Monday, September 26, 2011

Council Dances Toward Decision

Tonight city hall chambers filled with people riding the wake of Maggie's impact on this city. In the context of figuring out how we would try to fill Maggie's shoes, many people expressed how deeply Maggie had been woven into the heart of our city.  There were many touching comments. They were the kind that would have made Maggie sit up and lean forward with a big grin.

The council decided to have a subcommittee decide how to replace CM Houlihan. The subcommittee will be asking the city attorney what the city's options are and coming back to the full council with that information. Nobody is sure why the city attorney didn't just tell the council what their options were and why the city manager wasn't asked if his staff had reviewed the costs of various options. The city staff could have been prepared and the council should have asked the questions to see if there was a reason to set up a subcommittee, or better yet, just have staff come back in OPEN SESSION with the answers.

Many speakers thought the council would be deliberating whether or not an election should be held or whether an appointment should be made, tonight. Setting up a subcommittee allows for a delay, possible dodging of contentious public deliberation, and lets the majority know which way Barth is going before the recorded discussion occurs.

A video was played of Maggie Houlihan saying that she endorsed Lisa Shaffer as someone who represented her principles. 

I think it was seriously lame that the city held this meeting to set up a subcommittee to ask staff questions that should have been asked tonight. I might be way wrong or at least this is not as obvious as I think, because Gene Chappo made a point to congratulate Mayor Bond on his approach to tonight's decision. Gene, please explain (


  1. First, thank you for the opportunity to respond, nice that you noticed, so that was you!

    Ok, we all loved and miss Maggie. It's going to be hard to find a replacement that will have the same devotion to the City and us. With her, we were all important. Big job ahead, and it's possible that many won't like the outcome, enough said.

    I believe we are at a critical moment in our collective history as a City. We have been ramping up the distrust and suspicion in local government for a long time. Those who are currently in power are pretty conservative and old school. There is a feeling that they know what's best for us, and that we should just get out of the way and let them do it.

    So, whenever there is any consideration given to involve the other 60,000 of us, I applaud it. We know as citizens that this is our place, we know that involvement in our governess is our birthright. So, if Mayor Bond shows me that he is willing to involve numerous others in the process...I welcome it, and appreciate it. I let him know that last night.

    In order to make progress, we must work together. If someone gives me an opportunity to cooperate I'll take it. Doesn't mean that I won't keep my eyes open.

    The big picture is best to focus on. In the 25 years we have been a City, the complexion of the council has flipped several times, and will flip many more in the future. I believe it's best to make the most of the present and work with what's available to you. Many folks have turned their backs to the council majority, big mistake in my opinion. We cannot stop trying to work with the present. Our future is beginning now, not when a council that is more aligned with our thinking is in office.

    Sorry if that has put anyone off. It's important you speak up. You may not be heard as clearly, or to the extent you wish, but to some degree you will be heard. Much will be decided in the near future and I'd rather be a part of it.

    Hope that helps.

  2. The fix is in. Don't wast time trying to get someone appointed. You know the trio of pain will be puttting in Alice Jacobson.

    Spend your time and money educating Encinitas citizens about the bad things Jerome has brought the City. Just a few.

    1. 35% increase in pension payouts for every City Employee. Ham stringing the City's future and guaranteeing no money will be available for needed projects.

    2. 14% raise for every city employee.

    3. He brought us Walmart. Boy I bet all the other business owners and residents are stoked. The property value in Encinitas Ranch just dropped 20% with that news. Its as bad as having section 8 housing next to your property.

    Millions wasted on law suites caused by ignoring the process and public consecous for the Hall Property.

    A series of $6,000,000 fire stations totaling $20,000,000 for housing active fire fighters per day.

    Nixed the at grade pedestrian crossing at RR and brought us 4 planned bum drug bunkers.

    The list goes on..... A PAC should put out a mailer listing all the harm Jerome Stocks has done for Encinitas.

    The best thing for Encinitas would be to remove that special interest politician. I know one think, Jerome Stocks will be getting some huge indirect support from Walmart through an associated PAC like Gaspar did in the last election.

    The special interest spend the money but the residents don't. The bottom line.

  3. Hey,

    It is great that you were there, spoke, and thought about what happened and gave your council feedback. I wish more people did. As evidenced by what we have published here over the years, we embrace differences in opinion being reconciled.

    Distrust and suspicion is only increased when the council decides to do funky things like delay and dodge a discussion of an important topic in front of a caring crowd of voters. That crowd last night was spared from seeing whether or not the majority thinks the public should just get out of the way.

    This is where I need a lot of help in understanding your position-> How does tossing the football to a backroom committee help to involve the rest of the 60,000 residents? If that actually helps make this whole thing more transparent, deliberative and inclusive then I totally don't get it and would warmly welcome being corrected.

    At the end of the meeting Mayor Bond told me nicely (he was being filmed) that he realized that the subcommittee would just farm their work to the city manager and city attorney to figure out if there was a third option (election or appointment or a third option that Bond claimed he wanted the committee to look for). Why the city attorney and city manager could not address the issue LAST NIGHT in an open meeting with the full council was not answered. Why the questions were not addressed in a staff report FOR LAST NIGHT's MEETING was also not addressed. As far as many in the room were concerned what the council did served to increase the distrust and suspicion.

    Please tell us where we went wrong in our digestion of what happened last night. How does this help involve the other 60,000 more than having an open council meeting?

  4. What advantage would it be to Stocks and Bond to come to the meeting prepared to make a decision based upon input from staff and the city attorney who should have been fully briefed and prepared to make recommendations? None. They knew there would be a partisan crowd so they tossed the ball in the air while plotting how to get their candidate in. The logical choice would be Tony Kranz as he has been vetted in the public vote and came in third. I understand Maggie's wish for Shaffer but don't think someone who hasn't been through the process would be a democratic choice -- same with Alice Jacobson. As for keeping communication open with Stocks and Bond, forget it, they will do whatever they want to do -- I know this from 10 years of experience of dealing with them. They are impediments to progress and open government and need to go.

  5. There is a club.
    We are not in it.


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