Election season is here again and many of you in Encinitas are wondering who to vote for Mayor and Council, and if it would really make any difference. This City NEEDS change in leadership. A year ago our residents spoke and approved the Encinitas Right-to-Vote Initiative (Prop A), giving some control over land-use issues back to the citizens who live here, where it should have rested in the first place. Yet more revolutionary changes need to take place at City Hall before we can all rest assured that our environment and small-town lifestyle will not be defiled further for corporate profits and special interests.
It is no secret that our present city government is beholden to the development industry and to special interest groups. This was made undeniably clear last year, when all Council members and the City Manager were vehemently fighting to oppose Prop A, in accord with land barons and developers, inventing non-existent problems and repeating untruths and distortions ad nauseam. Thus, we cannot expect incumbents to honor our community character or improve our quality of life.
Self-negotiated interim Mayor Gaspar has not demonstrated that she would uphold community character or quality of life for residents anywhere. For example, she endorsed high-density development in the Desert Rose development in a rural area in Olivenhain. She also does not plan to respect the peace and tranquility of thousands of home owners surrounding the new Tournament Sports Complex, masquerading as a Community Park on residential property. She has publicly announced that she would push for installing 237,000 watts of stadium lighting, spread over the 44 acre site on 34 light structures, towering as much as 90 feet above the five tournament fields. The 21 million lumens of field illumination, reflecting from the turf and the frequently present marine overcast, would produce a sky glow visible over a hundred square mile area. It would be disastrous to surrounding residents and to nearby wildlife. She is heartless.
This leaves only Sheila Cameron for bringing positive change to a dysfunctional City Council and City Management by being the first publicly elected Mayor of Encinitas. Sheila has spent half her life serving Encinitas residents, as cofounder of the City, as elected Council Member, as Mayor, as Consultant to City Staff, and as participant and activist in public City hearings. She is by far the most experienced candidate, selflessly representing the interests of the residents. She was instrumental in many civic projects and left her legacy in popular places like the Encinitas Library and Cottonwood Creek Park.
Encinitas needs experience, integrity, intelligence, sensitivity, and wise leadership. Sheila can provide these qualities better than any other candidate. She is also a great environmentalist and is active in local and global issues. Her goals are: Keeping the Soul of Encinitas and Upholding Prop A. Besides being a strong and fair leader, she will bring to City Government: A great business head; A caring heart; and Government transparency.
For City Council, many of us consider Julie Graboi our best hope for keeping our City a great place to live. Julie pledges to put residents first, before so-called stakeholders, who generally seek development profits or special interest gains. She will protect our small-town character and safeguard the environment. She will uphold Prop A and limit Density Bonus impacts. She will vote to spend money responsibly for projects that benefit residents.
Don’t put your trust in candidates who spend the most money, have the most signs, or are supported by the most political lobbyists. We don’t need developers, lawyers or other special interest promoters on our City Council. Go for truth, honesty, and wisdom in leaders who strive to honor those values that serve the residents.
The residents’ choice for their voice is: Julie Graboi for City Council and Sheila Cameron for Mayor.
Dietmar Rothe, Ph.D., P. Eng.