It happens all the time at all levels of government: Voters who do not do their own research will simply vote by name recognition, by party alliance, or by falling prey to promotional hype. Thus, people do not get the leadership they deserve and really want, but instead suffer under professional politicians who were endorsed by special interest groups and who promoted themselves with the most money.
Here in Encinitas, two government seats are open for election, one for mayor and one for council. Five candidates are vying for mayor and four for council. All promise to preserve “Community Character” and “Quality of life.” A few are sincere about these desirable values. Others use their own definitions of what these phrases mean. It is up to you to distinguish between true intentions and mere promises.
It is well known that big money is flowing into this campaign to selected candidates from land barons, corporate business interests, and most often from developers, realtors, and the housing industry in general. This seems to be specifically applicable for incumbent mayoral candidate Kristin Gaspar and council candidate Alan Lerchbacker, the only Encinitas candidates endorsed by the Building Industry Association of San Diego (BIA). Even though they are also endorsed by the Encinitas Firefighters and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Mayor Gaspar and her sidekick are not necessarily suited for governing Encinitas. Local firefighters and hired police deputies depend on the city council for annual pay raises, perks, and job security.
You are probably tired of receiving seemingly endless numbers of redundant and oversized election mailers by now. Candidates Gaspar and Lerchbacker, along with council candidate Blakespear, are the most profligate spenders of their campaign funds, while claiming to be fiscally responsible. I agree with Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer that “we will not have the best government if we elect candidates just because they are able to self-fund their campaigns and use their money to buy large and plentiful signs and glossy mailers.”
If you want “pack-and-stack” high density housing in Encinitas, vote for Gaspar and Lerchbacker. If you want high-intensity stadium lights, and regional tournaments taking place till midnight for weeks on end on the new Encinitas Community Park, along with traffic gridlock on Birmingham Drive, Santa Fe Drive, McKinnon Avenue, and surrounding residential streets, vote for mayoral candidate Gaspar.
However, if you truly want to preserve quality of life and community character, vote for Sheila Cameron for mayor and Julie Graboi for council!
Sheila Cameron and Julie Graboi are my choice, because they are the only two candidates who are intimately knowledgeable about our General Plan goals and Municipal Code regulations, and who will fight for compliance with these laws, goals and visions for the benefit of our city. They have sworn to put residents first, instead of serving so-called “stakeholders” who seek personal advantage and gain. Sheila and Julie are truly members of a rare breed of honest politicians. They are endorsed by County Supervisor and former Encinitas Mayor Pam Slater, by former Encinitas Mayor Dennis Holz, by Father of Encinitas Bob Bonde, by Ian Thompson, husband of late Mayor Maggie Houlihan, by supporters of Prop A (Encinitas Right to Vote Initiative), and by many of us residents who chose to live here, including myself, because of this city’s unique semi-rural, small-town character.
Dietmar Rothe, Ph.D., Cardiff-by-the-Sea