Encinitas shouldn’t subsidize lobbying, political nonprofitsWe’re grateful for Coast Law’s efforts, and those of The Coast News in helping to investigate and identify the nonprofit group, We Love Encinitas, established through Paul Gaspar, Councilmember Kristin Gaspar’s husband.
Many are curious to know whether the Fair Political Practices Commission would consider the second mailer to cross the line of legality? To most, both the first and second mailers, which we now know were disseminated through Gaspar, are political in that they are using the survey to support incumbents. However, the second mailer, in excluding Councilmember Teresa Barth, was more overtly partisan.
When this agenda item, a survey to be taken by True North every other year for three years, came before Council, at the request of City Manager Gus Vina, all public speakers objected. We all knew the survey results would be glowing because people here love our weather and our beaches; most residents polled aren’t involved with City Hall, directly.
When Barth and outgoing Councilmember Jim Bond suggested the survey not be taken during election years, they were essentially overruled by Deputy Mayor Gaspar and outgoing Mayor Jerome Stocks.
In the end, we don’t feel Vina got truly useful input from the survey; instead it is widely known to have been another unwanted nonprofit subsidy, a PR tool supporting the incumbents. When the new Council is seated, a priority should be to cancel future surveys of this nature, particularly those taken during even numbered years, with “data analysis” released just before General Elections.
Whether or not these mailers are illegal, they’re inappropriate, demonstrating our city needs to address overly “cozy” relationships with subsidized nonprofits and so-called “independent contractors,” who are often actually lobbyists, proponents for development/political concerns and associated business interests.
Going forward, both contractors and nonprofits should apply, yearly, for open-bid contracts or community grants.
Keep the Quarry Creek Panhandle open space
McMillan Development proposes a new development in Carlsbad of 656 homes in the Buena Vista Creek Valley adjacent to the Buena Vista Creek Ecological Reserve, and the historic Marron Adobe. This project, called the Quarry Creek, will greatly strain the traffic patterns in both the Rancho Del Oro neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods in Carlsbad. Traffic on College Boulevard south of state Route 78 is horrible now and the impact of another 656 homes who will use College Boulevard as their primary thoroughfare is unimaginable.
But what is most at stake is the permanent loss of the most prized open space parcel in the entire city of Carlsbad. The voters of Carlsbad have been waiting 10 years to realize the full implementation of Prop C, the Open Space Initiative, overwhelmingly approved in 2002. The Carlsbad mayor and council members have all stated repeatedly that they know this is what the citizens want and what Prop C requires, but to date there has been no acquisitions of open space, and the will of the voters has not been realized. If this last jewel of open space can’t be outright purchased, the only alternative is to preserve it within the development.
This opportunity presents itself in the Quarry Creek Project. McMillan Development wants to build condos, so build them, on the eastern 100 acres, leaving intact the 56 acres of the west “panhandle” portion adjacent to the ecological reserve. It’s a fair compromise to McMillan Development and to the voters who passed Prop C and are still waiting.
Save the Panhandle
We urge Carlsbad’s mayor and City Council to respect the recommendations of the 2008 Carlsbad Citizen’s Committee, SOHO and SANDAG’s “Smart Growth,” as we look back at Carlsbad’s Quarry Creek Project. We urge cutting McMillan’s request to build 656 homes back to the city’s recommendation of 506 homes. In our 54 years of residence in Carlsbad we have shared our citizens’ heart for preservation of open space and controlled housing. Now we see McMillan trying to get the Council’s approval to build 656 homes in the Buena Creek Corridor near the 170-year-old Marron Adobe owned by Shelley Caron, and in a panhandle leading into the wildlife corridor. This sacred area is important to our beloved Luiseno Band of Mission Indians.
We urge the City Council to limit new homes to the 506 approved earlier by the city, and leave the panhandle free of housing, preserving it as a wildlife corridor. We urge reduction of, and moving, the development to the eastern part of the project to save the panhandle as open space, which our community is fast losing. We place our hope and faith in our elected officials to do right by us citizens, considering our interests ahead of McMillan Company.
Jerry D. Colling, M. D. and Clementine Colling,
Farmer’s market is missed opportunity
I have lived in the Ranch for over twenty years, (for the past 16 years, DMCCE) and I believe a Farmer’s Market will be an Amazing Perk to our Community!
We can opt for booths that donate funds to Elementary Education in the Ranch (preferably in the area of Music and Art), booths that promote the sale of drought tolerant and native plants (sorely needed in the gardens of residents for fire prevention and minimum water usage) and booths selling organic produce and fruit.
A study of the Del Rayo Farmer’s Market can further enhance the success of this venture.
Rancho Santa Fe is most certainly not “The Twilight Zone!” Let’s be open to new ventures, which promote camaraderie amongst residents and visitors alike! The Market could stimulate local business, particularly restaurants and shops…
Tweaking the hours of Operation can diffuse traffic issues… Our Community needs to flourish and thrive! The alternative is to stagnate!
Sue Ann Scheck,
Rancho Santa Fe