four does not mean the newly revised policy allows for the same openness as the preciously voted on policy to agendize requested subjects within sixty days.
    This seems like a step backwards for open government.
    I hope the city take the recommendation to record agendas topics that have been put on hold.
    Time will tell.

  6. Of course, the rest of the council voted with Gaspar. Houlihan and Barth voted for a half loaf, but wanted, as the public did, the full loaf. Gaspar, Bond, and Stocks seem to be afraid of too much openness, which includes bringing certain topics up for discussion.

    Gaspar, as the new member, needs to demonstrate her ethical grounding. So far she seems to be playing the political game where anything goes in order to get your way.

  7. I like the idea to start pension reform with the next city manager. No retirement paid out of tax payer dollars like Cotton has burned us. Every year we have to come up with his entire retirement package. The city never paid in that kind of money to fund it during his tenure. Eventually all tax dollars collected will go to fund salaries, benefits and pensions. Then we go bankrupt.

  8. Why wait? Lets declare bankruptcy now. Lets correct the situation for our children.


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