The Coast News Group

Letters to the Editor: April 20, 2012

Not getting good adviceWe’re grateful stickers now can be removed from the back of the Arts Alive Banners, revealing Maggie Houlihan’s image, as a commemorative tribute.Councilmember Kristin Gaspar was incorrect. Process was followed. Danny Salzhandler was informed by the city manager his original application was unacceptable.

Stickers then were placed so the banners could be installed pending resolution of the Constitutional issues involved. Council discussion happened only after public outcry and threats of litigation. Meanwhile, the better choice was to first install the banners, convincing the City of its abuse of discretion, afterwards.

For Council to declare, at the April 11 Special Council Meeting that new applications for signage are on hold is improper, not legal.

Actually, Encinitas sign law was recently updated and revised. The problem isn’t in the language, but in “unbridled discretion,” used by public officers, including current Mayor Jerome Stocks, through our unelected City Attorney, Glenn Sabine’s improperly advising new City Manager, Gus Vina.

Nowhere is political content prohibited in our current sign ordinance. To specifically disallow that would be Unconstitutional. Encinitas can regulate the media, not ban the message.

Current Encinitas Municipal Code shouldn’t be suspended or invalidated without a full staff report and adoption of a new ordinance, after a second reading. Does Planning and Building refuse to accept new applications while building code is being updated or revised? Once again City Attorney, Glenn Sabine, who serves at the pleasure and direction of council majority, is not giving good advice.

As all of Council and staff had at least 72-hours notice for this “special meeting closed session,” there’s no reason the city couldn’t give the public 72-hour notice, as provided for the Regular Council Meeting that followed. Except for 24 hour noticed Closed Sessions, ALL other council meetings in Encinitas routinely receive 72-hour notice.

Lynn Marr,