Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The second time around is when you can really see the soul and commitment to our city of these Leucadians. It is time for the Mayor to hold a town hall meeting and straighten things out because the natives are restless.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Rheanna Downey is one of our local cultural treasures. She is authenticate. Rheanna is a prolific, original songwriter and masterful guitar player. She's great to see live, either on stage or in the line-up.
She'll be playing Christmas Carols and original tunes alongside some other local talent. Grab a hot drink, lounge & enjoy the show. Don't miss the show because in less than a month she'll be a new mom!
You can see her at Coffee Coffee from 4-8pm this Friday night. Coffee Coffee is right next to Surfy Surfy, on the 101.
It is always great to see good people doing great things.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Many Greeks now wish they had built institutions based on executing good policy with equal opportunity for all, rather than promote government based on who you were connected with. Are this important lessons for California? Encinitas?
NPR reporter Joanna Kakissis says the task of turning Greece around is especially daunting because Greeks let the integrity of their civic institutions decay. - Listen to
From Greek Crisis, A Call For Transparency Emergesat http://www.npr.org/2011/12/18/143916141/from-greek-crisis-a-call-for-transparency-emerges?ft=1&f=10&sc=17
Another story is from right here in America. Big labor (UAW) has approved a plan that will mean people doing the same job will get different pay. Substantially different pay. I'm surprised we are not hearing about the social justice issues here.
Two-tier pay system brings reopening of GM plant, reviving hope
The full story can be viewed at: http://www.latimes.com/la-fi-economy-wages-20111218,0,384910.story?track=latiphoneapp
A few days before Thanksgiving, hundreds of people from around the country jammed into the idled General Motors Co. plant here, cheering as company and union officials pushed a big red button signifying the reopening of the car-assembly factory.
Under its agreement with the United Auto Workers union, GM will be hiring mostly new workers for the plant who will start at $15.78 an hour, about half the prevailing rate paid to the company's production employees...
UAW President Bob King said he wasn't thrilled with a two-tier pay system: It goes against the union's core belief in equal pay for equal work. But "there really wasn't an alternative," he said.
Was that really the only alternative? What about sharing the pain? Will Encinitas be better off if we start offering a two-tier compensation system for city employees? Will it be a just system? Will it be the most effective and fair system to all staff and the taxpayers?
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
In the Cummins case, the attorney worked on contingency, otherwise the city's strategy would have worked to exhaust citizens' funds and financial support for the case. Of course, in open government cases, the judge can grant attorney's fees to the plaintiff. That is what happened.
Mayor Bond is talking about appealing the judge's ruling, which will cause the attorneys to do even more work. That will cost the taxpayer even more, because the outrageous cost will be passed on to you. It is completely nuts.
At close to the last minute allowed by law, the city sent out its closed session agenda notice for today. The council is discussing the Cummins case this afternoon.
You can read all of Dennis Winston's response to the city here. Here are some excerpts:
THE CITY INCREASED THE COST OF THIS CASE BY ENGAGING IN UNCOOPERATIVE DELAYING TACTICSA defendant cannot litigate tenaciously and then be heard to complain about the time necessarily spent by the plaintiff in response.
Respondent City of Encinitas (“City”) has chosen to attack Petitioner Kevin Cummins’ (“Cummins”) motion for attorneys’ fees with opinions and conclusions, not facts. The City’s attacks are evanescent since the City cites no case or principle which denies a Petitioner the right to receive an Answer in good faith and to conduct discovery.City attacks Cummins’ efforts to resolve factual issues before trial: first, by denigrating Cummins’ efforts to seek a good faith answer from the City to Cummins’ Petition (e.g., instead of denying that City’s employees sent correspondence); second, by condemning Cummins’ attempt to conduct discovery in good faith.According to the Declaration of Gregory L. Lusitana In Support Of Respondent’s Opposition (“Lusitana Declaration”) the City intentionally chose to refuse to authenticate documents in its Answer, planning “to authenticate these documents as the ‘record’ …by negotiating these issues with petitioner.” (Lusitana Declaration, ¶ 2:1-7.)First, what gave the City the right to proffer an Answer containing sham and evasive allegations of factual matters that were within the actual knowledge of the City?Second, when the City was faced with a meet and confer to prevent Cummins’ motion to strike from being filed, why did the City not “negotiate these issues” then? Moreover, since Cummins’ Petition sought relief under Code of Civil Procedure § 1085 (“Section 1085”), not Section 1094, the City should have known (since, according to Lusitana, “writ of mandate proceedings are significantly less complex …than a typical civil action” (Lusitana Declaration, ¶ 8)) that there was to be no administrative record to be negotiated at all. As the court explained in Bright Development v. City of Tracy (1993) 20 Cal App.4th 783, 795:
I see that you are going into negotiations with one of your bargaining units. I would recommend reviewing the status of the retirement system to determine the magnitude of the problem, so that an effective solution which is fair to current and future employees and taxpayers can be reached. Please agendize a discussion of the STATUS of the retirement system, if for no other reason than to set the record straight about the status of the city's long-term finances.
I also see the legal fees in my case is on the agenda. I would like to remind you that when I requested the 2009 roads report I was rejected, even though the consultant had already finalized, printed, delivered, and invoiced the city for a final report. The City said it was a draft document. There was no risk to the public of releasing the document on roads conditions, which most people don't care about anyways.
For the newer council members, please be advised that the precipitating reason for the roads report was my questions about the fictitious report the city engineers were saying was being used to schedule road repair. The City refused to show this report to me, for years. That was against the law. Breaking the law was better than being caught lying, apparently. It turned out what the City had was a years out of date inventory and repair schedule. It was considered useless by your own staff. When I found out, the City quickly ordered a new $100,000 roads report to cover their butts during the next budget cycle and I recognized the efforts to go in the right direction, even if was selfishly motivated rather than for the public good. The City's good behavior didn't last long.
Please recall that I tried very hard to avoid a lawsuit. I would also like to note that this issue could have been completely avoided with a Sunshine Ordinance, which the council majority rejected.
The cost of the lawsuit is insulting to the taxpayers. My guess is you have no idea how much your staff drove up the cost of this case. I hope you didn't approve the tactics, because it cost the taxpayers. I recommend that you do your own investigation. I invite you to look into the record, speak with my attorney, and meet with me publicly to discuss the case. Just so you know, Winston seemed to think our case was so strong that he didn't need to work out all the details [LB note: i.e. preparing responses to the city's baloney and attempted misdirections]. Given the nature of the City's responses that would have driven the cost up even more.
You can read what the judge wrote here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/75162384/Attorney-s-fees-order-Cummins-vs-Encinitas
I want you to be advised that the City Manager, after great delay, has informed me the City cannot carryout the judge's original order. The correspondence between the City and the consultant was destroyed.
I will offer to invite any of you to publicly discuss this case, including the costs, to set the tone for moving forward with a more open city hall. I am also willing to put the case behind us and just set a good tone for moving the city forward with a more open city hall. There are dozens of practices that are ripe for easy and cheap improvements. I look forward to hearing your suggestions and seeing you take action.
PS Not everything in the City's submissions to the court is honest. I do wonder how my elected representatives think about that.
Cummins pressed the lawsuit even after the final report was released. The judge ruled on May 24 that the city must release the draft because it was inconsequential once the final version had been published.
The City wouldn't admit and still pretends the cat isn't out of the bag. We asked for the "DRAFT" in the lawsuit because the city said that was all they had. They lied and never came clean with the court or unwound their deception. The document was finalized, printed, bound, delivered, and invoiced before I requested the "draft". They said they only had a draft. Had they told the truth I would have asked for the final document.
Who is responsible for all this?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Photo by Alison St John from KPBS.org
Read the story on KPBS.org
*One of the main themes of the Leucadia Blog has been concerns of the vanishing tree canopy on our history highway 101. It's good to see members of the community volunteering for this new planting. The paranoid and cynical side of us has to point out that we've had volunteer tree plantings before, only to watch the city neglect the trees and let them die. We hope that with the new streetscape plans underway and the momentum of the newest Leucadia 101 business corridor renaissance that these trees will be allowed to grow and thrive.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
...Anyone in business in any organization knows how central email communication is to planning, executing and reviewing operations. Email is the informational connective tissue that fills the spaces between formal meetings and documents and, if disclosed, allows scrutiny between the lines of official policy.
To get a candid, unvarnished picture of how our wars are being waged at the ground level, you don't go to Pentagon press releases; you look at Wikileaks dumps (or reports that translate them). On a more conventional scale, email is one of the first targets for public records access requests by journalists and other watchdogs, discovery demands in litigation, and subpoenas or search warrants in criminal prosecutions.
But a government record that has been destroyed, erased or discarded is beyond the reach of public access under the California Public Records Act or any other transparency law. Our state has two legal approaches to preventing or at least discouraging the purging of government records at will. One is the criminalization of such activity. The other is its regulation through records-management policies and laws.
On the criminal side, Government Code Section 6200 states:
Every officer having the custody of any record, map, or book, or of any paper or proceeding of any court, filed or deposited in any public office, or placed in his or her hands for any purpose, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years if, as to the whole or any part of the record, map, book, paper, or proceeding, the officer willfully does or permits any other person to do any of the following:
(a) Steal, remove, or secrete.
(b) Destroy, mutilate, or deface.
(c) Alter or falsify.
For non-officers guilty of the same acts, Section 6201 sets the penalty at up to a year's term in prison or jail, or by a maximum $1,000 fine, or both. In Loder v. Municipal Court, 17 Cal.3d 859 (1976) the court concluded that "inasmuch as no showing of specific intent is required by the statute, an officer who knowingly removes or destroys such a document is punishable even though he acts without a criminal purpose."
And it is no defense to a prosecution under this law to say that the records were exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act and therefore not "public" in the first place. In the leading case under Section 6200, People v. Pearson, 111 Cal.App.2d 9 (1952) a police captain was convicted for removing vice squad investigative records from station files (apparently to show them to raid targets).
The court observed:
A paper written by a public official in the performance of his duties or in recording the efforts of himself and those under his command or written plans of future work is a public record and is properly in the keeping of the office.Nor is Section 6200 confined to protecting legally mandated records. P
The CPRA sets two years as a minimum for retention of public records. The City of Encinitas' excuse is they define public record as only applying to those things that get saved. That's kinda circular and a lazy argument, that is not supported by the law.
Many people have publicly and privately offered to pay for the computer "upgrades" necessary to save all the email (and make it TONS EASIER for staff and council members), but those offers have been rejected. The council wants plausible deniability and steep controls on information.
Join Calaware here. Email the council (or write a letter) at email@example.com and ask them to justify their policy and practice.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sent from my super groovy iPhone
JP St Pierre
President and janitor of the super huge mega corporation:
Surfy Surfy Surf Shop
974 N Coast Hwy 101
Leucadia, CA 92024
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Trains are a little noisy, even without the horns. They thunder by at 2 a.m.
Ever watched a movie at La Paloma? The train's vibrations are a cool part of the experience.
Hopefully, Pacific Station is soundproofed and built to withstand a tank car explosion.
Freight trains are a serious public safety liability. Putting high density immediately next to the freight rail lines risks stretching the public safety and medical response resource closer to black-tag triage if there is a serious accident. What happens to the Scripps Hospital if there is a derailment involving a tanker car with hazardous materials at Santa Fe and Vulcan?
Hopefully, design standards, public safety planning and disaster planning have been adjusted to take into consideration the extra density along the tracks and the proximity of the hospital to the rail lines.
It will never happen in Encinitas. My friends said the same thing until their neighborhood blew up in San Bruno.