Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks saves Widow from Homelessness
made the feature of Turko files Monday October 29, as shown in this
clip. Only one problem, the sub text, the narrative that this conveys
is full of holes as described below.
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wrong with this narrative that glides along many themes of our
political culture. It's the story of a strong forthright elected leader
who is willing to buck the bureaucracy--it can be local, state or the
federal government itself. The meme (great word for the little factoids
that most people build their images of the world on) is one that is
fostered most by the tea party crowd that has captured the Republican
This five minute segment on the local news
featuring a crusading reporter Michael Turko, illustrates how a good
story beats reality every time--especially, when you have the dramatic
elements of an elderly widow being thrown out of her home by a heartless
city government. The reporter goes to the very top, the Mayor, and
within a few days, together they have reversed months of government
intransigence to allow the tearful grateful women back into her home.
Two heroes, splashed over television and the Internet, that just may
sway an election and change the structure of a small city.
Proposition K passes, it will allow the current mayor, Jerome Stocks to
continue to help the people of this little city in ways such as this,
and if the proposition for direct election to this office passes, he can
continue to protect people from an overbearing government.
entire premise of this
television feature is illusory. The reporter, Michael Turko, described
how his first report got the Mayors attention. The word "mayor" was
accentuated to mean what most people think a mayor is, the chief
executive officer of a city. Only one problem, the City of Encinitas
has no such position. Jerome Stock's position is that of "titular"
mayor, meaning he is one of five equal members of the city council who
have delegated executive authority to a city manager. His only
authority beyond any other member of the council is to preside at
He is, in actuality, the unofficial leader
of a controlling majority of the council, and as such he leads this
majority that did select the official executive officer, the city
manager. It is he who controls the city inspector and code enforcement
and who made the decision not to allow the woman to occupy her home.
Mayor Stocks has no authority
to overrule this decision.
What was not discussed in
the little melodrama presented last night, is that it's unbelievable
that this women had not corresponded with the members of the council
asking them to intervene during the several months since the fire shut
her out of her house. And if so, what was the rationale for not
allowing a reversal of the decision. If the city manager was wrong,
does this not raise a question of his competency, or was he following a
regulation that should have been defended by the member of the city
council who was interviewed, namely Jerome Stocks.
can't be both, that Stocks actually has the authority implicitly
conveyed by this television segment, yet he did nothing before this
presentation-- that just happened to break one week before a highly
contested election. This is not only an election where he is running for
office, but also on Propositions that changes
the structure of the position of mayor. I described the reality of
three flavors of the role of mayor in California that is based on state
law, in this article Props KLM.
little Turko Files episode reinforces exactly the difference between
reality and illusion in city government that this article describes.
Isn't Turko the dude that didn't realize NIMBY's weren't delaying the Hall park construction the last few years, and the City didn't have the funds to build the park? The city manager still refuses to release information on the cost of issuance of the third round of park bonds. Another million bucks? That would be a lot for an $8 million net. That might be why it is secret until after the election.
Mark Muir can't/won't say what that cost is and indicates that he doesn't know, but that he forwarded that question to the City Manager, who is apparently covering the council's asses.