Last week Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks and Council Member Mark Muir were caught on videotape at night illegally placing campaign signs to gain an unfair advantage in the election.
The video posted online is an embarrassment to the city. When a sitting mayor and council member violate campaign codes, it’s a big deal.
It’s clear to me that the two violated our codes not out of ignorance but selfishness. Voters would be wise to ask what other codes the two might violate if elected. They are thumbing their noses at residents. The video of their transgressions reveals that they will flaunt the law.
In various emails, the two have tried to spin their dishonest behavior as minor infractions. Just because they are willing to set aside their moral compass I don’t think voters will do the same. Voters like elected leaders to follow the rules, not break them.
At Cardiff Elementary we are teaching our 7 year olds to follow directions. In youth sports we teach our kids to play fairly. That the mayor and former fire chief can’t do either is troubling.
Mr. Muir wrote that this election is about bigger issues than signs. The biggest issue in any election is trust, and on that issue Mr. Muir and Mayor Stocks get failing grades. In another email Mr. Muir suggested he had to go on the midnight maneuvers so he wouldn’t lose out on prime sign locations to Mayor Stocks. This is an admission of guilt. At the start of the campaign Muir said he was not running as a partner with Mayor Stocks, yet a few weeks later the two were captured on video working in cahoots with each other violating campaign codes.
Mayor Stocks has not offered an apology. Perhaps after 12 years in office he believes he is above the law. At last week’s council meeting seven residents spoke against the two and one speaker asked what Mayor Stocks and Muir thought their punishment should be. I suggest voting them out of office.
When interviewed by Channel 10 News to provide an explanation the mayor broke into exaggerated theatrics trying to deflect criticism. The performance was disturbing and can be seen online. The next day Mayor Stocks who sets the agenda and the city cancelled the Oct. 17 council meeting. Canceling the meeting ensures any public speakers against their malfeasance will be silenced that night and not broadcast on television. The Oct. 24 meeting should be interesting.
Growing up my dad Hank told us kids “nothing good comes from being out late at night.”
For Mayor Stocks and Mr. Muir their midnight-run should cost them the election. I am voting for Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz. I like my council members doing business in the light of day not the darkness of night.
It’s a big deal.