The Coast News Group

Letters to the Editor: April 27, 2012

15 minute rule

Special Presentations, such as the Mayor’s State of the City Address, should allow for public comments, afterwards.They’re “on the agenda,” although not formally listed as agenda items. That only five members of the public could speak about the mayor’s address at the beginning of the meeting, during oral communications, is UNFAIR.

When the President of the San Dieguito Water District, Councilmember/Director Kristin Gaspar chaired the SDWD meeting on 3/28/12, she allowed a public speaker to address San Dieguito Water District’s 90th Anniversary Special Presentation. The speaker asked about credit for the music in the video shown. This was appropriate, and sets a precedent that should be followed by our Mayor.

Unlimited time is allowed for special presentations and proclamations, during Encinitas Council Meetings, yet public speakers are currently allowed only 15 minutes, total, 3 minutes each, for oral communications, before agenda items are heard.

Council should respect its duty to honor the public trust by encouraging citizen participation, by allowing us time to question or comment on special presentations. In fact, why can’t special presentations be listed as agenda items? Listening to the public needs to part of Council’s decision making process. If no action is taken, then Council could simply “receive the report.”

Council also could allow up to 30 minutes for oral communications at the beginning of the meeting. Usually less than 5 speakers submit speaker slips, but up to 10, at three minutes each, easily could be heard, which is not excessive, in terms of Council’s priority of listening to citizen input. The “15 minute rule” as Council policy is demeaning to the public and isn’t “set in stone.” It’s unnecessarily restrictive, and puts those who can’t stay to the end of the meeting, due to childcare issues, for example, at an unfair and disheartening disadvantage.

Lynn and Russell Marr, Leucadia

Oceanside’s Vacancy Decontrol

“Prop E will unfairly wipe out the property rights of over 4,000 Oceanside manufactured homeowners” This quote, from the argument in opposition to Prop. E, reveals flawed understanding. No, I’m not addressing the fact that manufactured homes are NOT identical to mobile homes!

There’s no God-given never-ending right to below market rent. It’s not in the Bible or the Constitution. But the free gift of below market rent was bestowed by the City Council decades ago. Over time, below market rents shrank to a small fraction of market rates. This is most evident in the space rents for trailer parks closest to the coast.

For decades now, coastal landlords have been coerced by our city to subsidize the space rents of trailer park tenants. Prop. E will correct this longstanding injustice.

If this measure passes, so long as current tenants continue to stay where they currently live, below market rents will continue as before.

However, if tenants freely choose to move, below market rates will no longer be mandated.

Over time, stolen property rights will be restored to their rightful owners. Please join thousands of fellow residents in voting YES on Prop. E.

Randy Horton, Oceanside

Grow more gardens

A community is only as strong as its capacity to provide for its members. Today’s consumer culture and culture of consumption has resulted in our communities becoming increasingly more dependent on goods that reach our communities through a global market economy.

This dependency has weakened our communities, not strengthened them. In the wake of an environment that has put the members of our communities in a position to be reliant on foods and produce from outside the local economy, the City Council of Carlsbad has yet again postponed talks that were set for April 24 regarding the development of additional community gardens in Carlsbad.

It is time for Carlsbad’s City Council to take a stand for the security and welfare of its community members.

Community gardens are a tangible way for communities to provide for the food security, health, and welfare of its citizens. Community gardens also promote community sustainability through the cultivation of valued relationships that extend beyond the boundaries of the garden.

It is time to get your hands dirty Council members and sow the seeds of community building and sustainability. Stop stalling. Support talks for the development of additional community gardens in Carlsbad.

Teresa Eilertson, Carlsbad

Moving too fast

Isn’t Del Mar moving too fast with their Village Specific Plan? What they are asking us to comment on and vote on in November doesn’t include required details of everything that it is supposed to per State Law and the Community Plan.

It doesn’t include the specifics about the parking structure, which is required by State Law requiring “other essential facilities proposed to be located within the area covered by the plan and needed to support the land uses described in the plan.” The parking structure is surely required to support the new intensive land uses!

The Plan doesn’t include the required “Design Standards by which development will proceed.” They are planned to be adopted AFTER we have voted on the Plan.

The Plan doesn’t include the required specific “program of financing measures to carry out all the required elements.” Which financing measures will be adopted AFTER we have voted on the Specific Plan?

These are just 3 major required items NOT INCLUDED in the Specific Plan! What else isn’t? In fact, it looks to me like the Plan we are still discussing, after a lot of “public input” by the same people, is the same unchanged Plan we started out with!


Ralph Peck, Del Mar


1 comment

Julie Graboi April 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

With regard to Lynn and Russ Marr’s letter, I also support allowing more citizens to speak during the Oral Communications segment of Encinitas City Council meetings.

Although I enjoy many of the presentations that take place at council meetings and am in favor of showing recognition to outstanding community members, most of us attend meetings to express views or to share opinions about issues important to us personally or to our communitites.

I beleive that the ability for citizens to speak publically about city issues is critical to our democratic process, and I am always interested in hearing what other residents have to say. I often learn as much from the remarks of other citizens as I do from City staff, and I appreciate speakers’ comments as a way of increasing public awareness of important issues in every part of our community. I hope that Council will consider extending the time allotted for Oral Communications.

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