Over the last decade many people have attempted to help bring solutions to the city, but ended up fighting city hall for the simple recognition the problems. Denial of problems was frequently accompanied with public dismal and private, and sometimes public, name calling by council members. Many citizens were labelled whiners and malcontents. Some of these citizens are now council members, so we can hope that will change.
There was also a somewhat grounded claim of partisanship and unequal vigor in the critical appraisal of city leaders. The new council should be given the same level of slack given to the previous. Not only will the council members be under the microscope, so will their supporters. Nothing less than highly ethical and respectful behavior should be expected.
Nobody's perfect. We should expect our city's new leadership to address mistakes rather than sweep them under the rug. Hiding mistakes is better for personal political careers, but stepping up to mistakes is better for the public's interest. Being open with the public is the fundamental difference between the practices of the old council majority and the promise of the new.
This is an opportunity for the citizens of Encinitas to demonstrate that they are motivated to participate in developing and implementing smart and broadly appreciated solutions--an opportunity to show that their desire to "dump stocks" was about bringing better public policy and public administration to our hometown and not personal or petty (for most people). A few citizens who consistently spend their valuable time participating in the public discourse are deeply generous and care enough for the future residents of our hometown that they give up their time and attention. Their dedication is to the future, so they spend their time on unconformable and hard problems, rather than engaging in personally satisfying past-times or relatively comfortable or quick window dressing civic support.
This is an opportunity for their efforts to be genuinely considered, rather than being feared.
It is an opportunity to show that who gets elected matters. There is still a political machine, which has temporarily lost control of city hall and will want to own city hall again. That machine is funded by developers and aligned with the union leadership. Next time the machine will know they need to spend more money. A LOT MORE MONEY. Without a system to counter-balance misinformation, the next election is going to be even more over the top.
How Much Does Character Matter?
That political machine tried to scare the dickens out of the public. If Tony and Lisa were elected the city would go to hell and Tony would go City Hall rage! Tony now has 4 years to show that getting into it with that dude down in San Diego isn't a reflection of how he will handle himself at city hall.
Now, if that sort of behavior matters, what did Jerome's "psychological assessment" say and why wasn't that sent out by the SDCounty Voters for Progress? Jerome conducted himself with consistency horrible interpersonal interactions, but that did not stop former Mayors, law enforcement, or fire fighters from endorsing him.
On the other hand, Jerome was raw and let people know he did not care for their views or feedback. Is that better than being phony or responding with non-answers, or passive aggressive behavior?
The Jim-Tony phone call thing remains an awkward "he said, he doesn't want to get into a he said, he said" thing. No student witnesses came forward, as far as I know, but if Jim wants to put us into contact with them that changes things. One thing that both Jim and Tony openly agree on is that a phone call was made about the signs being taken from Tony's garage. The press and the political machine (and Stocks directly) tried to make fun of Tony as being a really bad liar. Did Tony make up a story that his signs were taken?
Jim's account erased any doubt that Tony had fabricated a story about his signs going missing from his garage and that he was the one removing the early signs from Leucadia Blvd.
Below was the funniest political art of the email campaigns.
Tony gets the opportunity to demonstrate that his behavior represents an improvement at City Hall. We hope to be the first to publish Jim's follow up writings if Tony does not.
An Opportunity for an Important Major Shift
Lisa and Tony can have a huge impact on the city. Some campaign contributors behind the anti-Tony election mailers got so scared that Tony and Lisa would bring change to city hall that they pulled some pretty lame stuff.
Instead of telling the electorate what they were really afraid of (developers and employees losing special favors) they made shit up (Tony and Lisa were extreme occupiers). A couple unknown dudes and photographer(s) associated with the opposition campaign crashed Tony and Lisa's campaign kickoff. They got their picture in front of Tony and Lisa, who were not looking as happy to be recorded together as the two strangers were (never to be seen again).
Rumor has it that Tony didn't go postal, but was extremely courteous, to the interlopers. We can assume that any such incident would have been photographed and used in mailers.
The radical change that the election of Tony and Lisa represent is a dedication to the public good, over the private profit of their supporters. We think that is why people voted for them, at least.
Tony has spent a lot of time working on public policy. Stuff that doesn't fit on a mailer. The one thing we can say is that he is genuinely interested in a better city hall. That effort extends beyond the possible recognition that he would get in return.
Only one person took the time to go over all the roads reports, public records law, AND call the contractor (adding evidence that the city was lying), and go to the council with a path to avoid loosing a public records lawsuit. That was Tony. None of those hundreds of hours of work translated directly into extra votes for Tony.
We hope he continues to put the public good before his personal political agenda.
How the Republican Party Gave the Race to Tony and Lisa
The Republican Party supports candidates for Encinitas city council who increase taxes, increases bureaucracy, adds regulation at the same time as reduces bureaucratic accountability, takes the city into more debt (blindly) and straps the future with an unsustainable pension system. Given that the republicans in the race seemed to ignore this history, its no surprise that many fiscal conservatives in this city refuse to register with any party and are happy to vote Lisa and Tony, because they were more fiscally conservative than the republican candidates. Tony and Lisa were given a gift by the Republican Party leadership.
Candidate Kevin Forrester would not respond to an invitation to discuss and reconcile our views about Encinitas city hall's open government practices or how it was possible that a few NIMBYs were responsible for the decade of delays to the Hall park, even though it was now obvious that financial difficulties had been a major problem for the project (plus all the other stuff). Forrester grossly ignored or was (willfully?) ignorant of open government law violations. Forrester's campaign highlighted that he was an attorney and a mediator. Ironic.
The election result is an opportunity to move further away from party politics and show republican leaders it is time to be about principles rather than being a good ol' boy club. When the republicans pick candidates who are genuine, they will have an easy time taking back city hall.
The Possibility for More Empty Disk Space
This is an opportunity to clear out the computer files. Jerome's history was broad and wide. It was hard to keep up with him (Sandag, NCTD, CH). Where ever he went, he provided great writing fodder. We've got a lifetime worth of clips of Jerome that make for great blogging. I don't think we ever got to the one below, perhaps because we actually try to focus on important things. This is just to bizarre to never post. Think of it as a farewell clipping.
click to enlarge
What boat access points? We don't actually have world-class surf. World-class surf is filled with international surf travelers. Our waves are fun, and sometimes sick, but never worth flying internationally, because on the best days the waves are stupid lame crowded. You're lucky if you catch two waves without having to dodge people.
Most local surfers would choose to move to the ranch rather than live in Encinitas if given the choice to house swap.
Opportunity for Financial Disclosure
A real analysis of the city's finances is the promise.
We hope this new council will become the benchmark for the inclusion of all points of view. Dr. Shaffer should be the shinning of example for the council by answering even the toughest questions posed by people openly opposed to her initial positions.
Barth's Stage for Partial Vindication
The change on the council gives her a chance to shed some of the cloud following the harassment reports. It didn't just go away on its own.
Many in the community, not interested in public policy or the reality of the city's administration, wanted the council to "just get along." One way to do that is to dump all dissenters and build a parallel thinking council. It will be interesting to see if they now think we should get rid of any minority members of the council in the name of kumbaya.
This is an opportunity for Barth to demonstrate the respect she requested while in the minority.
This is also an opportunity for Barth to show that she is in office to make changes to public policy, and that the only reason she was not bringing legislation to the table was that she was cutoff by being in the minority.
It is also an opportunity to show that she was kept from being mayor because she would agendize the discussion of things the former majority wanted to keep away from the public, things that would be politically uncomfortable, but good for the public interest.
Barth has the support of much of the community because they believe she will keep her word to do things like:
- letting the voters decide on increased density,
- requiring an independent audit, prudent fiscal policies,
- meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future generation, and
- decreasing expenses through accountability.
If they don't show up, we still will. We will hold all 5 council members accountable and give them no more slack than we gave Jerome, because we won't be personal or partisan when it comes to public policy and public administration.