The Encinitas Taxpayers Association held candidate interviews on September 12, 2010. We ranked each of the candidates based on their responses to our questions, their record, and using position statements found on their websites.
Council Member Barth and candidate Kranz actively participated in the policy discussions. Mayor Dalager refused to participate. He has taken positions in opposition to the ETA’s recent campaigns regarding deceptive tax increases and development rezoning. We ranked him based on his record.
Candidate Kristin Gaspar has no policy positions on her website. Before she filed as a candidate, she promised to answer our questions after she had filed. Now she has refused to participate in policy discussions under any terms. She earns low marks for being secretive about her perspectives on almost all issues. The ETA is wary of candidates who hide their positions from the voters.
The ETA provides a synopsis of the candidates’ positions so voters can develop their own rankings. ETA rankings are provided as a point of reference for citizens.
We will print any response from the council candidates in full. Candidate responses will be linked on the ETA home page and here in the ETA blog. You can sign up for ETA advisories to get an email notification that candidates have responded.
NCT Pension Forum
Officials with a county watchdog group asked taxpayers Wednesday to contact their city officials and request reform for municipalities' generous pension plans.
EUC Blog Pension Reform Discussion
...SDCTA has lots of resources and papers on their web site, but I'll sum up the presentation here. Encinitas city employees can retire at 55 and get paid essentially a full salary for as long as they live. That is completely out of line with private-sector, real-world benefits. You'd have to build a 401(k) in the millions by the time you're 55 to match that kind of cheese. And that's before we even get into paying for their health care for life. These massive benefits are a huge and growing drain on city resources...
ETA & SDCTA TO HOLD JOINT FORUM ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS
Event Will Be Held at Encinitas Library on April 28 at 6:00 PM
ENCINITAS—The Encinitas Taxpayers Association will host the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) as the SDCTA presents the findings of its watershed report on public employee pensions in San Diego County cities. Residents of Encinitas and other North County cities are encouraged to attend and learn more about the costs of their city’s employee pension obligations.
The presentation will include updated information concerning the state of city pensions gathered since the analysis was first released in the fall of 2009.
Presentation of SDCTA’s “San Diego Pension Plans Phase I: CalPERS-Contracted Municipalities,” the first part of a two-part study analyzing 17 city governments in San Diego County that participate in the California Public Employee Retirement System, including Encinitas.
Wednesday, April 28
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
540 Cornish Drive
JoAnne Golden, Policy Manager for SDCTA. Ms. Golden has a Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University with a specialization in economics and state and local policy. Prior to working at the SDCTA she worked for Schmitz & Associates, a Malibu-based land use consulting firm, and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Council Member Barth attended and gave an overview of the agencies in charge of our drinking water. Mayor Dalager never responded to our requests to speak.
Barth told the ETA:
The SDWD gets around a third of its water from local sources (Lake Hodges).
Barth explained that there were many reasons the SDWD would require greater expenditures. Earthquake retrofitting of infrastructure, a spike in needed maintenance, and increased charges from government agencies that sell us imported water.
Tangentially, Barth suggested that the SDWD might dramatically increase its water self-sufficiency by pumping reclaimed water back to Hodges.
Barth also weighed in on the governance structure of the San Dieguito Water District. Currently, the City Council serves as the SDWD Directors. Because the City and the SDWD often enter into agreements and the council represents both sides, she wants the SDWD governing board to have representatives that are independent from the Council. She suspects the Council might agree to adding two independently elected directors.
The City cannot raise taxes without a vote of the people. The SDWD can raise rates with a vote of City Council Members.
NCT Encinitas residents hear power line debate
Fifty or so residents turned out at a community forum presented by the Encinitas Taxpayers Association to hear presentations from representatives from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and the Utility Consumer Action Network about how the proposed Sunrise Powerlink project will effect their community ---- and more specifically, their utility bill...
Encinitas resident Kathleen Lindermann asked Crider whether she could expect to see a reduction in her utility bill if the power line was built.
“I don’t know,” responded Crider. “There are a lot of forces that go into rates and I can’t tell you that.”
Despite Crider’s evasive answer, Lindermann said she was pleased she attended the forum. “How often do you get people from both sides to talk about an issue like this?” she asked.
Read the full story.