Logan Jenkins recently compared the Encinitas city council to deer in the headlights, afraid to make a decision.
Wednesday night's decision to go forward with the 101 bike lane in the face of Coastal Commission opposition will certainly help alleviate that image. They are going to start striping now and work it out with the Coastal Commission later: it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. Will Planning staff take a similarly tolerant view with unpermitted minor remodels?
While we (and the public, it seems) are pleased with the outcome, it appears that staff cut corners and deceived the public and the council on the law. One neutral observer thought David Smith's oral communication Wednesday night caught staff red-handed.
This time, the public's interests aligned with city staff. But what happens next time, when the public's interests conflict with staff's interests? Desert Rose, for example? Many council watchers believe the staff has a pro-development agenda, and presented the city council with partial facts and a biased interpretation of the law in order to push the council toward the staff's desired outcome.
Who's in charge here?