During the last several months there have been some things that the City Council of Solana Beach has really “goofed” on in my opinion.
I mention these in light of the latest initiative drafted to try to resolve one of these goofs.
No. 1. The City Council’s lapse of memory on coastal issues that they promised to support on behalf of the bluff owners in reference to the Coastal Commission proposed requirements for the City’s own local coastal plan. In a complete turn around, the City Council caved in to the whims Coastal Commission and not the residents in agreeing to just about everything that the coastal agency wanted and the residents did not…go figure.
No. 2. In their ultimate wisdom to do the right thing, they initiated the infamous “plastic bag” ordinance throughout the land; no other city nearby has it unless you want to consider Los Angeles our neighbor. Now we have to remember to bring our own bags or pay 10 cents for paper ones or nothing and carry purchases out to your car yourself. At least Costco gives us boxes and Sprouts pays us for bringing your own bags, but now everybody from Vons to Dixieline to Leaping Lotus to Cupcake Love must NOT use single-use plastic bags. This has really been a bust for some businesses, especially when residents can go to Flower Hill area (in the City of San Diego) and not be bothered with this mess. No other cities have joined in the “plastic bag crusade” so we are an island devoid of single use plastic bags, except that I used mine for multi-uses like doggie bags, giving away fruit and vegetables from my garden, carrying wet diapers, etc. and now I have to buy more plastic stuff to replace them anyway…no single uses here.
No. 3. Then there’s the latest fiasco with the Community Center on the bluff above Fletcher Cove. For 50+ years the community has been able to rent the facility by the beach for private events like birthday parties, wedding events, scout troops, anniversaries, etc. Now, after the community largely paid for the renovation of the old building and spent innumerable hours working on the property, there is no permit in place so residents cannot use the center as it formerly was used for years. Why not? Because the City Council cannot decide on a use policy for the place. Now that it’s been closed for private events for over two years, some people think it should be made much more restrictive and expensive than before. An initiative is now being circulated to let the public vote on reasonable uses like before and reasonable prices like other facilities in our city and nearby towns like Del Mar and Encinitas.
Nobody said it was an easy job being a public official, certainly doesn’t even pay much in a small city like Solana Beach, but let’s not forget City Council members that this was your choice to serve and people expect good things from their publicly elected folks, not grief, not delays, not unnecessary laws, and certainly not broken promises.
Now go and do the right thing — if you can.
Marion Dodson is a former councilmember and mayor of Solana Beach.