COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An open letter to Mayor Dan Dalager

Dear Mayor Dalager:
Upon learning from a Union Tribune investigation that you had received a “darn near free” kitchen from a resident who had a dispute with the city, that you had failed to disclose receiving the appliances, and that you later voted in that person’s favor against the city, I and other Encinitas residents asked for your resignation during the City Council meeting on Aug. 25.
At that time you told the public that “you had nothing to hide and that you wanted to put everything up on the table.” Two weeks later we learned from a second newspaper investigation that you had accepted a $100,000 loan from a person, that you failed to disclose the loan on your state filings, and that you later sided with that person’s position on a development issue before the city and that if your vote had held it would have cost taxpayers $225,000.
Residents throughout the community recently received your campaign flyer saying that we deserved a “full and impartial accounting of these matters.” You claim in your flyer that opponents are trying to tear you down right before the election.
Your troubles, sir, are of your own making. The truth is that when you were required to disclose to the public and to the California Fair Political Practices Commission that you had accepted discounts, the free microwave and the $100,000 loan you did not. In your flyer you apologize for the mistakes you have made. With all due respect, a mistake is when you inadvertently lock your keys in the car. Your actions are no mistake. Your actions have violated the public trust. You took a $100,000 loan and you did not report it. It seems the only one putting everything up on the table is the Union Tribune.
We would like a full accounting of the following. When will you let reporters into your home to photograph the appliances and verify the serial numbers? Did you receive other items for the kitchen? Where did you buy the gift certificate referenced in the investigation? Will you share with the public the terms of the $100,000 loan? Did you pay interest? Did you pay an origination fee? Was the loan forgiven in part, or in full? Have you received other unreported loans, and if your answer is no, why should we believe you? Why did you not report your job at the bank until 2010? What accounts have you opened at the bank? For who have you opened accounts at the bank? Did they have business before the city? Were you paid for opening accounts? Did you vote on any issues?
Currently in Encinitas at our elementary schools we are teaching our school children to act responsibly, to follow directions and to consider the consequences of their actions. If as a community we expect that behavior from our first- and second-graders should we not expect that behavior from our mayor?
With all due respect Mayor Dalager, there are simply too many questions. We ask that you please resign, and that you please forgo your re-election campaign. Encinitas residents deserve a City Council that is free from doubt and suspicion.

Andrew S. Audet is an Encinitas resident and chairperson of the Encinitas Ethics Council, which can be found online at


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