Monday, November 26, 2012

How Much Did That Cost?


The Encinitas Community Park (Hall Park) has a giant pit in it now. That must be where they are going to bury all the contaminated surface soil.

That pit is the biggest and most expensive manifestation of Mayor Stocks' lies (a.k.a. super extreme nacho cheese covered spin).

There is contaminated soil on the Hall park property. Trying to hide the contamination cost the City of Encinitas a lot of money.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2013: The Year of the Kook, Again

Coming soon.

According to inside sources, the new calendar is jam packed with new pics; costumes; and corny captions. Make that kooky. 
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local Leucadia Art Fest Dec 1st!

Christmas Slurry


 
The City will be doing a slurry seal on Hwy 101 between La Costa and Encinitas Blvd. during the time frame of Nov. 19- Dec. 14, weather permitting.  There will delays on Hwy 101 during this time. 

If you are a Hwy 101 merchant go ahead and pound your head against the wall. Obviously this blog lobbies for infrastructure improves in Leucadia, but really? Working on the coast highway during prime Christmas shopping? 

Really? 


 Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association 
386 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA  92024
760-436-2320     email:leucadia101@sbcglobal.net
Leucadia 101 website: www.leucadia101.com
 

Sent from my super groovy iPhone
JP St Pierre
CEO and janitor of the super huge mega corporation:
Surfy Surfy Surf Shop
974 N Coast Hwy 101
Leucadia, CA 92024
760-452-7687

Andreen Sets the Record Straight


From the NCTime, B. Henry Reporting
 Mike Andreen, head of a New Encinitas area business advocacy group that has repeatedly raised concerns about some housing changes proposed in the revisions, said Thursday that his organization strongly opposes the proposed (Right 2 Vote) initiative. “We think it’s a bad idea for a variety of reasons,” he said.

Among other things, its name — the “Right to Vote” initiative — is misleading, Andreen said, commenting that Encinitas voters already have a say on housing-density issues. Also, he said, its proponents are using “scare tactics” to make people think the city is about to allow five-story buildings all over town.

Andreen said that the initiative’s passage will result in nullifying three community planning documents — ones for New Encinitas, Leucadia and the city’s downtown — that citizens spent years creating, and it will ultimately discourage all development in town. 

Andreen has also pointed out how outrageous and dangerous the initiative would be, on his blog.

Example: if the ‘Encinitas Right To Vote’ were currently the law and the owners of the McDonalds that burned down in the Sprout’s Center wanted to rebuild it exactly as it was in the 70’s, they would have to underwrite a Special Election of the half million dollars before they have spent one nickel on plans, materials labor etc… 

He didn't cite which section of the initiative would cause that result. I thought the initiative just addressed upzoning, not remodels, not building permits, and not development permits. (Disclaimer: We haven't read it yet, as we've been busy lately.) Upzoning is where developers gain NEW development rights by the vote of the council majority (4/5ths). The council, not hard work or market forces, makes them rich. Usually, the public subsidizes directly and indirectly the bulk of the windfall profits from the upzoning (Now you know why developers poor 6 digit figures into council races.) The initiative puts the decision on upzoning in both the hands of the council AND the public. The upzoning will have to pass muster with the public, rather than slide by unnoticed until buildings go up.

There is zero doubt the initiative will result in upzoning proposals that provide more benefit to the general public, rather than the lion's share to those receiving the gift of NEW rights.

Andreen also posts this photo (Mike, we assumed you'd be happy to spread the word, let us know if we should take this down):

Approval of the upzoning initiative does not prohibit upzoning (or 5 stories), and it won't. Cities with similar measures continue to upzone.

However, Mike is right. Some proponents do not want more traffic, higher buildings, more pollution, or a change in character. They moved here and stay here because they like Encinitas. They are rightfully scared that upzoning will result in that. As Mike actively recognized, major changes could be coming to Encinitas and it would be great if the changes were being made for the benefit of the general public and not 24 people.

The proponents like Encinitas. They think the majority of the voters will continue to agree that Encinitas is pretty darn nice and will want to keep it that way if they are given the power to confirm the council's approvals.

Leucadia Will Get Screwed?
The initiative will also send all the upzoning to Leucadia, because we are the city's infrastructure dumping ground. Are New Encinitas or Olivenhain going to vote to keep 10 story complexes out of Leucadia if they think it will keep their community from having to take on more density? Will we get the short end of the stick?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Taste of Leucadian Homes


Old School, Authentic Chill

Pre-fabulous

A contemporary investment in our hometown. A monument to the belief in our town's future.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Inconsistencies?

This flier says it was paid for by the Muir and Stocks campaigns. It was all over middle Encinitas a few days before the election. I wonder if the polls were saying the people want to vote on upzoning and the public knew who was supported by big developers.

The UT says Muir was against the right-to-vote initiative. If is for the right to vote, which part of the right-to-vote initiative is he against?

Friday, November 09, 2012

Opportunities

The changing of the guard at city hall presents all sorts of opportunities.

Opportunities
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.
She now has the opportunity to put these issues in front of the public for discussion. Let's see who shows up to participate, now that the discussion will be about the issues rather than about personal smear campaigns that are half to not at all true.

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. 


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Paradigm Shift for Encinitas politics


With longtime councilman James Bond retired and Jerome Stocks voted out in an upset, there has been a major paradigm shift in Encinitas.

Relative newcomer Lisa Shaffer impressed the voters with her thoughtful and calm demeanor and longtime local Tony Kranz proved to the voters that he is committed to this town and is steady and intelligent.

The dedicated anti-Stocks crowd, who have been labeled as fringe wackos, let Jerome do the heavy lifting for them as he became increasingly hostile and grumpy in public.

Many locals saw the Shaffer, Kranz, Muir signs in Gary Murphy's yard (by the Roadside Park on W. Leucadia Blvd) and gave him grief. The organized anti-Stocks crowd is poised to make Muir the next Encinitas Boogey Man, but I implore you all not to do this.

Gary Murphy advised to give Muir some breathing room and give him a chance, with Stocks and Bond out Muir deserves the chance to prove himself as an independent and not some lapdog.

The most interesting council person is now Kristin Gaspar, who many view as nothing more than a Rotary Club plant to mindlessly vote along with Stocks and Bond. Now that we have a diverse city council we will find out who the real Gaspar is. This is a great day for both Muir and Gaspar.

The biggest paradigm shift is the approval of a 4 2 year strong mayor system. My personal opinion, this is huge mistake. A strong mayor might seem like a good idea, but Encinitas is comprised of 5 distinct communities that are basically unique little mini cities. Leucadia, Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Olivenhain and Cardiff-by-the-sea. We need a council to work out and decide issues, not an individual personality with an agenda. But so be it.

Election night overall was a push back against the cynics. Romney getting crushed was proof of that. Let's move forward with class and dignity and help the new Encinitas city council make the right decisions for the future of our town.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sign, Sign Everywhere a Sign



2012 has been the year of the sign in Encinitas. Battles and bumbles over public banners, art, graffiti, billboards, bumper stickers, censorship, media ethics and political signs all played themselves out in our little lab of democracy by-the-sea.

We at ruthlesshippies.org spoke to a few city council candidates recently. Some of these topics such as the 101 Artist Colony banners and the Surfing Madonna did pop up. Incidentally, the
Surfing Madonna was a favorite art piece of all three candidates we interviewed.

Our chats with Tony Kranz (click to see interviews) and Lisa Shaffer happened before the sign-gate story picked up steam, so we did not ask them any questions relating to political signs. And while we considered this little scandal to be somewhat of a distraction from the real topics that voters should be focusing on, we were glad to find Mark Muir ready to give his take on the incident.

We wished we could have interviewed all of the city council candidates, but there simply was not enough time in our lives. Also, Mayor Stocks was not interested in meeting with us for an interview. He keeps e-mailing us though about stuff like fighting graffiti, how happy he is to meet with anyone in person and how his e-mails aren't costing tax payers any money. We're not even sure how he got a hold of our address. We hope that by next year there's a new city ordinance defining all political signs as graffiti.

Lisa Shaffer, who we did give our email address to, informed us of a cool little event she is holding to clean up those ugly signs:

Sign Collection Saturday, Nov. 10. This campaign has been too costly and too dirty. In an effort to clean things up, I'm asking everyone who has a Shaffer for Council campaign sign to bring it to one of the following collection points on Saturday, Nov. 10. We're selling the metal holders back to a distributor and donating the corrugated plastic signs to art programs for re-use. Thanks to my volunteers for their help.

New Encinitas, in front of Flora Vista on Wandering Lane
10:00 - 12:00
Historic Encinitas, D Street Park (across from the library)
12:00 - 2:00

    
Happy voting to all!



Saturday, November 03, 2012

Unwanted Non-campaign Election Signs

 Below the line came in one of our in boxes. It was from Yost and Yost's campaign manager, but according to them, it was sent out in their independent capacity as board members of a "California non-profit public benefit corp".

They also say the city made an official determination that these election signs are not campaign signs. Cool.

The LB does not condone the disbursement of ANY signs on city property.

What if Jerome ran a non-profit, cough cough, like  We Love Encinitas and put out Dump Barth signs, and collected a lot of money not reported on his forms, or collected over $1000 and didn't file, or organized a non-profit but used it primarily for campaigning? What if Jerome sent out an email saying what hours code enforcement and public works was off duty? Yost and Aronin were asked if they wanted this posted and the answer was yes.

_____________________________________

Dump Stocks Campaign Status Report

It's looking good! We've got Stocks on the run!

But, we can't let up now. We need to do all we can before election day.

1. DUMP STOCKS Yard Signs
We still have about 40 signs available. We need people willing to put them up Friday evening.

A couple of thoughts: Signs put up on city-owned public spaces Friday evening won't be removed until Monday at the earliest - maintenance employees don't work over the weekend. And, signs placed curbside along shopping centers Friday evening are unlikely to be removed over the weekend, for the same reason. (Encinitas Neighbors doesn't condone either action).

If you can help get these signs up, they can be picked up anytime from my front porch:
[clip]

Let's make sure we get every sign up!

2. DUMP STOCKS Mailing
We're planning to put out a DUMP STOCKS mailing to target neighborhoods where they're likely to have an impact. We need to raise $1250 by Friday. The mailing will be delivered to the post office Saturday and delivered Monday. We'll mail as many pieces as we've raised money for.

If you can help: Contributions can be made via the DUMPSTOCKS website - www.DUMPSTOCKS.org.
Or, send a check made payable to "Encinitas Neighbors" and send it to

Encinitas Neighbors
PO Box 232426
Encinitas, CFA 92023-2426

We can do it! See you at the the DUMP STOCKS celebration!

Bob
[clip]

--
Bob Aronin
Encinitas Neighbors Assn.
www.Encinitans.com
___________________________


Apparently, not as many people as expected wanted Dump Stocks signs.

If this way of setting up campaign funds/expenditures is fine for the anti-Jerome crowd, please don't crow when there is just an implied appearance of Jerome doing the same. In this case it is not just apparent. It is admitted reality.
.




Thursday, November 01, 2012

Jerome Stocks, Community Hero

Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks saves Widow from Homelessness


It 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.

KUSI.com - KUSI News - San Diego CA - News, Weather, PPR

What's 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 party.

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.

If 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.

The 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 meetings.

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.

It 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.

This little Turko Files episode reinforces exactly the difference between reality and illusion in city government that this article describes.

Al Rodbell
alrodbell.blogspot.com 

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.