Encinitas has a long history of seriously blowing real estate transactions and signing lame contracts. The details are what trip them up. This is nothing new and during the last few years citizens have been looking more closely at the city's contracts.
This time the people didn't even get a good chance to vet the new tree trimming contract, because, the city was not transparent. Again.
Good thing we don't need transparency, because we can just trust them. So much so, the council is willing to award contracts they don't even read.
Here is some video of some really troubling admissions by the city and the council admitting things were done poorly, but not asking that they be corrected before voting on THIS issue. You'll also see the city allowed a situation to develop where there was an appearance of possible impropriety.
Government officials (should) know that they are responsible for maintaining the trust of the public by not abusing their power and by insuring there is no appearance of impropriety. Yes, appearances are supposed to matter.
Do you think Encinitas did a good job of clearing up appearances of POSSIBLE impropriety?
Tony Kranz has been critiquing the tree trimming contract for several years now and offering up various recommendations based on his, expert backed, analysis of the situation. He is clearly not comfortable with the cozy relationship WCA has with Mark Hosford, and was willing to give some recommendations on how to better present the proposals, as well as elements to include in the contract.
The council approved the contract without reading it, thus the council didn't make sure Tony's recommendation were included (or tossed out, if they didn't like it).
It was reported to us that the WCA rep and the lead city staffer's (Hosford) relationship is so cozy they were repeatedly driving past E-street cafe together, just before the council meeting. Circling. This is where the Cal Tree team was meeting to decide if and how to approach the city council meeting. Not a very classy move by city staff, maybe inappropriate, and was certainly taken as a form of intimidation. This might not be the case and there could be a good reason for those guys to be cruzing E-street. But...
It has been a week since Hosford has been asked to explain that behavior. So far, no explanation has been provided.
You can find and watch the whole meeting and get the thin staff report on the city website.