The Coast News Group
Eye on the Coast

Fire department mergers positive move

Lotsa benefits
Consolidating major features of the fire departments of the Surfside City, Solbeach, Rancho Santa Fe and the Flower Capital is a positive move. In addition to sharing costs (eliminating some) and benefiting from personnel expertise, a big plus will come during an emergency when this cohesion will be extremely valuable. Several years ago the cities set up an ambulance district, SCA-17, that has been a tremendous success. It has been a great benefit to folks who have used the service. Next effort should be to establish a joint police department.
Customer relations
A reporter monitoring the Oct. 14 Flower Capital council meeting on Time Warner Ch. 24 was treated to video but no audio of the proceedings. Similar situation occurred during the Sept. 24 meeting. Not being proficient in lip reading, the reporter had no clue about what was being said. It was not until the important item on the agenda dealing with at-grade railroad crossings was almost completed that sound came on. The following morning an effort was made to talk to someone at Time Warner. After pushing a number of buttons as directed, the reporter was advised that all lines were busy but to remain on the line for the next available rep. Fifty-one minutes later the caller was still waiting for the next available rep and signed off to attend a meeting. In the afternoon on the same day the effort to communicate resumed. It meant going though the series of number punching and eventually a live gracious person came on the line. After reciting the situation of the previous night the gracious person said to stand by while she checked the incident. Minutes later while the reporter was waiting for the gracious lady to return with the information another person broke in and asked why the reporter was on the line. He did not know who the gracious lady was or what department she was in. It was suggested the process start all over again. Instead the reporter decided it was too big a project to go through in one day and left the line. Customer services grade: F-minus.
Cow tails vs. water crisis
Critical state water measures remain unresolved, however, the Governator was able to sign a bill that prohibits docking (cutting off) cows’ tails. Now cows can resume the age-old practice of swatting pesky flies as this appendage was originally created to be used. With that important legislation out of the way, maybe the electeds can now give their full attention to water, and lack of it, for the Southland.
O’side eyes visitor tax
Hotel/motel operators in O’side have joined other cities in considering the formation of a visitor marketing district. The city already has a tourist occupancy tax, however the funds it generates go for a variety of expenses not necessarily related to tourism. A visitor assessment district will be administered by folks that are in that industry and funds will be used for marketing and promotion. When the TOT was formed it was sold on the premise funds would be for visitor promotion, however, as is usual with unrestricted funds, these were soon being used for everything. C’bad was the first city in the county to form a marketing district followed by the Harbor City and now the Surfside City is seeking to create one.
Meter fees going up
Harbor City electeds are pondering raising the hourly meter fees and continuing to increase the hours until 11 p.m. Sundays would no longer be free. On the other end of the scale, the Surfside City has lowered fees from $3 to $2 per hour for meters and machines on Coast Boulevard and the 17th Street parking lot. These are enforced from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fee in the lot beneath L’Auberge was lowered from $1.50 to 50 cents.
Compost and worm bins available
C’bad residents can obtain worm and compost containers at reduced rates for recycling food and biodegradable wastes. Sizes and other info is available by calling (760) 436-7986, ext. 222.
Approval ratings
The Governator and state electeds may tell folks how well they are serving them but some don’t agree. A mid-October poll had the Governator at 27 percent approval and the state lawmakers at 13 percent. Something to consider next year when these office holders come around and say they need to be re-elected to continue their good work.
Enough already
Poseidon Corp., which is in the final permitting process before it breaks ground on a desalination plant in C’bad, is having to contend with another lawsuit that likely will be thrown out as eight previous ones have been. Big losers are the taxpayers and consumers who will pay a higher cost for this critical commodity. Enough already with the frivolous capers.
Folks who communicate via cell fone are urged to register them with the proper authorities so they can be notified during emergencies like wildfires that can occur at this time of the year … States are being encouraged to adopt gun show laws and regs that are in place in the Golden State like those at the County Fairgrounds … Several times mayor and current Solbeach Councilman Joe Kellejian has been named Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of the Year and will be feted Nov. 5 at a dinner at the Del Mar Hilton … Geoffrey Smith, spokesman for San Elijo Lagoon Conservatory, reports a record number of volunteers have signed up to become accredited docents and currently are in training … Nationally acclaimed Jimmy Patton who plays a pair of guitars simultaneously will be the featured performer at the Cardiff-by-the Sea library community room Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. … Leucadia’s Town Council prez Rachelle Collier sez San Diego groups will present free concerts on a regular sched at the Encinitas library with the first one held Oct. 6.

Hasta la Vista