Thursday, October 23, 2014

Republicans jump to early vote lead in Encinitas

Though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 35% to 32%, early voting in Encinitas shows that local Republicans are doing more early voting than Democrats.

1,039 Republicans have already voted, compared to 897 Democrats. 14.2% of Republicans who received absentee ballots have voted, compared to 11.5% of Democrats.

Are there any races close enough in Encinitas that turnout even matters? Could council candidate Alan Lerchbacker benefit from this? Have the Republican Party and the Lincoln Club and related groups even been supporting Lerchbacker with mailings?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10/22/14 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Developer attorney Marco Gonzalez calls high-density development opponents racists

... because nothing builds community and fosters civil dialogue like calling people who disagree with you racists.

Voice of San Diego:
Neighborhoods that line up against dense development projects are motivated by selfishness and closet racism, [Marco Gonzalez] said, at a panel discussion [VOSD columnist Andrew Keatts] hosted last week on dense housing as part of the San Diego Housing Federation’s annual conference.

“It’s an interesting backdrop to practice law after 17 years being the community activist guy,” he said, “when I have to turn to my former clients and activists and call bullshit. And yeah, we use those terms because, frankly, when you get out of the public sphere, and you listen to what these people are saying, what they’re saying is, ‘I got mine, I have no responsibility to provide for them.’ And when the lights are really low, and the groups are really small, it’s, ‘Don’t bring the brown people here, don’t let the poor people in, let’s build a big gate around our little castle, because it’s really nice and pretty and we don’t want them to mess it up.’ And that’s what I’m fighting.”
Does Gonzalez actually go to meetings of really small groups with the lights really low where people actually say "Don't bring the brown people here?" Or is he just completely making the whole thing up? Neither alternative is flattering.

More Marco:
It is that, the “community character” argument is the most powerful sword being thrown up by communities who really don’t want brown people, who really don’t want poor people, who really don’t want to see a development come into their neighborhood because they’ve got theirs, and they don’t care if someone else can’t get the same thing. They don’t want old people to have a place to retire, they don’t want young people to have a place to live near the coast, and they simply say, ‘Wait, I can argue this nebulous concept of community character, and in certain circumstances our elected officials… become weathervanes and not compasses.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Encinitas' Peak Democracy site is chock full o' fictional TV and movie characters

Earlier this week we brought you the story of how flimsy and vulnerable to manipulation the city's new "public input" vehicle, Peak Democracy, is.  Encinitas council members names were showing up as verified Vallejo residents offering their opinions on Vallejo's Peak Democracy site.

But the abuse isn't limited to the Vallejo site.  Here on Encinitas' Peak Democracy site, we found some unusual characters.

Here's Old Encinitas resident Derek Smalls saying, "Thank you to Teresa Barth, Tony Kranz, and Lisa Shaffer for purchasing Pacific View!  What a jewel!"

We couldn't find any Encinitas listing for Derek Smalls, but it does happen to be the name of the bass player from Spinal Tap.

Here's James Darmody from New Encinitas, who writes, "I would like to thank our excellent city council, particularly Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz, for having the foresight to see that Pacific View can be a tremendous arts cent and a legacy for our children."

We were unable to locate Mr. Darmody of Encinitas; however, that is the name of a character in Boardwalk Empire.

Other fictional characters pop up without praising the council.  Here's "Arthur Vandelay," a running pseudonym gag from Seinfeld.

And here's Vernon Wormer, the Dean from Animal House, suggesting that Encinitas purchase antiquities from Greece, Italy and Egypt.

Any comment on this, Dean Wormer?

True, Dean Wormer, but it's good enough for Encinitas!

If it weren't so serious that Encinitas is actually going to use this tool as the primary vehicle for public input on the housing element update, it would be funny.

Peak Democracy: what a great tool for manipulating collecting public opinion!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Peak Idiocracy: verified Vallejo residents weigh in on Vallejo public policy

You may recall that this past spring, the council majority (Barth, Kranz, and Shaffer, with Muir and Gaspar opposed) followed Gus Vina's recommendation to spend city funds to buy silly blog software called "Peak Democracy" from eccentric Berkeley politician Mike "Moonshot" Cohen.

Residents at the time implored the council not to purchase the software which was rife with potential for abuse, but the majority would not deny Vina his toy.

Six months or so into the great Peak Democracy experiment, all we've got for our money is two absurd polls. The first freaked dog owners out with the question, “How important is it for off-leash dog hours to remain at Encinitas Viewpoint, Orpheus and Sun Vista parks once the new dedicated two-acre off-leash dog park is open at Encinitas Community Park?” This seemed to imply that staff were considering cutting local dog park hours and making everyone drive their dogs to the Hall Park instead. Fortunately, it seems it was just space filler so they could say they were doing something with the new software.

The second trivial question was about the arts, a multiple choice question "What's your favorite type of public art?" The choices were "interactive art," "mosaic," "mural," "sculpture," and, bizarrely, "LED installation." We hope that Encinitas Arts Director Jim Gilliam wasn't involved in writing this inane question that views the medium as the most important aspect of art.

But now the council is considering moving beyond irrelevant time-wasting internet polls, to using Peak Democracy as the primary vehicle for public input on the extremely important Housing Element Update.  They'll use it to decide which properties to upzone, resulting in multi-million-dollar windfalls for some lucky property owners.

How is Peak Democracy working in other cities that have been using it longer?  Let's see how verified Vallejo residents Tony Kranz, Lisa Shaffer, and Teresa Barth used Peak Democracy to give input on Vallejo public policy.


Great idea, Teresa!

Peak Democracy has a feature that distinguishes residents as "inside Vallejo" as opposed to random out-of-town commenters.  Somehow, these three computer whizzes were able to persuade Peak Democracy that they were legitimate Vallejo residents.

How will we know which, if any, Encinitas opinions on Peak Democracy are real people if we are to use Peak Democracy as the primary tool for alleged "public input" on the Housing Element?

Fortunately, we can't think of any reason why property owners looking for a multi-million-dollar upzoning windfall would bother to spend a few bucks hiring teenagers to create fake online accounts to push upzoning in their direction.  Can you?

10/15/14 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Average Encinitas retiree with 30 years of service gets more than $94,000 per year for life

You know how pension apologists claim that only a few abusers get huge pensions and the average government worker only gets a few thousand dollars per month?

Yeah, not so much.

Data from Transparent California show that the average Encinitas employee with a "full career" of 30 years or more is given $94,602 per year for life.  And no, it's not just skewed by Mark Muir.  The median is almost the same at $93,723.

Want to know why your streets are full of potholes, we don't have any money to build anything at Pacific View, and your city council wants to raise your taxes and fees?  Look no further.

Raw data here.