Money or fair process?
On Nov. 17 the Carlsbad City Council will decide to rescind their approval of the Caruso shopping mall on Agua Hedionda Lagoon, or put the initiative on the ballot. We think it is time for the Council to pull the plug on this ill-conceived project. Every other project in the city went through a standard review process that has served Carlsbad well. Why should the taxpayers have to pay for an election to benefit one developer? How can anyone consider this anything other than buying an election by a developer who has already spent over $5 million to get around the rules that apply to everyone else?
The council’s choice: an election tainted by developer money or a fair process. We urge the City Council to put the people of Carlsbad, and all of North County, first — rescind your approval and have Caruso do his project the right way.
Many of us who collected signatures opposing the 85/15 Plan heard people say their main reason for not signing was they thought a special election was a waste of our money. Had we known a special election was not the only option, we would not have told people we favored this route for having our voice heard. According to our Election Code, a referendum may lead to a vote held at the next regular election, minimizing expenses. Now the mayor and the City Council are being pressured by Caruso to hold a special election at the earliest date. Why? In August, the mayor and the City Council argued an election was a waste of money. Now they are doing a 180. Why? What’s the rush? Perhaps we need more time. Perhaps Mr. Caruso also needs more time…to speak with the rest of us, with the 60,000 or so citizens with whom he did not speak, to whom he did not reach out, because we are not part of the inside group of self-proclaimed leaders, all of whom claim to speak for us, but clearly do not.