Council minority leadership
True leadership requires a no, ifs, ands or buts attitude. Councilwoman Esther Sanchez and Mayor Jim Wood showed true leadership at the council meeting on Oct. 14 when they said Oceanside needed to go back to the Metropolitan Water District and tell them the pass through rate increases were unacceptable. No one should be surprised that Councilman Jerry Kern tried to get a motion approved for rate increases for water and sewer that were so high that even Councilmen Rocky Chavez and Jack Feller would not support his motion. Although Kern kept talking about the need to repair and maintain current infrastructure while avoiding all mention of his need for rate increases to pay for capacity increases for his developer friends, he couldn’t even hoodwink his normal council compatriots. What does this say about Kern? He is so totally captured by the campaign contributions of developers that ultimately the F and C of KFC failed to support him. This man has got to go. The citizens of Oceanside won this time but unless Kern is recalled, he will be around for another year to push more giveaways to his money boys. Vote Yes on Recall on Dec. 8.
Streetscape workshop flawed
The Oct. 10 Streetscape workshop for North 101 through Leucadia was flawed. Consultants have been well paid to give us a viable plan. A comprehensive survey was taken at Workshop No. 3, where over 60 percent of the people participating did not want roundabouts, did not want northbound lane reduction on Historic North 101 to one lane. Also Leucadia Glass and Sub Palace owners presented council with a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures from people opposed to the lane reduction, and roundabouts for which Peltz and Associates have been lobbying. Council allotted additional funds and directed Peltz to come up with alternatives. Only one alternative was offered without roundabouts: traffic signals. This alternative was “designed to fail.” Most people don’t want additional signals on North Highway 101; signals can cause drivers to speed, trying to catch the light. Yet one of the stated objectives is to slow traffic down during non rush hour periods.
The three-question survey taken at Workshop, No. 4, also constrained public input. No alternative was offered re: adding stop signs and u-turn lanes, as previously suggested. Only preference for signals or roundabouts, and adding diagonal parking, either back-in or front-forward, were addressed. When I asked about stop signs, I was told, they weren’t considered. Peltz and Associates are landscape architects; this creates a conflict of interest. The most expensive plan would be the roundabout alternative, although we were given no specifics, nor any rough estimates of costs. Stop signs would be the least expensive alternative, could allow for saving more trees, and would slow down traffic. Councilman Jerome Stocks wasn’t present to address right of way issues relative to the rail corridor. Alternative 4A favors a few longtime business property owners, on the west side of North 101 only, who pay low property taxes.
Final workshop a success
I attended a packed house audience last week at the Community Center to observe the last in a series of workshops regarding the Leucadia 101 Streetscape project. It was a most rewarding experience.
After years of debates and multiple changes to the plans, along with unnecessary confusion perpetrated by a few of the “usual suspects,” it seems as though this project has passed through its last stage of being in “neutral.”
The audience’s interaction was intelligent, considerate and, as I saw it, completely on board to move forward with either Plan 4A or Plan 5. My guess is that Plan 4A will be adopted by the city and then the final “tweaks” will be performed, so that Leucadia will be on its way to a more “people, bicycle, business” friendly environment.
I applaud the community first approach taken by the participants and the overall opinion that this beautification plan, in whichever final form, will provide the future with a better Leucadia. I think all of Encinitas benefited from this well-run and well-detailed presentation, which clearly showed that everyone can work together for the good of the whole.
CEO Encinitas Chamber of Commerce