Unethical behavior that hides conflicts of interests from the public erodes our liberties. Citizens must demand ethics and elect council members who are willing to hold each other accountable for malfeasance.
Stocks and Bond wanted Dalager re-elected. They have never said Dalager did anything wrong. They knew Dalager had admitted to taking loans, appliances and failing to file proper disclosure forms. They don’t think taxpayers deserve better. If they had their way Dalager would be in office today.
In learning of Dalager’s guilty plea, Bond said he would have “pursued” the charges, meaning he must believe Dalager was above the law. Bond might be the only guy in town still supporting Dalager’s “I-have-done-nothing-wrong” broken campaign promise. Stocks’ comment to the guilty plea was, “Dalager served the community well.” In endorsing Dalager, Stocks endorsed the ethics that citizens should be kept in the dark.
There appears to be a disconnect between the ethics of ordinary citizens and the politics of Stocks and Bond. Residents asked Dalager to resign for violating the public trust — Stocks and Bond discredited them in the press. Taxpayers demanded city government do business in the light of day — Stocks and Bond campaigned for Dalager’s closed-door ethics.
Residents handed out flyers documenting Dalager’s conflicts — Stocks and Bond tried selling the public Dalager’s “I-have-done-nothing wrong” falsehood. Taxpayers rallied at City Hall to end conflicts of interest — Bond called them a lynch mob. Citizens waved signs for trust and transparency — Stocks and Bond made robo-calls selling Dalager and his ethics.
Residents and the press alerted the public that there was a “fox in the hen house” — Stocks and Bond acted like the Wizard of Oz who told an unsuspecting public “Don’t mind that man behind the curtain.”
Stocks told the press, “Lets put this behind us and move on.” There may be no two men in North County wanting to move on from this faster than Stocks and Bond. Next year they will seek re-election. It would be in their interest that the public forget they supported Dalager’s ethics. It would be in the public’s interests to be wary of candidates who claim to support their values but act otherwise.
New Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar has gone mute on denouncing Dalager. She allowed her supporters to run a campaign alongside Dalager featuring the two of them on flyers and billboards. Her failure to condemn Dalager’s conflicts of interest call into question her campaign rhetoric as a self-professed “family values” candidate. Her silence on this issue speaks volumes.
Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said of Dalager’s guilty plea “it is unfortunate that an Encinitas elected council member put a personal agenda above that of the people they were elected to represent.”
Councilwoman Teresa Barth thanked the public for “trying to restore trust in local government.” Houlihan and Barth are the only “Mama Grizzlies” who have stood up for conservative family values and who have been “looking out for the folks” and their pocketbooks on this issue.
We must insist on the ethical performance of our elected representatives. If our council members are unable or unwilling to do this they should be voted out of office.
Those wanting to see the flyer, billboards and video of the rally referenced in this column can see hem online at www.encinitasethicscouncil.com.