Letters to the editor (Sept. 30): Reject Measure T
Encinitans, do not be fooled by city propaganda when you vote on Measure T. This deliberately convoluted Ballot Measure fits the definition of a pig in a poke. Rewriting the city’s and your General Plan and Zoning Code in their entirety is not required by state law as claimed and is indeed outside of state jurisdiction. These comprehensive changes are an unwarranted mixed bag violating your sacred constitutional documents. You should never be asked to approve or deny such collective changes. Voting for them does not comply with your 2012 Right to Vote Initiative (Prop. A). In truth, Measure T and its associated changes are meant to destroy Proposition A. They are meant to disenfranchise you from ever voting on individual land use changes again in the future.
This ballot measure transfers power for making land use decisions to unelected city staff members. Please, do not give them carte blanche to ruin your quality of life and your community character. Measure T would not protect them as claimed.
This measure, masquerading as At Home Encinitas, is proclaimed to be a state-mandated Housing Element Update (HEU) for providing affordable homes. Approval, however, will not guarantee that a single affordable low-income housing unit will actually be built here.
Instead, the HEU creates new high-density zones throughout your city with over 30 housing units per acre. It will create up to 2,604 new housing units throughout the city. It will permit mixed commercial and residential buildings of four to five stories with new height limits up to 45 feet. It will cause citywide traffic congestions and parking problems by creating up to 26,040 new daily car trips.
This HEU does not benefit residents, and certainly not low-income people. It will solely provide huge new profit-driven opportunities for the building industry. Do not be intimidated by chicken-livered arguments that Measure T will protect the city from future lawsuits. Money hungry developers and the building industry will keep suing the city for bigger structures and higher housing density, whether Measure T passes or not. Sacramento does not have the power to change existing municipal laws. Pressure for higher density and more affordable housing can be accommodated through variances on individual housing projects, as is already done by the city under the state’s housing density bonus provisions. Giving in to threats of lawsuits is selling out your quality of life.
Do not let it happen. Reject urbanization of our beach town atmosphere. Reject Measure T.
Dietmar Rothe, Ph.D.
MiraCosta College is possessed by greed
Sadly “our MiraCosta College” has succumbed to the same greed that is afflicting schools throughout the state and driving a wedge between education and its constituents. People have trusted these institutions with their children and their pocket books, but unfortunately this relationship is becoming strained, due to the self-serving practices of the school bond industry and certain ambitious administrators. Instead of asking for the dollars actually needed, many schools are now asking for the maximum amount in bonds that the law will allow. These administrators are encouraged to “shoot for the moon” since only 55 percent of the vote is required to approve a school bond instead of the traditional 66.6. As a result, 90 percent of all school bonds now pass, whether they are needed or not. The attitude appears to be “if the electorate is willing to give away tax dollars, why not take as much as possible.”
The MiraCosta $455 million bond request, Measure MM, is 23 times more than the system-wide California Community College Trustees included in its 5-year plan for MiraCosta and 10 times more than even what MiraCosta told the system trustees it needed just last year.
This request for more tax dollars comes at a time when facility needs are declining because of flat enrollment and 40 percent of all of MiraCosta’s credits are now being granted for online courses.
MiraCosta is a wealthy district. It receives more each year in local property taxes and other income than required to operate its educational programs and with state aid, to fund its ongoing facilities needs. Over the years, taxpayers have provided MiraCosta more than 70 buildings. About half, have been constructed in the past 40 years.
Now, it appears that those in power want to reconfigure the three campuses. They want $455 million of your money to tear down many very expensive, fully functional buildings and to replace them with new ones. Because the $455 million is beyond MiraCosta’s borrowing and state support limits, it is jumping on the bond market band wagon and hoping voters will blindly pass its unsupported Measure MM request.
MiraCosta included language in this bond proposal that will allow it to use the $455 million for whatever construction projects it wants, where it wants and when it wants. Consequently, if voters approve the bond they will not be assured that everything proposed will ever be built.
While additional facilities may be desired, they appear to be within the capability of the existing MiraCosta budget. No new bonds/taxes are required.
Please stop the greed. Vote no on MiraCosta Collage Measure MM.
President, Cardiff Taxpayers Association
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