Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fire Chief Muir successfully "promoted" to city council person

The controversial appointment of now retired Encinitas Fire Chief to Encinitas city council person to fill recently departed Maggie Houlihan's (R.I.P.) spot happened last night at city hall.

The popular (and sometimes controversial in her own right) Maggie Houlihan was the all time vote getter in Encinitas. Houlihan had expressed her replacement be Lisa Shaffer, who is now confirmed to run for Encinitas city council in 2012. Many residents felt the seat should be filled by the last election's next highest vote getter, Tony Kranz.

The appointment of Muir concerns many citizens because they say it creates a 4-1 super majority for special interest on our city council. It will be interesting to see what kind of council person Muir is. Recently elected member Kristin Gaspar has been criticized as an empty suit yes man with zero distinguishing leadership.
It's hard to imagine a decades long fire chief assuming this same role. Watch for Muir to establish dominance over fellow council member Jerome Stocks and set himself up as the new Jim Bond, our perennial council person who has been recently tempted by retirement.

Read about the appointment on Encinitas Patch.
North County Times And the Coast News


  1. How many Deputies does it take to maintain order at a City Council meeting ? Usually, one or two. So why did we have so many at the City Council meeting last night ? In the almost 25 years I have lived here, I can't recall any violence or anything other than mild rowdeyness at a City Council meeting. I was unaware of any threats made to disrupt the proceedings. So why so many Deputies ?
    As I watched the proceedings on TV, I heard Mayor Bond say there were seats available and could see seats empty. So why were some people told to go to the overflow room and others let in? Why were Deputies controlling entrance to the Chambers ? Some that attended felt that those that "looked" like they supported Muir or had pro Muir signs were let in while those that "looked" like they were opposed to Muir or had anti Muir signs were not let in.
    The official story will be that the Deputies were there to prevent overcrowding. I certainly hope that the powers that be are not so concerned over the public voice that they are willing to put on a Soviet style show trial for the media. I really hope we have not gotten to place where the Police are used to "manage" political free expression and freedom of speech - that would be abhorrent to Democracy.

  2. I agree, the number of deputies seemed highly unusual, as did the process for selecting who got into the main council chambers and the primary overflow room behind it. The crowd out front was very respectful and orderly; no show of force was remotely needed.

    I hope that Mr Muir and the rest of the council realize the recent handling of his appointment will result in much greater scrutiny of the council's actions going forward to the next elections. If the tranparent cronyism continues, and the ignoring of the desires of the Encinitas voters, their days on the council are numbered. There was even talk of the R word last night - RECALL. Like it or not, you may have finally woken up the laid back Encinitas community to what's really going on at City Hall.

  3. I'm glad I went to the press conference, and I appreciate the efforts of those involved. However, Bruce Ehlers should have been the sole speaker.

    Also, thank goodness they couldn't figure out how to play the song about Encinitas. The collective cringe was palpable. Good grief, I didn't show up for an episode of Oprah.

  4. I was there last night and after the rally ended we entered the building and were directed to the left. A deputy at the council chamgers and the back overflow room took one look at my Dump Stocks bumper sticker and directed me to the Carnation room, while a non-descript man was let into the council chambers no questions asked. Our civil rights were definately squashed -- this is BS!

  5. The Orwellian Pigs are in control!

  6. If there is any doubt in how this will increase the blatant cronyism. Please take note of the other city promotion this week.

    Dept Fire Chief Henry was promoted to Fire Chief the same day Mark Muir Retired.

    The 2nd highest paid position in the city appointed in less than one a day.

    No formal announcement for qualified applicants, inside or outside the city.

    No citizen comity or commission to interview perspective replacements.

    No period of an acting Fire Chief to research Mark's best replacement.

    Continual Blatant Cronyism, Pure and Simple.

  7. Fire men hit the lottery and all retire with awesome monthly checks on the backs of hard working honest citizens. Man the fire union sure stuck a knife in the the publics tax back pocket. Ounch, they hurt!

    Its a joke our council is sooo corrupt. Its like the Bell of North County San Diego. Where is the DA when you need her?

  8. The DA is as corrupt as all these cronies - notice how she let Dalager slide?

  9. I agree with most all, especially Jack. Of course when I see Or hear people like david smith complaining, or meiche, it causes concern. These two are both big city fireman, big salarys and future big pensions, a drain on us Ca,. Taxpayers! Did they neglect to tell you that? One thing that I can't stand are finger pointers, who should also point the same finger at themselves! the kettle calling the pot black. Doesn't appear they hold themselves to any higher standards than others....who let them speak?

  10. There were at least 30 police officers present. Seventeen were counted, congregated out in the parking lot alone. I also noticed the "big ladder" fire truck in the south corner of the parking lot.

    Police cars were parked on all sides of City Hall, including on surrounding streets. Yes, the place was surrounded. Christy Guerin was there, patting Mark Muir on the back. I feel the intent was intimidation, since they were well aware of the planned rally, and also concerned it might turn into "Occupy City Hall?"

    I am grateful for the input of David and Steve. I agree with a poster who suggested that pension reform should include higher taxes on those who make over $100,000 per year in pension benefits. The public employee pension system does need to be reformed.

    My understanding is that Oceanside, a city bigger in size and in population, pays its city manager substantially less than we do. Why do we pay our city manager more than many or most elected officials?

    I am very glad that Bonnie Dumanis is running for San Diego Mayor, so she won't be running for DA again. I feel she did let Dan Dalager slide, on a plea bargain, and she also lets officers who use excessive force slide, as in the Francine Busby fundraiser incident. In that case, the private homeowner took the Sheriff to Federal Court, for violating the Civil Rights of those attending the party, in particular, the homeowner, herself. The Sheriff had to SETTLE; they didn't have a good enough case to justify the guests and the homeowner being pepper sprayed and "taken down."

    Bonnie Dumanis had said she felt the homeowner was guilty, but didn't think she could prove it at a trial, so Dumanis wouldn't pursue a lawsuit against her. Yet she immediately "cleared" her officers of any wrongdoing in her own internal investigation.

    But with regard to the pensions, the actuarial practices used by the pension funds and their reporting practices are highly deceiving.

  11. With all those firemen and policemen there I guess we know who's buttering their bread.

    Doctors & Lawyers are schmucks... a retired fire chief in his 50's, of a small coastal town, can bring in $170k per year + benefits.

  12. Encinitas needs a pension reform initiave on the ballot, as the city of San Diego has done. One will never see the mention of pension reform coming from the current kabal council. Fire and police benefits need to be scaled way back; these outlays are unsustainable in the long run.

  13. I can echo the reports of how those who attended the press-conference were treated once inside City Hall. When we saw on the TV how many empty seats there were in the chamber we appealed to the "guards" who had formerly told us it was full as they herded us into the back room. Of course they were firm, but I could see that more than one of them knew something unethical was going on and was uneasy about it.
    It was most certainly eye-opening


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