Commentary: The Coast News urges ‘Yes’ vote on Prop A

Commentary: The Coast News urges ‘Yes’ vote on Prop A
The Coast News Group Publisher Jim Kydd urges a YES vote on Prop A.

“This is the most important election since the vote on incorporation in 1987.” 

These are Pam Slater-Price’s words to me at a recent meeting.

As I see it, the major forces at work trying to affect the outcome of the Prop A special election June 18 are:

For Prop A :

(1) A handful of hard working, very knowledgeable Encinitas residents who want to keep Encinitas’ community character the way it is — a small beach town we all love to live in.

(2) Me and my newspaper, The Coast News, with its 25-year reputation for impartial and fair reporting.

(3) Some very knowledgeable public figures who have nothing to gain by the passage of Prop A. For me the most notable is Pam Slater-Price.

Against Prop A :

(1) Developer interests

(2) Our staff-influenced City Council

(3) Our city staff

(4) Encinitas residents who have become confused.

Let’s talk about who is against Prop A:

(1) Developer interests — Pretty much goes without saying. Did you know that many of the “No on A” slick mailers have the same source address as those supporting Jerome Stocks in the last election?

(2) Our City Council — Boy was I disappointed with the council’s decision to unanimously support a “No on Prop A” vote. This decision enabled the developers to put out a very powerful mailer with all of the council members’ faces on it.

The very clever headline read: “They don’t agree on much but they agree on this. Vote No on Prop A.”

This will surely confuse people and gain many votes in the process.

To me this is an obvious abuse of power by our City Council. They have no business using their standing as an officially elected body to influence an upcoming vote. I would like to ask Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer, an ethics professor at UCSD, if this is considered “ethical behavior?”

Was it ethical when council members Jerome Stocks and Christy Guerin used their names and faces to help Paul Ecke break his word to the citizens and change the term, “in perpetuity,” to “nine years,” thus allowing him to profit by building 100 homes on land he promised to keep for agriculture use forever?

(3) Our city staff — I really believe that our city staff, whether it’s a conscience effort or not, is one of the biggest advocates of a “No on Prop A vote.” Some would say they are blatantly pro development.

Witness the last council meeting.

The Council had directed staff to strike the loophole that allowed a 4/5 vote to bypass the general plan’s rule that major land use changes would require a citywide vote. What was presented and recommended to Council was a language change that exchanged one loophole for another. A frustrated Council voted in a non-staff recommended, almost loophole free, alternative.

Follow the money. Besides the developers city staff have the most to benefit. They are all working toward pensions, like Mark Muir’s $170,000 a year for life. This alone could cost the city between $5 million and $8 million. It is my understanding that the city does not even have enough to cover the current pension liability.

The only answer is to build, build and build.

More properties mean more property taxes and more people creating more tax dollars. All at the price of our beautiful community character.

(4) Encinitas residents who have become confused — You can count me in this category and I can assure you I have spent many more hours than the average voter studying this issue.

The fact is, it is a very complicated issue and I am sure the lawyers will get plenty and it won’t matter what the outcome of the election is. One thing is for sure, there is a lot of misinformation going around.

Who is for Prop A?

(1) The good people working for a YES on A, who have been following local politics for years. They have seen so much of this before and truly want to keep the quality of Encinitas life and so do I.

(2) The Coast News

(3) Public figures who have nothing to gain.

There are many, but for this example, I will use Pam Slater-Price.

I choose to follow Pam Slater-Price’s advice and vote a big fat “Yes on Prop A.”

Here’s why. She has been a long-time Encinitas resident. She has served on planning commissions and was voted to the Encinitas City Council in 1988 with the most votes. She has served more than 20 years on the County Board of Supervisors. She has no monetary interest in this election. It’s simple. She loves this town.

During this time she has seen it all.

She has gained support and respect from both sides of the aisle as well as from developers and environmentalists.

She says “vote YES on Prop A,” and that is good enough for me.

I hope it is good enough for you.

Vote yes on Prop A!

Jim Kydd, Publisher



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