Council move makes me bananas

Last week Encinitas Mayor Bond, Deputy Mayor Stocks and Council member Gaspar appointed their campaign supporter Mark Muir to the city council. Evidence presented during the application process showed Muir was the only applicant to violate city policies for ethics and codes of conduct. Muir’s violations benefited the only three people in the city with the power to appoint a new council member. Meet your new “Council of Cronies.”
Bond and Stocks told local newspapers Muir was the most qualified. Muir being the only applicant who violated city policies made him the least qualified. Ask yourself, “Whom do you hire as a baby sitter, the kid who ignores and violates policy or the responsible kid who follows directions?” Enough said.
In the Woody Allen comedy “Bananas” a South America dictator employs the usual tactics of despots clinging to power. Armed sentries surround the palace. Residents of outlying territories are bussed in to prop up a regime of cronyism. Pageantry and theatre is used to deflect criticism. The movie pokes fun of so called “Banana Republics.”
Such third world chicanery was on display during the Encinitas City Hall Production of “The Swearing in of Muir.”
In the opening act, residents opposing Muir’s appointment are met by police cruisers surrounding city hall. Too many to count, armed Deputies line the entry way to council chambers. Encinitas resident Randall Leruth, a veteran and Air Force Academy graduate, tells me “This is a military tactic to intimidate the public.” The council staging this charade hopes to deflect criticism by making residents look bad. The conservative well-behaved residents don’t take the bait. In the end, the council plans backfire and they look foolish for calling in excessive Union muscle. Bananas!
Act 2 — Developers, pro-development campaign contributors and residents of cities not named Encinitas are orchestrated inside council chambers wearing pre made stickers saying “Thanks Mark.” A resident tells me a man from the East County Water District says he was called up and told to attend. Bond, Stocks, Gaspar and Muir had packed the room with outsiders for pageantry, I think. Bananas!
Act 3 — The residents opposed to Muir move towards the council chambers. Deputies guarding the entry way belong to the Union that supported Gaspar in the election and received pay increases from Stocks. Residents with signs reading “Dump Stocks” and “Resign Mark” report they are being segregated into a separate room. I have no stickers or signs but I did speak at the rally opposing Muir. I am directed by Deputies to the secondary room despite there being open seats in the main chambers. Bananas!
Act 4 — The separated residents realize they’ve been had. 100 residents opposing Muir have been isolated. Watching the meeting on TV a woman cries out “there are open seats in the chamber.” I follow her to the main chamber. Despite open seats, a Deputy directs us to return to our seats or be removed from the building. Bananas!
But forget the intimidation, the segregation and the staged manipulation. Ask yourself this. Why would Bond, Stocks, Gaspar and Muir embrace more the tactics of third world dictators than the ideals of liberty put forth by men like Washington, Adams and Jefferson? Could it be power, money and the vile weed of cronyism?
Act 5 — The public opposes and questions why Muir was appointed over 13 other qualified applicants who had not violated city policies. So should you — unless you like bananas.
The talks about the cronyism going on in the Encinitas City Council.


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