This week Encinitas absentee ballots go out.
As an opinion writer I am going to share with you the facts as I know them and tell you the council candidates you need to vote for if keeping Encinitas a small coastal town is important to you.
I believe Encinitas has been taken over by the special interests and the city’s finances are at risk. We need responsible spending, protection of community character and less debt. I am convinced if we don’t change our council majority by voting out Mayor Stocks and Mark Muir we will get bigger buildings, bigger debt and bigger taxes. If you want responsible fiscal leadership I say vote for Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz.
Over the last 7 years I have attended city meetings, researched issues, written of city affairs and been a frequent speaker at city hall. Here is my voting guide for Encinitas council.
Pension Reform: Unfunded pensions threaten cities because money that should go to serve residents goes to pensions. The Encinitas Taxpayers Association (ETA) claims Encinitas could have an $80 million unfunded liability and the U-T San Diego reported Encinitas has the second largest unfunded obligation in the county only 59.2 percent funded.
Mr. Stocks voted for pay and pension increases.
Mr. Muir gets near $170,000 a year in pension as the city’s ex-fire chief and skipped an important pay and pension vote. If you want pension reform I think a vote for Shaffer and Kranz give us the best chance of controlling costs.
Open Government: In the Nichols street report Stocks and the council used closed door meetings to keep a report from the public. Shaffer and Kranz called for its release. A judge ordered the report released and we learned the city could be $43 million behind in road repairs. If you want open government I say vote for Shaffer and Kranz as they stood for our right to know.
Responsible spending: Where is our money going?
Stocks voted to pay lawyers close to $1 million to argue the Hall Park did not need an EIR — the city lost. Stocks voted to pay lawyers to argue against citizens on the road report — the city lost. The city overspent for the Mossy Yard and went over-budget for the library. We have unfunded pension and street repairs. If you want responsible spending I say vote for Shaffer and Kranz.
Community Character: If we lose our current zoning we lose our town. According to the ETA in 2008 Stocks got nearly 70 percent of his campaign contributions from the real estate industry. I believe Stocks and Muir will vote to change zoning and build high-density projects. If you want Encinitas to stay a small beach town I think a vote for Shaffer and Kranz might give us better hope at local control.
I see Stocks and Muir as candidates for increased pensions, increased debt and increased density. I see Shaffer and Kranz as candidates for pension reform, responsible spending and community character.
The choice is clear. Vote for Shaffer and Kranz — Encinitas needs it.