Thursday, July 29, 2021

Coast News questions $11 million payout to council crony

 Coast News:

Former city officials are questioning the roles of Mayor Catherine Blakespear and other members of the Encinitas City Council after the city awarded a local cycling advocate an $11 million claim settlement following a bicycle accident in Leucadia in 2018.

After suffering catastrophic injuries, Roberta Walker — well known to Blakespear and Councilmembers Tony Kranz and Kellie Shay Hinze years before they took office — received the largest claim settlement in the city’s municipal history, according to Jace Schwarm, the city’s risk department manager.

Blakespear, Kranz and the late Jody Hubbard voted 3-0 in favor of the settlement, according to the city clerk.

Hinze, a close personal friend of Walker, was the only council member to recuse herself from any meetings, votes and discussions on the matter citing a “common law conflict.”

But critics suggest the eight-figure settlement was an example of blatant cronyism, a violation of their oaths of office and possibly an illegal gift of public funds.

Make Olivenhain Carlsbad Again!

From the Inbox:

Since the topic of Community Character seems to be on everyone's mind at the moment, I wanted to share the document that the Desert Rose developers hired out and that Marco presented at Planning Commission on community character. This has a map that shows they used Carlsbad standards to squeeze more units onto an Encinitas property. Page 9 shows the map they used to make their claim of community character instead of using the General Plan.

While Desert Rose is adjacent to La Costa (Carlsbad) suburbia as the map shows, the suburbs are neither visible nor accessable by road from the rural neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Affordable unit sells to La Jolla LLC

From the Inbox:

Attached is the paperwork for Marco's VERY low income home in the Desert Rose/Loden Development. Who knew that a LaJolla LLC could buy it for $111, 000? Marco Gonzalez was the Desert Rose "entitlement" attorney. Note that the City Manager signed off on this when it is usually the Planning Director who approves.

City docs.

Nice deal. The rent covers the carrying cost and when the deed restriction expires you've got a property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Was this a competitive bidding situation?

Friday, July 9, 2021

City prudes censor artist

 Coast News:

Months after San Diego artist Elena Karavodin received the exciting news that the City of Encinitas wanted to showcase her oil paintings for a public display, she was heartbroken to learn the city cited 11 of her artworks for obscenity and removed them from the exhibition.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Karavodin, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Encinitas, was invited by Brigid Parsons, the city’s former art program assistant, to submit some examples of her work to be considered for a display in one of the city’s public buildings.

“They gave me a call back and let me know they wanted my stuff to be hung and that made me really happy,” Karavodin told The Coast News. “I had submitted some examples of my work to them and also a link to my website so that they were able to get a full feel for my style and vibe.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Opinion: Marco’s sister used fake data to smash gig economy

 Coast News opinion:

A former union organizer turned legislator in District 80, Gonzalez has stated repeatedly that the state of California loses $7 billion a year in payroll tax revenues because of independent contractors.

As it turns out, her claim is without evidence and has no basis in fact, according to William Hamm, managing director of Berkeley Research Group’s San Francisco Bay Area office. His team helped lead a study beginning in 2019 about the fiscal impact of independent contracting in California.