Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3/25/15 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.

75 comments:

  1. Sorry kids, Kranz spent the $ on Pacific View. You get a muddy soccer field.

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    1. Every small town in Brazil has a dirt field with no lights, no irrigation, and no nets on the goals. Many kids play with bare feet in the mud.

      Brazil has produced more world-class soccer players, Olympic medals, and World Cup wins than the U.S.

      I'm not against the turf proposal per se--just offering a little perspective.

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    2. Has the west gone soft?

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    3. How much of the big fat salaries from the leaders of Express will be contributed to to installing the artificial fields and lights. If they need them soooo much, let them pay for 3//4 of the cost and the City can contribute 1/4.

      The leaders of these "Non-profit" pull in huge salaries in excess of $200,000 to $300,000. Thats how they "show" non-profit it all goes to huge salaries. Let them get contributions and fund raise the 75% of the funds and then they could have a project.

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    4. The city should ask for a financial statement from Express. Rick Lockner was reluctant to give expense information on portable lights rental. He volunteered to give $200,000 for the artificial turf, but over ten years . The council seemed to have let the ten-year stipulation slip by. Interim City Manager Larry Watt stepped in to remind them. That's only $20,000 per year.

      Nobody mentioned that Express is a competitive league that is very selective. It's not recreational soccer, thus leaving most kids out. A millions bucks is a high sum for 1700 selected players, with only 75% guaranteed to be from Encinitas. This percentage came from staff. The million bucks is only for the artificial turf. No cost estimates on the lights the league is demanding. It all sounded like Express would get exclusive use of Leo Mullen field.

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    5. You are oh-so making this stuff up! You realize that the Express tax returns are public record? Have you asked for them? Have you reviewed them?

      You say it's not recreational soccer? What about this?

      http://www.encinitas-soccer.org/recreational

      Are they lying?

      So really......just what is your beef with Express??

      - The Sculpin

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    6. You're full of it 9:00am. Rick provided details on the lights rental. It is $1100 per week, or approximately $4400 per month. They also pay for the diesel. When it rains and the lights aren't on, the diesel is not used and so it doesn't cost as much (for the diesel only). The league still pays for the lights when they are at the field even if they are not turned on (due to rain for example).

      Express is BOTH rec and competitive. It is a great community club. There are teams for ALL levels of player.

      It did NOT sounds like Express would get exclusive use and in fact that very question was asked of the gentleman in charge of the SCORE process which assigns field use.

      Go spread your lies elsewhere.

      Btw, as a 501c3 group the financials for the club are available.

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    7. Approximately 1150 rec players and approximately 550 competitive players. A large percentage of rec players (over 200) are on scholarship through the Los Angelitos program. A great community club that all residents should be proud of.

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    8. 5:35am, you don't know what you're talking about. Just because some non-profits, for example sham charities that only give a small % of their money to the cause they are promoting, have corrupt leaders does not mean this non-profit does.

      The board of Express is an all-volunteer board that spends many hours working for the benefit of the kids in the community. The club pledged $20K per year for 10 years last night.

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    9. All volunteer = no salary. Zero. None.

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    10. Did Sculpin and others here watch the meeting or attend it? I read what the poster at 9 am wrote differently. The word used about Lockner was "reluctant," not "refused." The speaker at the moment was asked the question about cost of lights and said he didn't know. Mayor Gaspar asked Lockner to answer and had to coax him back to the speaker stand. It took a lot of words for him to get the answer out.

      The poster only used the word "competitive" in referring to Express. Is Express a competitive team and not strictly recreational? Many of the speakers, both adults and children, were wearing Express shirts and most of the speakers, both adults and children, spoke specifically in support of Express. I don't remember the word "competitive" or "recreational" being used at all in the discussion about Express. Isn't there a difference in practice time, intensity of use, and demand for quality fields between the two? A non-member of the soccer league could easily assume it was all about Express.

      The folks from the league would have benefited themselves by making their financial statements available to the council. To expect the council to make a request for them is unrealistic. There could have been copies handed to council. Other groups have done this when asking for support from the city.

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    11. I was at the meeting. The president of the soccer league wasn't reluctant. He was forthcoming and was trying to be accurate by making the distinction that the costs of lights is slightly lower when the lights aren't on (but he could have better explained that it is because of the cost of the diesel).

      He also said clearly that the amount was over 10 years. However the interim city manager made the distinction later to make sure everyone understood that, unlike the potential water grant that was just over 200K, the pledged amount from the soccer club was over 10 years.

      Encinitas Express refers to the whole club, both rec and competitive.

      The original poster at 9am may truly believe all the cynical things posted, but they are wrong and they should be corrected.

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    12. Who in city government gave the Encinitas Soccer Express the right to run diesel generators for the lights? Diesel is nasty and dirty and shouldn't be inhaled. Parents won't let their kids stand by an idling diesel truck.

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  2. What, no one asking what's behind Council's purposeful lapse of the contract?

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  3. Of course not...just the usual "thank you for letting me speak at all...how grateful I am to live in a city with such freedoms."

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  4. Q: How many times did Muir say "as it relates to" at tonight's meeting?

    A: 26

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    1. Muir was overly ridiculous tonight with his "as it relates to". I want to smack him so bad.

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  5. What a breath of relief for Kranz especially that no one asked the hard questions.

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  6. I'm going to play Devil's advocate. Why is it such a bad thing that the Y wants to expand? Is the Little League not able to work with the schools in town to find available space to play?

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    1. The school fields are not regulation size and are in awful condition. Playing little league there would be impossible.

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    2. There are no lights at the school fields either. Fall sports especially will suffer considerably when the lighted Y fields are gone.

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    3. Another devil's advocate question, if I'm into the LL scene and I get wind this is coming on fields I don't control, why am I not looking at other options?

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    4. 10:06,

      I'm sure they're looking at all options, but the best option appears to be shaming the YMCA and the City Council into undoing this highly suspicious backroom deal.

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  7. Sluggos' 'as it relates to, is truly maddening at times. That he uses it two times in a single sentence and a dozen times in one comment opportunity makes one wonder how can his vocabulary be that limited. I missed a couple of them and came up two short of your 26 total.

    On a hopeful note, he had a comment one time that did not include as it relates to. Come on Mark, you must have it in you.

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      There!! Are we done with this?!?!?!

      - The Sculpin

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    2. People have speech patterns. Is this annoying, yes. Do we need people to remark on it every time, no!

      What was the takeaway from all the soccer talk at the meeting?

      -MGJ

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    3. No way are we done with this until this man gets educated and can speak intelligently.

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    4. 9:23 Bumbling idiot as always.

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    5. 10:07 You were not appointed our leader.

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    6. MGJ, no action taken yet.

      The agenda item stemmed from a council request for information as relates to (sorry, couldn't help myself) the maintence schedule at Leo Mullin Park. The staff report was very brief, and stuck to the limited scope of the council request.

      The soccer people came in with a request to install artificial turf and lights.

      Since the staff report had no information on these subjects, council sent staff back to look at them. A motion was also passed to apply for a grant that may fund some of the turf replacement, under a state program to cut water use.

      Outstanding questions were about capital and maintence costs (current vs turf and lights), Carltas development agreement for that parcel, and whether it restricts lights or turf, other grants that may apply, etc.

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    7. I suppose if we are nitpicking on speech ticks, then all the substantive issues facing the city have been resolved, which is great news.

      Actually, I think Muir's use of the offending phrase has increased significantly in frequency. Either he doesn't read this blog, or he does, and is trolling the trolls. Either way, it makes me like him just a little more.

      Disclosure: I didn't vote for him, and likely never will. I disagree with his politics, but think he's basically an honest person doing his best to do the right thing as he sees it for Encinitas. He's wrong, not evil.

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    8. 12:28 Your choice to like him all you want. He never should have gotten a seat on council. Thank $tock$ for this.

      In the meantime, maybe he can go to school with his son and learn how to speak.

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    9. I AM YOUR LEADER!

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  8. Encinitas Soccer League - so who are the non-employees? Their income tax form shows the expenses for the referees, coach, etc. The board list shows no income.
    Non-employees were paid $317,288 for 2013. What is a non-employee?

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    1. The competitive coaches. They don't work for free. Most, if not all are either accomplished college players or ex-pro's. The ref's may be thrown in there as well.

      - The Sculpin

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    2. 4:04 PM
      No, the expense amount for the coaches is listed in another area. The referee expense amount is also listed in another area.

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    3. 4:22pm
      Not true. That amount IS for the coaches. The competitive coaches are paid independent contractors. There are over 40 competitive teams each coached by a paid professionally licensed coach.

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    4. ~320K for ~40 teams equals ~8K per team on average. Seems pretty reasonable.

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    5. The coaches are indeed the ones who get paid. People want their kiddies to be the next Kobi Jones, but just like the NBA, most won't make it. But that doesn't stop mom and dad shelling out for the SD Surf Coach...

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  9. Two different entries on the express soccer form 990 - compensation of current officers, directors, trustees, and key employees- $128,614.
    The other entry is the non-employee - $317,288.

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    1. The DoC is an employee of the club. The coaches of the over 40 teams are independent contractors, or non-employees.

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  10. I doubt very much if most of the coaches are ex-pros. If so, who are they?

    I would like Sculpin to answer that question.

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    1. Look at their website and see for yourself.

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    2. Sculpin, I knew you would not answer the question, when you seem to think you have all the answers.

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    3. http://encinitas-soccer.org/competitive/coaches

      Sculpin is not 10:27am, otherwise it would have said -Sculpin.

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    4. 10:46 Who cares. Sculpin didn't answer the question. He was asked to name all the ex-pros. He needs to back up his statement with facts. No time for him to be lazy and say go look it up yourself. That's a chicken's way out.

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    5. 9:15 and 11:02 - the inference in your request is that 1) you know that my statement is untrue, or 2) you know that my statement is true, or 3) that you are unfamiliar with the structure of competitive youth soccer.
      So in order to indulge you (from 10:46's link)-
      Guy Newman - Maccabi Los Angeles, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Miami Americans, San Diego Sockers - 5-time MISL Champion .1980 US Mens Olympic Soccer Team.
      Jerome Watson - San Diego Flash, California Jaguars, Colorado Foxes, UCOM Rajpracha (Thailand), UC Davis (NCAA Div II).

      Other clubs have hired MLS players, Olympians, and even some Europeans. In addition, go find an over 40 or over 50 men's league game and you would be shocked at the talent. Vaqueros and Rovers come to mind, as well as RSF.

      Now my gut tells me you already know this because you can surf the internet just like everyone else - so now it's your turn. I answered your question - you answer mine:

      What's your real beef with Express Soccer

      - The Sculpin

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    6. At least nine of the coaches are ex-professional players. But ALL of the coaches are professionally licensed. The best coach is not always the best player.

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    7. 11:34 I have no beef with Express Soccer. My problem lies with you and your smug attitude. At least I got you to do some homework to back up your statements. So there are about half a dozen ex-pros as you call them. So "most" is not accurate.

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    8. "Most, if not all are either accomplished college players or ex-pro's."

      You do know what "OR" means, right?

      -Not Sculpin

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    9. 12:54 - knowledge and experience will do that to you - sorry to offend.....

      - The Sculpin

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    10. 2:08 key words are "most, if not all". The question was how many ex-pros. My question was answered. It is not most and/or it is not all.

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    11. Are we done playing this little game of gotcha? Because if you read (and comprehend) what was written, then the statement is correct: most, if not all are either accomplished college players or ex-pros. Your question limited it to ex-pros, Sculpin's statement included accomplished college players. Most but not all ARE accomplished college players and some are even ex-Pros.
      -Not Sculpin

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    12. 7:45 thinks he/she is clever. In reality, not so much.

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    13. 10:25 and 7:23. No need for further input from you. As stated before, my question was answered.

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  11. Who in city government gave the Encinitas Soccer Express the right to run diesel generators for the lights? Diesel is nasty and dirty and shouldn't be inhaled. Parents won't let their kids stand by an idling diesel truck.
    Money, money follow the money. It isn't about the kids; it's about the money.

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  12. Parents happy enough to have their kids play on recycled tires that are linked to cancer outbreaks. Guess bragging about your kid the soccer star trumps potential, fatal health threats. Diesel truck fumes pale in comparison.

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    1. You might want to inform yourself before opening your noise hole.

      They proposed a coconut husk and cork product instead of crumb rubber.

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    2. I'm-talking about the turf the council will spring for, not the corn and cork product. My, but we're testy.

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  13. Its about the CEO of the the "non profit" Express pulling in over $250k per year. He is pulling in less than his competion in Carlsbad. Lets have him pony up 1/2 for the lights and poles. Otherwise, turn it into a dog park. Our Kids can glady play on Carlsbad and Private Fields.

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    1. Wrong. The CEO makes $0.

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  14. If the CEO of Express really wants astroturf and lights lets have him deposit 1/2 the cost or go to Carlsbad. I have a kids in his program and I rather walk to school safely than to have fake field at the practice fields.

    Plus what a waste of time that presentation was. CEO needs to do a much better job. I say fund in 7 years.

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    1. I'm sure the "CEO" would want safe routes to school AND safe and available fields to play on. Why not both?

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  15. This is all about public tax payers and wasting valuable tax dollars on profit for a private clubs CEO.

    We are watching City Council. There are way more financial watchdogs out here than occupied the chambers tonight. Kids routine- puff- what a waste of everyones time. Why not prompt 200 kids to speak?

    If a City council member votes to fund the fake fields for the profit of the CEO of this non profit, than anon will oppose you next election.

    Thank you for listening and leading our City.

    Anon

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    1. Please remove yourself from our society 12:11 AM.

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  16. A couple of points on the turf/lights proposal for LM park. It may be the right thing to do, but some of the reasoning is flawed.

    "Reduced Maintenance Cost"

    A real financial analysis looks at the net of capital and operating expenses. These turf fields cost roughly $1M plus 5-8% if you want to substitute a natural alternative to the crumb rubber. The field lasts 8-10 years, so even if you paid cash (no finance charges), the capital cost would run $100K+ per year. I seriously doubt that the maintenance cost savings are large enough to cover that capital cost.

    "Saves Water"

    City parks use purple pipe recycled water. Over the last ten years, our use of purple pipe water has been flat, with the peak usage year being 2007. We should be growing our use of purple pipe water, but we are not. Instead we are pumping good irrigation water into the ocean. If LM installs turf, it does nothing to improve our drought problem, which is demand for imported and local potable water. Instead, it would simply shunt off the LM allocation of recycled water and pump it out to sea.

    "Encinitas Soccer will contribute $200K over ten years"

    Encinitas Soccer revealed that they are already paying $20K per year for the diesel light rental and operation. So what they are proposing is an improved level of service, at no expense over what they are already paying. They want better lights, and a better field open more days, reliable scheduling that does not depend on weather. All of this is a tremendous benefit to Encinitas Soccer, as they clearly stated. The city should argue that a higher level of service justifies a some additional spending by ES. They can't expect something for nothing.

    There are legitimate reasons to do this. Improving the quality of play matters. Reducing injury matters. Better lighting and improved visibility is a safety issue. More practice and playing time is a good thing. Reliability of scheduling has value. These are all reasons to consider turf and lights at LM.

    Just don't undermine the case by throwing in a bunch of BS reasons that don't hold water.

    -FP

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    1. Good points FP. What you don't include is the increase in availability of the field. I think the staff report said something like from 6000 playable hours to over 29000 playable hours.

      Regarding the current amount Express spends on lights. Did you stop to think why should Express be paying anything right now for lights? Most communities (Carlsbad, Oceanside) have sports programs that the organization running the sport pays zero for fields and lights.

      Also, if it were a zero-sum cost of putting in turf I'm sure it would have been done long ago. The maintenance cost savings will help offset the capital outlay, but there definitely is an increase in cost.

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    2. Better check out what is the addition cost of water to keep the coconut fibers from drying out.

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    3. 10:40,

      I believe they said the field was unavailable fire play an average of six weeks per year (one month for reseeding, and two weeks weather). If so, that would represent about a 12% increase in available playing time, not sure where your 483% increase comes from.

      Re: why should they be paying anything for lights? No one is forcing them to pay for lights. They made a business decision that the extended playing hours after sunset have a value that justifies $20K per year. In fact, one could divide the $20K by the number of hours the lights add to annual playable time to arrive at a cost per hour the league has already been able to justify. Adding turf would also add a quantifiable number of playable hours to the field. Simply apply the same hourly rate calculation from above to figure out exactly how much more the league should be willing to contribute for the installation of turf.

      -FP

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    4. My numbers came from the staff report. The field is closed for 3 to 4 months of the year. I think the report said 3 months for rehab, and then when rain falls it is closed periodically for sometimes days at a time (something about not draining well so even a light rain could result in 3 days of closure).

      The kids need a place to play during evening hours in the fall. One of those places used to be Y field 1. I think that might have something to do with the sense of urgency. But imagine trying to schedule practice times for all of those teams if there were no lights. And remember those kids go to school during the day. I imagine that it would not be possible with the number of fields available in Encinitas.

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    5. 11:46,

      I owe you an apology. I thought you were making up numbers that make no sense. I found your numbers in the staff report, so I'm sorry I doubted you. Unfortunately, they still make no sense, so I googled some distinctive phrases, and found out where staff got the numbers: from a sales brochure for artificial turf.

      Yup. How's that for objective sources, and no, they did not footnote the source or give any indication in the staff report that they were copy and pasting financial estimates from a sales brochure for the product in question.

      I am often on here defending staff and council, but this is no bueno. Can't defend this. Just lazy and providing biased information to council that could influence them to make a decision based on bad data.

      Lisa Rutloff, are you listening?

      http://www.fieldturf.com/media/W1siZiIsIjIwMTQvMDEvMjkvMjAvNTUvNDQvMjU1L0ZpZWxkVHVyZl9Db3Jwb3JhdGVfQnJvY2h1cmVfMjAxNC5wZGYiXV0/FieldTurf_Corporate_Brochure_2014.pdf

      http://www.fieldturf.com/es/fieldturf-difference/cost-analysis

      -FP

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    6. Agree FP. If those hours are not based on the existing scheduling of Leo Mullen and the anticipated increase in available hours because Mullen wouldn't be closed for 3-4 months out of the year, then they are useless at best and misleading at worst.

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    7. It's actually worse than that.

      The staff report on this agenda item (link below) showed a comparison of playable hours between natural grass and artificial turf. Instead of using actual hours of scheduled use on the existing grass field, they used the bogus figure from the sales brochure: 25 hours per week, 25 weeks per year. We already know 25 weeks of use per year is wrong, because elsewhere in the staff report, our actual downtime was documentented as "60-90 days," which is a long way from 27 weeks of downtime assumed in the brochure.

      In the brochure, usage jumps to 68 hours per week, 44 weeks per year. This is absurd on its face, as it assumes the fields will be in scheduled use 10 hours per day, seven days per week. The turf company has to use ridiculous numbers to make the claim that turf is cheaper than grass per hour of play.

      But staff didn't stop there. No. They also cut and pasted direct financial information from the brochure where we have actual data from our own experience.

      Instead of using our actual costs for installing and maintaining natural grass at LM (or any other grass field in town), they copied and pasted again from the sales brochure. According to the brochure, the cost to install and maintain a natural grass field for 10 years is $570K. The same figure for artificial turf is $750, or 32% more. these figures are riddled with questionable assumptions that favor artificial turf, but what happens after 10 years? With a natural grass field, you keep maintaining it. With a turf field, you spend another million dollars to rip it out and replace it. Their financial analysis conveniently ends at the 10 year mark to avoid modeling that reality.

      If staff had the curiosity to google "natural grass vs. artificial turf" and had the energy to scroll down two or three entries, they would have found this news article on exactly how misleading the financial analysis of turf manufacturers is, and how taxpayers have realized too late the financial reality: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2014/09/28/how-taxpayers-get-fooled-on-the-cost-of-an-artificial-turf-field/

      You can see for yourself the citing and pasting.

      Here's a link to the staff report:
      http://encinitas.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1132&meta_id=47276

      and this is the FieldTurf "Cost Analysis:"
      http://www.fieldturf.com/es/fieldturf-difference/cost-analysis

      -FP

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    8. FP, thanks for your excellent information and analysis. It's sad that the staff reports for agenda items are misleading. Even when outside contractors aren't hired to provide reports. these kinds of sales brochures put out by special interests are foisted upon us. Can staff do any of its own work? Some of the departments do, but Planning and Parks and Rec seem woefully inept, thanks to poor leadership, "cabinet" directors hired by Gus Vina, who left this city in the lurch.

      Council appeared to get scared, to back down, and wouldn't complete the housecleaning. That's what we need with a new city manager: someone willing to clean house. Did that come up at the meeting with Avery and Associates, to gather public input?

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  17. Get the Leo Mullen weekly play schedule from Lisa Rudloff. Until you get the schedule you have no basis for an analysis. Rudloff provided none of the scheduling information.

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