Friday, December 19, 2014

Rudloff and Vina gave away city's right to clean 10-year extension of Little League fields lease at Ecke YMCA

Former Mayor Jerome Stocks writing in the San Diego Reader:
The Ecke family donated the land to the YMCA for the benefit of Encinitas youth back in the 1980s, and in 1989 the then-nascent city of Encinitas entered into a 25-year lease with the YMCA.

The YMCA didn’t have the money to build the facilities, and the city didn’t have the money to buy the land, so a deal was struck. The city agreed to build three or four baseball fields which could also accommodate at least two soccer fields, plus a snack shack, and equipment storage areas.

In return for constructing and maintaining those amenities, the city would have the right to program those fields to suit public demand including Encinitas Little League, Encinitas Soccer League, and what became up to seven other user groups.

The lease payments for the five acres of prime real estate less than a mile from the beach was a whopping $25 for 25 years. Yep, a buck a year for 25 years. Do the math, the 25 years was up in 2014.

But the lease also had a ten-year option that the city could exercise at its discretion at the end of the original 25-year lease. But for some reason that no one will fess up to, they threw that away.
That last part, if true, is a stunner. The fiasco was bad enough when the city council rubber-stamped the 30-day termination clause without discussion. But that was assuming that the Y had bargaining leverage and wouldn't have agreed to an extension without such a clause. If the city actually had the option to renew the lease cleanly for 10 years and didn't, something extremely nefarious appears to be afoot. That would mean the city's negotiators actively worked with the YMCA to steal an asset from Encinitas and its kids right under the noses of an oblivious city council.

Do you think those folks up north who are about to hire Gus Vina know about this whole episode?

The Ecke YMCA is a respected community organization. Perhaps the public blowback they've gotten will persuade them to do the right thing and amend the agreement to take out the termination clause.

UPDATE: It's true! The city had an absolute option for a 10-year clean renewal, which Parks Director Lisa Rudloff and City Manager Gus Vina amended away with the council's apparently unwitting approval.



Both Encinitas Undercover and the Union-Tribune's Logan Jenkins had completely missed this bombshell. Jenkins wrote, "The conventional wisdom appears to be that the YMCA held the trump card. No sudden-death clause, no extension. The city had to agree to Draconian terms." Which is now clearly not the case.

If this city council truly believes in "transparency" and "open government," there will be a full, public investigation into who was involved in adding the termination clause added and why, and how City Manager Vina and Mayor Barth agreed that this should go on the consent calendar and avoid public discussion.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/17/14 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.

Item of interest tonight:

- How much of a slap in the face of the council is it that Gus Vina refused to even give them the contractually required 90-day notice?  How do the council members feel now about spending the past two years on Vina's "visioning" exercises and unanimously rating Vina's job performance as "excellent?" 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Geminid meteor shower tonight

AccuWeather:
In the nighttime hours of Dec. 13, the streaking glow of falling stars will ignite across darkened skies, giving stargazers a glimpse of one of the most active meteor showers of the year: the Geminid Meteor Shower.

It is set to peak on Saturday night into the predawn hours of Sunday morning, and is considered to be one of the most consistently active meteor showers

Phantom of the Kook

Brentwood, CA seeking city manager

Brentwood, California:
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.

Brentwood began as a farming community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
City manager Paul Eldridge resigned in June to take a $270,000 job managing Union City's sanitation district. The interim manager is Steven Salomon. Brentwood is currently undergoing its Housing Element update.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12/10/2014 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.