I attended the June 22 Encinitas City Council meeting and I felt sad.
I was sad at the illnesses and disruption of the lives of so many people who live near the development project on Hymettus Street caused by inadequate environmental protections, monitoring and enforcement. I want a City Council that demands that county and state environmental officials do their job and protect the health of the citizens. I want a City Council that cancels the permit for the construction if the developer violates the requirements for environmental hazard mitigation.
I was sad that so many people speak often and eloquently about open government and then the council votes to defend the city in court rather than release the draft of a traffic study, and after losing the case because the city failed to show a “compelling” reason to withhold the report, the city spends more time and money on an appeal.
I want a City Council that isn’t afraid to let citizens see what their tax dollars are paying for. I welcome the new city manager and hope he can address some of these problems, and I welcome the next election in hopes that the voters of Encinitas will select different council members who support open government, open meetings and have open minds. -- Lisa Shaffer, Encinitas
This sounds familiar...
Budget surplus a mirageThe impression given by an article on a city budget workshop (“El Cajon ends fiscal year with surplus,” East County, June 16) amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. The story said the city will end the current fiscal year June 30 with a “budget surplus of $300,000,” and anticipates a “balanced” budget next year.
Councilman Bill Wells said the city still has a structural deficit of about $4 million. That is presumably the cumulative deficit accrued in prior years. If so, the $300,000 surplus for the current year was immediately gobbled up by the deficit.
At that rate, it would take 13 years to fully recover the deficit. The fact that next year’s deficit is “balanced” (in fact, a slight gain of about $71,000 is projected) means that a year from now, the city will still have a structural deficit of some $4 million. -- Robert Clark, El Cajon
Letter to the editor published here.