Mr. McNaughton’s “Bang for the Buck” community commentary letter (Dec. 25, 2009) is riddled with inaccuracies and comparisons that do not make much sense.
We would like to set the record straight for those that did not attend the Traffic Commission meeting in question.
The first thought that comes to mind is that there were two different meetings. Our recollections, supported by the meeting minutes, have substantial differences with Mr. McNaughton’s notes. He is correct when he says he was allotted three minutes for his presentation. This rule is in effect at all City Council and commission meetings. Anyone who wishes to speak on a topic is given three minutes. There is no limit to the number of speakers for any agenda topic. Potential speakers, who do not wish to speak, can donate their three minutes to a speaker. Thus Mr. McNaughton could have had much more time. He stated “we were given three minutes.” We, being collective, implies that all those who spoke on the topic were given a sum total of three minutes, an inaccurate statement. Well over 50 notices were sent out announcing the public meeting. About 15 people attended and only seven chose to speak.
Encinitas Traffic Engineer Rob Blough presented a very detailed and factual report covering traffic counts, speed surveys and traffic accident analysis. The latter was based on reports supplied by the Sheriff’s Department.
Mr. Blough never said “the problems that local residents were facing were overstated and were in fact caused by clumsy Japanese tourists.” What he did say was that one accident was caused by a Cardiff resident who had just returned from a trip to Japan and became confused on which side of the street to drive on, per the accident report.
We are absolutely appalled that Mr. McNaughton claimed that Mr. Blough responded “Nyet.” Mr. Blough did not use the Russian “no.” Additionally, we fail to understand Mr. McNaughton’s references to the Mayan’s and the Cold War.
At the end of his report, Mr. Blough stated that the commission could suggest additional studies or recommend traffic calming measures. The commission chose the latter and we are flabbergasted concerning Mr. McNaughton’s comment that we acted notwithstanding Mr. Blough’s persuasive rhetoric.
Mr. Blough cannot arbitrarily establish a 25 mph speed limit on a given street. Limits are dictated by local and/or state statutes. Federal statutes apply if a street or road is designated on the Federal Functional Use and Classification Map.
We are extremely fortunate to enjoy Freedom of Speech in the U.S. Anyone can say anything they please without fear of negative consequences. We feel that we needed to set the facts straight. The accusations against Mr. Blough are completely false and embellished to the point beyond absurdity. Mr. Blough is an extremely knowledgeable professional in his work and is supported by a very capable staff.
We have a question. Mr. McNaughton claims that he has “contributed $100,000 in property taxes to the city coffers.” Why can he pay his taxes directly to the city, while the rest of us send them to the County Assessor?
Peter Kohl and Arnold Lewin are members of the city of Encinitas Traffic Commission.