Community Commentary

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Open letter to city officials

Dear Mayor, City Council Members, Fire Chief and City Attorney,
I attended the March 24 City Council meeting specifically to better understand the issues with the fire/life safety services for the area of Encinitas from which I reside, Olivenhain. I also represent as president of The Wildflower Estates Home Owners Association, a community of 66 homes.
I want to thank Fire Chief Muir and his staff for an excellent and informative presentation on the issues being brought before counsel. He and his staff brought clarity to this matter with in-depth research using empirical data.  
The chief and his staff were clear about the issues at hand; the areas of Olivenhain noted “in red” are at extreme risk of inadequate fire and life safety response times. Both humans and structures are at an unacceptable risk for with you as council members now are acutely aware.
The chief was quick to document that simply shifting the proposed construction of the coastal located Fire Station 1 from its currently planned location to an area within “the red zone” would immediately provide an equitable distribution of life/safety services for all of Encinitas and its outlying communities.
Given the fact that Chief Muir’s presentation documented the areas of “Encinitas proper” experience a response time from four to six minutes AND the areas of Olivenhain are recorded to have times in excess of 14 minutes not only puts that area at risk but certainly poses a liability to the city itself.
The chief’s presentation predicatively forecasted that by simply shifting Fire Station 1, an equitable and reasonable response time of six minutes would be experienced throughout the entire area from which you reside, represent and control.  
Shifting the currently allocated $2.1 million Fire Station 1 funds to a fire station within the Olivenhain area would come at no additional cost to the city. In fact, as a president of a significant construction firm, it is my estimation that there may be a cost savings being the relocated area is not under the jurisdiction of the coastal commission nor does it pose the challenges of construction in a high tourist area.
It would be very difficult to understand any decision by counsel that doesn’t protect and serve the life and fire safety of our community, including that of The Colony of Olivenhain, which resides within the city of Encinitas. We are contributors to the general fund out here in “The Red Zone.” Our community of 66 homes alone contributes in excess of $2 million in property taxes annually. We are more than willing to contribute in anyway reasonably possible to assist the council members into ensuring these essential services are provided to our community.
Please feel free to contact me directly at with any questions you may have.
Thanks for your time and willingness to serve.

Cory Crommett is an Encinitas resident and president of The Wildflower Estates Home Owners Association.

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Mumbai March 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Mr. Crommet is correct; the homes in Olivenhain DO pay property taxes; but, because of the size of their properties, the homes on acres in the Olivenhain ‘tax rate areas’ actually garner much less than an acre in Village Park, Leucadia, Cardiff or downtown Encinitas.
Where an acre downtown might receive fire assessment taxes from 10 or 20 different homes, the same amount of area in Olivenhain can often garner only one assessment for the same sized area.
Nobody wants Olivenhain left without public safety, but the between last two Mayors from Olivenhain, their own leadership, Mayor Marge Gaines cut off cross traffic from Village Park into Olivenhain and the Christy Guerin added a half dozen STOP Signs that were NOT merited by traffic warrants specifically to make Rancho Santa fe traffic so unpleasant that she tried to socially engineer exclusivity.These moves were made openly with the blessing of the Olivenhain Town Council.
The assessments from homes in Olivenhain do NOT add up to paying for equal support financially through ‘tax rate area’ coverage. Self-assessment might be the only way for Olivenhain to get the kind of coverage that will satisfy residents of these exclusive and rural neighborhoods.
You get what you pay for.

Kathy Jaray March 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Nicely written. I, too, am in Olivenhain close to the meeting house and I was at the meeting as well.
Perhaps a citizens group representing a majority of
Olivenhain might carry a little more weight. I will be happy to participate in pursuing this issue.

Kathy Jaray March 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Mumbai, I’m not sure I understand your comment about getting what you pay for. I pay in excess of $14,000 in property taxes. How many Village Park, Leucadia or others on your list pay that much? The size of the property has nothing to do with personal safety for which we all pay our share through taxes. I think you’re a bit misguided.

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