Eye on the Coast

November elections drawing a heap of interest

Some hot issues on ballot
Traditionally, mid-term elections don’t draw gnats but November may be different. Some issues surrounding the vote likely will have an impact. For example two U.S. reps are facing ethics charges. Both say they are innocent, of course. Both will have their day in court, at taxpayers’ expense, about election time. On the county level, longtime supe Bill Horn, who duzzn’t mind enacting laws but duzzn’t believe in personally abiding by them, is on the ballot.
Harbor City folks will decide whether to OK a half-cent sales tax for five years and that likely means forever. In Escondido, long-term mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler retired from politics and overnight unretired to run for a council seat. Construction of a 10,000-seat minor league baseball stadium is a possibility and she wants to push for it.
Neighboring Vista will be in the middle of a recall involving sitting council elected Frank Lopez if he hasn’t resigned due to gross financial and gambling problems.
O’side will be back to decide whether Jerry Kern gets another term after he survived a bitter recall election. Solbeach voters will enjoy the action from the sidelines becuz council electeds Tom Campbell and Mike Nichols got a green ride by acclamation with no challengers.
And there’s the government contest between Jerry Brown, who the competition is saying is an old recycled politico, and Meg Whitman, who never voted in previous elections and supposedly doesn’t know how the political system works. Plenty of issues to interest everyone.
Lotsa interest
A good number of folks turned out recently for the sound demonstration of the train wayside horn and many gave the horns a thumbs up as an alternative to the loud annoying train horns. Wayside horns are not a new concept. San Clemente and Del Mar have been pushing for them for some time.
Cell towers
Every person, young and old, seems to have at least one cell phone at the ready. More cell phones mean a greater need for cell towers, but folks don’t want them around their area. U.S. government has laws that mandate their existence. Like utility wires and poles. They’ll be around until an alternative is invented, which won’t be soon.
Water bond
An $11.1 billion water bond was pulled from the November ballot because it wuzzn’t given much chance of passage. Originally it was to be a $9.5 bil. issue but overnight it was expanded by more than $1.1 million with pork projects. Small chance of success in 2012 if it’s still laden with pork and in case politicians aren’t aware taxpayers are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore.
Can happen anywhere
Indio, which considers itself an upscale city in the Coachella Valley, is learning that its former city manager is reaping rich pension and insurance rewards. Not on the scale of the ripoff in Bell, but nevertheless gross. According to L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez, the former city manager received 30 grand for putting his signature on his $300,000 contract; an insurance policy valued at $800,000; 90 days of sick leave and $600 a month for a car allowance plus other perks. It can happen everywhere.
Burn burner
Frequently it’s a chore to get folks to attend luncheons and dinners but it was not the case last Friday in C’bad at the chamber sponsored State of the City review. It was retiring Mayor Bud Lewis’ final one and the event at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort overflowed with folks from everywhere. Prexy Gina McBride said it was an early sellout with no arm-twisting needed. Hizzoner did his usual bangup job and no surprise he received a longstanding response.
Charter savings already
O’siders are just getting used to being a charter city and already the engineering department is predicting that three bids out for contracts are expected to reflect a savings beuz they aren’t restricted by state requirements.
For community connections
Support services of the Surfside Community Connection will benefit from a barbecue at the fire station on Sept. 10 that includes a happy hour, auction, music and dancing. Call (858) 792-7565.
Decline to run
Del Mar Union School District trustees Kathrine White and Annette Easton won’t be at the table when a lawsuit filed by former Superintendent Sharon McClain is decided. They led the charge to fire her even though less than two years previous when she was hired they were overenthusiastic about her ability and experience. McClain succeeded Tom Bishop and White and Easton had a hand in his exit. Four candidates are seeking to fill the two seats that are four-year terms.
Compost bins available
Bona fide Solbeach residents can secure compost bins at a reduced price thanks to Solana Center for Environmental Innovation. It also provides information on how best to use the bins. Containers are going for $35, worms not included.
According to latest stats violent crime in the county is down for the first time in years … Pacific Station, a mixed-use business complex in historic downtown Encinitas, is almost ready to accept first residents … Kudos to members of the new Del Sol Lions Club in Solbeach who took 18 members of the Blind Community Center to an afternoon at the races … No less than two groups have formed to oppose the I-5 expansion of 14 lanes from La Jolla to O’side … Frank Vessels, breeder of Thoroughbred horses, operator of San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall and grandson of Frank Vessels Sr. who developed Los Alamitos Race Track, was killed recently in a plane crash in Southern Oregon.
Hasta la Vista