Community Commentary

Making Encinitas better

Encinitas is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family.  My wife and I have built a successful small business here, now employing nearly 150 people throughout North County, and our three children attend Encinitas public schools.  We volunteer for many local organizations, from coaching kids sports to supporting local charities.  Service to the community is part of who we are.

I decided to run for mayor because as great as the five communities that make up Encinitas are, we can always do better.

We’ve seen several examples of the City Council majority making bad decisions that cost taxpayers millions of dollars and these votes hurt the quality of life and funding for projects from which we would all benefit.

One of the worst examples is the city’s purchase of the Pacific View Elementary School for $10 million, even though it was appraised at only $3.3 million.

I am the only candidate for mayor who opposed the purchase price and my opponent has even gone so far as to support leasing the property to her campaign supporters for just $1 per year.  I think that is wrong.

If I am elected mayor, I will oppose these kinds of insider deals and focus on the citizens’ priorities: 1) invest in public safety, 2) invest in roads and infrastructure, 3) manage tax dollars wisely, and 4) protect open space from overdevelopment.

The number one priority of government is to keep people safe.  As mayor, I will make sure that our police and sheriff’s deputies have the resources they need to protect our families from spikes in crime caused by the state’s early release of criminals.

I’ve been endorsed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association because they know my commitment to public safety, and as a father, nothing is more important than making sure my family is safe.

As our region grows, traffic congestion is getting worse and I will work to make sure that we invest in our local roads to keep traffic moving but also find common-sense ways to improve transportation and mobility options.

Every minute we spend in our cars is a minute we aren’t with our families, at our jobs, or doing something we love.

In order to make sure we are making the right investments in public safety and infrastructure, we need a mayor and council majority who will make smart decisions with our tax dollars.  That means prioritizing at City Hall just like every one of us does at home.

I will make the right decisions the first time so that we don’t repeat costly mistakes like squandering $800,000 on the wrong rail trail plans and wasting $700,000 on losing lawsuit settlements.

Encinitas’ most important asset is the environment.  Our beaches, our estuaries, and open space give it a unique character that must be protected from overdevelopment while ensuring effective stewardship of our natural assets.  As mayor, I will make the protection of the environment an important priority as we manage our city’s growth.

I’m proud to have been endorsed by the Preserve Cardiff Rail Corridor, San Diego Regional Chamber and dozens of Encinitas community leaders.  I love this city and want to bring all 63,000 citizens together by moving ideas and projects with a broad consensus.  I ask for your support.

Paul Gaspar is an Encinitas resident running for mayor.