This election is critical for the future of Encinitas and the three big issues are community character, responsible spending and city council ethics.
The community character of Encinitas is in doubt.
Today Encinitas is a small beach town, but that could change.
The facts are the next city council could approve zoning changes allowing five-story, high-density urban development.
Across the city residents have been signing the “Right to vote initiative” and opposing five-story, high-density projects.
Candidates Lisa Shaffer, Tony Kranz, Barb Yost, Brian Zeigler and Thomas Brophy have signed the initiative, while Mayor Jerome Stocks, Council member Mark Muir and Council candidate Tom Forrester have not.
The “Right to vote initiative” places power to protect community character in the hands of the public, not the council, and this election could decide if Encinitas becomes an “Urban beach” with big-city problems. I think the developers are at the door and that Stocks, Muir and Forrester are the candidates likely to let them in.
I also think the financial future of Encinitas is at stake because of the irresponsible spending, debt and failed leadership of the past.
Over the past 12 years the council majorities have voted to increase pensions and public debt. The city went $6 million over budget in building the library and over-spent by $3 million in acquiring the Mossy Public works yard. The Hall Park was bought in 2001 and was approved to be built by the Coastal Commission in early 2009, yet it still remains an un-useable lot. According to U-T San Diego, Encinitas has the second largest unfunded pension liability and, according to the Encinitas Taxpayers Association, it could total $80 million. How will we pay for these liabilities?
Ethics are also on the minds of voters after Mayor Stocks and Council member Muir were caught violating codes in “Sign-Gate.” Over the past few years Encinitas seems to have scandal after scandal haunting City Hall and I think residents have had enough.
I sometimes think we might need to change the city’s name to “Scandalnitas” to reflect our ethically challenged council members, or we could just elect some new ones.
This election I am voting for Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz.
I am choosing community character over high-density development, responsible spending over increased debt and ethics over violations. I hope you will as well. This time the future of Encinitas depends on it.