Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A little background on where our City Manager learned the ropes

Stockton, California:
Beginning in the 1990s, the city and employee unions negotiated such high salaries and benefits that pay packages were more than 25% above what other cities were offering, said Kathy Miller, a Stockton city councilwoman.

Police and firefighters could retire at 50, while other city employees could retire at 55. All employees received free medical care in retirement with plans that didn’t require co-pays.

There were bonuses “for almost everything imaginable,” Miller had explained in a video she created in 2012 to explain why the city had been forced to seek bankruptcy protection. “If you drove the front of a fire truck, if you drove the back of a fire truck, if you got a degree or certificate, even if it was for something that had nothing to with your job.

“Stockton employees made pension spiking into an art form, using overtime and add pays in their final working years to secure much larger pensions for the rest of their lives.”
BizJournals:
[Gus] Vina began working with the city of Sacramento as budget manager in July 1999, coming from the city of Stockton, where he had worked for a decade.
With a resume like that, it's no wonder our City Council was "giddy" to hire him!

Stockton, of course, isn't a highly desirable Southern California beach town, and so didn't have the option of getting out of its pension and debt problems via massive development. So we've got that going for us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Could Lerch actually win?





He's finally running a serious campaign, and with the conservative off-year electorate and the Democratic schism, could Alan Lerchbacker actually win the council seat?  What seemed impossible a month ago is now entering the realm of remote, but real, possibility.

Lerchbacker is lining up endorsements and running a serious advertising campaign.  If he'd started six months earlier and gotten involved in local issues, he'd likely be the favorite right now.

UPDATE: Brian Brady has some good vote breakdown analysis over at SDRostra.

Tony Kranz gets the job done for Encinitas

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Swap Meet!

Since many art center functions are specifically prohibited by Pacific View's zoning, our diligent council subcommittee has come up with another idea that will surely enhance the cultural and artistic life of Encinitas and add vibrancy to downtown: a swap meet!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Leichtag - Jewish Federation connection

Several commenters have made an issue of Tony Kranz having accepted a free $5000 trip to Israel from the Jewish Federation of San Diego, then having voted to allow the Leichtag Foundation to use its agriculturally-zoned land for non-agricultural general office use. The rule change likely saved Leichtag tens of thousands of dollars per year in commercial office space rental.

Without some connection between Leichtag and the Jewish Federation, this would be a non-story. One Jewish non-profit doesn't necessarily have anything to do with another.

However, it appears that Leichtag and the JF are quite interconnected. The Jewish Federation operates out of the offices of the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego at 4950 Murphy Canyon Road.  Essentially, the JF is the networking umbrella organization, while the JCF is the charitable fund.

The Leichtag Foundation is one of the primary funds listed as a part of the JCF.



The JCF has two staff members listed as working with Leichtag, one of whom is an executive there.





Obviously, laws regarding the improper financial influence of public officials are meaningless if gifts can be given to politicians from nominally separate, but clearly related organizations, before a politician votes to give substantial financial benefits to a group.

We'd say Kranz should have disclosed and recused at the time of the Leichtag vote.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shaffer flip-flops on Encinitas' financial health

In February of this year, we praised Council Member Lisa Shaffer for being the first city insider to admit that the city was in bad financial condition. Shaffer wrote at the time:
One issue I feel strongly about is pavement management - we have chronically underfunded road maintenance, and unfortunately, the draft CIP budget did not offer any improvements. We have been spending about $1.3 million/year and it would take about $2.8 million/year to maintain a constant quality level and prevent continued decline (which only leads to more expensive repairs later).
But now that it is election season and Kristin Gaspar has raised the same issue, Shaffer has done a complete 180. Shaffer's latest newsletter:
Despite the reality that there is more money than previously expected, Kristin Gaspar still claimed that we cannot afford Pacific View because we are underfunding "core services." It's just not true. We put more money into road maintenance than ever, fully funded our reserves, and have a healthy capital improvement fund.
"We put more money into road maintenance than ever." More money being the $2.8 million that you said in February was necessary to prevent continued decline? Or quite a bit less than that? We recall the final budget figure being $2.0 million, or less than half the necessary increase. Please correct us if we are wrong.

What's worse is the multi-year backlog of street safety improvements. As Al Rodbell pointed out in his recent resignation from the Traffic and Public Safety Commission, the city has many street safety improvement projects waiting to be done simply because of a lack of funds. Will children have to be killed before this city council makes it a priority to spend the necessary funds for neighborhood traffic calming and improvements at dangerous intersections?

And if Encinitas is in such fine financial shape, why did Shaffer and her friends try to hire propagandist Catherine Lew of Lew Edwards to push a sales tax increase?

Encinitas Beacon has more:
At this week's council meeting resident Mark Wisniewski dramatically highlighted Encinitas inability to maintain basic services. During a 3 minute address, he showed the pride of the communities he visited this summer, by showing photographs of well-tended public parks and gardens, he described as "community and civic pride" with "grounds cultivated and very few weeds".

With seriousness he showed a photo of Cottonwood Creek Park and the Veteran Memorial that he described as "barren soil and weeds" He showed a picture of the Memorial plaque that reads "the unfinished walls of the memorial represent the unfinished lives of those who perished in the line of duty" and his last photo showed a tattered and neglected flag flying over the memorial. He then donated a new flag to the city, so Encinitas might possess civic pride.

In her weekly newsletter council member Shaffer chose not to thank Mr. Wisniewski for his gift but to instead promote her endorsed candidates for office and to claim city finances are in good shape. While she is entitled to her opinions, the facts about the city's finances paint a different story.

Encinitas is $47 million behind in road repairs, and at this week's council meeting yet another resident asked the council when the city would fix his road. The city is $6 million behind in building maintenance and Mr. Wisniewski might find it of interest to know that money that might have been used to maintain the memorial was taken by Ms. Shaffer and Mr. Kranz to plug finance holes. Then there is the $7 million the council took from funded projects like rail crossings and open-space aquisitions with no plan to pay it back.
Funny what election season does to politicians' perspectives.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Former Councilman Dennis Holz endorses Cameron and Graboi

From the Inbox:
I saw that one or more newspapers listing contributions to the local candidates mentioned my name as a contributor to Tony Kranz for Mayor. The implication would be that I am supporting him. I am not. The contribution was made early on (to support anyone but Kristin Gaspar), before I knew Sheila Cameron was running.

I support Sheila Cameron for Mayor and Julie Graboi for Councilperson. I do so because they are the two who have clearly and publically stated their positions on the issues, and I know they will follow through.

I am concerned about the upcoming density increase in the proposed housing plan and the ongoing drunken public safety and nuisance activities in old Encinitas.

Based on the current Council’s opposition to Prop A (requiring a public vote on density increases) I cannot assume any will go to the wall to prevent overbuilding and thus traffic gridlock in our City (this includes Kranz).

While 2 councilmembers supported a downtown ordinance to govern the alcohol outlets’ participation in the destruction of downtown community character, Tony Kranz has failed to follow through on positions he took before his election. For those who support him for his work on Pacific View (I agree), he will still be on the council to head up the follow through whether he is mayor or not.

I acknowledge that Blakespear is an articulate person with a winning personality running on a feel good issue (urban agriculture). Unfortunately she has not taken a clear position on the hard issues: saying she will review staff information and make a decision at that time, to me is a slippery way to avoid commitment and public scrutiny. Of course, Lerchbacker and Gaspar’s pro-business guise is simply a cover for over-development and traffic gridlock.

Cameron and Graboi are clear about where they stand. They support the citizens and our quality of life, not based on general platitudes but by specific commitment to “yes or no statements” on the issues. Sheila has called for the removal of the City Attorney and Manager who are the hangover from the build or bust days of Stocks/Bond/Gaspar. The current City Administrative Power Structure does not support the ideology of the citizens or even the current council. Sheila’s position is critical to the change needed.

The City, with new creative intelligent administrative and legal leadership from within and the right council elected, can thread its way through the state imposed mandates to come up with a unique and appropriate response for our city, rather than simply caving in to the status quo.

I will vote for Cameron and Graboi.

Dennis Holz

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.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

HoodLink endorses Cameron, Graboi

HoodLink, Encinitas' long-running grassroots newsletter, has come out in favor of Sheila Cameron for mayor and Julie Graboi for City Council, with a polite nod to Tony Kranz but an acknowledgement that Kranz and HoodLink's community have parted ways on the issues.

See the latest HoodLink here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Council Candidate debate thread

What are they saying?

Subcommittee plans 1500-foot CN Tower, pasty white people with balloons at Pacific View

Yes, that's actually what they're showing in this subcommittee PowerPoint.



The image is from plans for Toronto's Ontario Place, which is enormous, commercial, and waterfront. In other words, it has absolutely nothing in common with Pacific View. (And the upper photo is not, as some people have suggested, the new development at Weidner's Gardens.)

But on a more serious note, aside from the subcommittee's poor PowerPoint skills and inappropriate image appropriation, the October 6 meeting raised a lot of serious concerns that somebody should have thought about earlier. Like, say, zoning for the new arts center!



Wait a minute... art galleries, music conservatories, dance studios, and recording studios are expressly prohibited? What kind of art center are we getting for $10 million?

Then there's the Coastal Commission approval (and they don't want anything that will impact parking at Moonlight Beach!), and the non-taxable bond limitations fiasco.  Not to mention that the city is too broke to build or operate anything on the site, which is why they are hiring expensive consultants to figure out how to raise fees on residents.  Click on over to Focus on Encinitas for the full scoop on the Pacific View SNAFU.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10/8/14 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.

More D-grade work from city consultants?

From the Inbox:
Dear Council Members and Cabinet Members,

Last night I attended a workshop that Parks and Recreation hosted which seems to be a justification for raising fees on citizens, if the heading "service and fee study," the first line of the announcement is to be believed. I spoke with presenters Al and Chris, who identify themselves as consultants in the field of recreation.

I disagree that the presentation that was given by Green Play should be considered a consulting activity. First of all, the council has stated that they do not want for Department Directors to bring in consultants. Moreover, what was presented at the meeting was a boiler plate set of forms that does not meet the threshold of a true consulting service since one of the managing partners, Chris, mentioned that they use the same instruments everywhere. This would indicate that they are vendors selling the same package over and over--not actual consultants who offer very specific and usually case-sensitive solutions to difficult problems.

Green Play presenters identified their documents and groupings as a "process," a "methodology," and a "study," yet they disagreed with me when I and another attendee pointed out that there was terrible bias in the design of the presentation since attendees did not represent a valid survey sample of Encinitas residents. They seemed to do an outreach to people who went to the senior center, yet I only found out about it because I saw an announcement at City Hall. They said that they were interested in studying all of the recreation services the city offered, but the people in the meeting were only a narrow sampling of people who might use recreation services yet did not know about this meeting. Because the outreach was limited to people who were at the City during particular times, most citizens were not aware of these meetings.

The presenters said that their goal was to start "a conversation" and "raise awareness" about issues without creating a reliable way to capture information or to define their terms. They claimed that they were not trying to do valid studies yet identified their information gathering as "a study." I asked them for a list of protocols, and they said that they trained Parks and Recreation staff yet did not have anything in writing. Why is that? One of the hallmarks of actual consulting work is that the rules of how a formal activity like the one I attended is performed need to be written so that others can understand what took place and evaluate the results.

Why does the City continue to hire firms that produce poor results, or no valid results at all as in this case? I find it hard to believe that the council would approve this program with the unhappy history of consultants that we have had in the past.

Below is an article about a sports park that is named as one of Green Play's clients. Please stop wasting our money on this and other recently hired consultants for the Housing Element update. There are ample residents who would DONATE their skills and work collaboratively with staff to design and process valid studies that would not only save money, but would more accurately capture the will of Encinitas citizens. The stated goals and outcomes that the presenters sought in these meetings were not met since they are not measurable or valid.

I am very sorry to say this, but based on what I saw, whatever you paid them was too much. It looks like the city wants to raise fees on residents, and this is the real reason that you have brought these people in.

Sincerely,

Julie Graboi

http://avlne.ws/1tTrQuW




Check the link at the bottom of Graboi's e-mail. Asheville is building a $5.4 million sports park and is planning to fund it by hosting paid-attendance regional sports tournaments and selling beer. Our park cost many tens of millions to build. What's Green Play's plan to pay for that?

And if the city is telling us that the Peak Democracy blog is the only acceptable tool to gather public input for the Housing Element, why wouldn't it be appropriate to use it to collect opinions on park fees?

UPDATE: Green Play's fees to the city for running five very small meetings for a handful of people? $17,503.50.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blood moon tonight

USA Today:
The second — and final — total lunar eclipse of 2014 will occur early Wednesday morning, just before sunrise in the Eastern Time Zone and in the middle of the night on the West Coast.

The moon will appear a coppery red, so it's been called a "blood" moon. It'll look red because of all the sunsets and sunrises from the Earth that will reflect onto the lunar surface.

[...]

"The eclipse will only be visible in its entirety from parts of eastern Australia, New Zealand, eastern Asia, most of Japan, the Hawaiian Islands and the western part of North America," according to Slooh.com.

Officially, the total eclipse will start at 6:25 a.m. ET (5:25 a.m. CT, 4:25 a.m. MT and 3:25 a.m. PT) and continue until 7:24 a.m. ET (4:24 a.m. PT).

If you're in the central or western parts of the USA, you'll see the total eclipse high in a dark sky well before sunrise, according to Sky and Telescope.

Lerch goes big

As former Republican-endorsed council candidate Bryan Ziegler, forced out by party bosses, goes silent and refuses to speak to concerned citizens about the circumstances surrounding the loss of his party endorsement, his GOP replacement is hoping some big money will make up for a late campaign start and lack of campaign boots on the ground.

The campaign finance filings are in, and newcomer Alan "Lerch" Lerchbacker is dropping some big cash. His filing shows he loaned his campaign $20,000 of his own money.

While it's really late to start a campaign in October after absentee ballots have already been mailed out, that kind of money could make a difference if used to begin a flawlessly executed flat-out sprint to the finish. Will Lerch bring in professional consultants to help him run that kind of campaign?

How does goofing off until October and then dropping twenty grand align with Lerch's campaign theme of competence and fiscal responsibility?

But if Lerch can't win, could he tip the seat to Julie Graboi by taking votes from his fellow Cardiffian and anti-Right-to-Vote candidate Catherine Blakespear?

Or is this just a bluff, and will Lerch not actually spend all that money?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Promises, promises

Two of the candidates running for mayor did us the favor of leaving a record of past campaign promises so that we can see how well they followed through.  Here are their "Top Priorities" as submitted to smartvoter.org.

Kristin Gaspar 2010:

Top Priorities if Elected

  • Public Safety
  • Responsible Budgeting
  • Sustainable Growth


Tony Kranz 2010:

Top Priorities if Elected

  • Complete the General Plan Update ensuring we keep our small town atmosphere
  • Develop the Hall Property park responsibly and without further delay
  • "Right-size" city government and reduce employee pension expenses


Tony Kranz 2012:

Top Priorities if Elected

  • Create a system of accountability for city officials regarding government transparency issues
  • Improve our public safety services
  • Keep the General Plan "Update" from opening the floodgates to overdevelopment and more unbearable traffic


So how are they doing?

Friday, October 3, 2014

GOP dumps Ziegler over Prop A position

In yet another sign of San Diego County Republican Party disarray under the erratic leadership of Tony Krvaric, the party has apparently just dumped its endorsed candidate for Encinitas City Council, Bryan Ziegler. Sources tell Encinitas Undercover the split was over Ziegler's support for Proposition A, the voter initiative passed in 2013 that requires voter approval of land zoning changes.

The party web site now shows an endorsement for newcomer Alan "Lerch" Lerchbacker, who has no significant organization and little name recognition or history of community involvement. Lerchbacker is expected to place third at best, behind two Democrats. The seat should have been a great opportunity for the GOP, with a conservative tilt in an off-year election in a competitively split city. Even more so because the Democrats have split into two factions, the Community Character / Prop A faction represented by Julie Graboi, and the Establishment / Smart Growth faction represented by Catherine Blakespear.

The County GOP's beef with Prop A is bizarre for two reasons. First, it already passed, making a candidate's support or opposition of it largely irrelevant (other than as an indication of a candidate's overall views on development issues and how likely the candidate might be to work to undermine Prop A around the edges). But secondly and more importantly, Prop A is entirely consistent with the professed GOP principles of property rights and limited government. It preserves current property rights and zoning, and prevents politicians from upzoning their cronies' properties at the expense of the neighbors' quality of life and property values. How could a limited-government party oppose that, unless the party was controlled by those very cronies and developers?

Happy Birthday Laney Kook

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Encinitas family, so poor that they had to move to Vista for years, now planning custom home on 1/3 acre here

... all this supposedly illustrating why we have to build high-density development so that every yahoo from LA to Arizona who wants to live by the beach can do so.

Seaside Courier:
His family has a long history in Encinitas.

But the cost of living forced fifth-generation Encinitas resident Tom Cozens and his wife, Peggy, who went to high school in town, to move inland to Vista to raise a family.

“We lived where we could afford it,” said Peggy.

They eventually moved from Vista to Carlsbad. All the while, they stayed involved in the Encinitas community.

Thirty-seven years later, they are back for good. The 60-somethings have purchased an 860-square-foot home on a big lot in Old Encinitas with plans to build a larger home. They hope their children and grandchildren won’t mind visiting more often now that they are so close to the beach.
We sincerely doubt the Cozens were actually priced out of Encinitas; apartments and rental houses were cheap and plentiful here in the 80's and 90's.  In fact, Encinitas has historically been fairly affordable until it recently became so popular and crowded (and high-density development will do nothing to relieve crowdedness or improve affordability; just look at Manhattan Beach!).  Rather, we suspect the Cozens made a lifestyle choice to live in a single-family home with a nice yard in a low-density community, the same choice families here and elsewhere have been making for generations. And a choice the Cozens have once again validated with their new Encinitas home.

But what's with that 1/3 acre lot? We thought seniors wanted to live in high-density development.

Last night's Olivenhain candidate forum

What was said?  What were your impressions?