Mayor’s Minute: Winding 2017 down and looking ahead to 2018

As 2017 heads toward a close, elected officials and your town are active winding up several projects.

On Housing

I am led with a town delegation in mid-December to Sacramento to meet up with home regulators to gain clarity on questions linked to changes in state housing laws.

The town will bring voters a brand new long-term home strategy in the 2018 election. We need to be sure we’re currently working with the nation to attain the housing goals of the city inside the lawful requirements. The new home program will provide the development potential . The city has about housing units. Based on state law changes, more of these units have to be on land that is vacant or under-utilized. California is suffering from what’s known as a “housing crisis,” especially for lower-cost housing units. Every town must do its part.

On Saturday, Dec. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Encinitas Senior and Community Center, I’ve scheduled a “Housing Meeting” for the City Council along with also the ad hoc housing task force to discuss in a round table format where new home is best placed in town. We will also hear a presentation on how us affect in Encinitas. Please join us to learn more or provide comments.

On Districting

Following three months of intense discussions about moving from citywide to district elections, we have adopted a final election map.

State legislation is written to permit authorities the chance to proceed after receiving notice of a potential lawsuit from a potential plaintiff under the California Voting Rights Act if the city completes the process and adheres to conditions.

As your mayor, I make many decisions based upon concern for the budget of the city along with my commitment to a use of public money. Avoiding this pricey litigation is governance. While there are conditions that require battling it out in court, this isn’t one of them. I believe we would not be doing our jobs serving you, the public, when we got the town embroiled in a suit because we had been attempting to be the test case in a bid to avoid electing councilmembers by district, that can be a valid governance model used successfully in dozens of California cities.

There are times once we need to recognize the dominance of state regulation over law, evaluate chances of existing, the legal landscape case history and place the town to avoid wasting money.

There is. District elections permit you to get your own City Council representative that represents about 15,000 Encinitans.

In 2018, residents that reside in District 3 (which comprises Cardiff and parts of mid-Encinitas and is currently represented by Councilmember Mark Muir) and District 4 (which comprises Olivenhain and parts of New Encinitas and is currently represented by Councilmember Joe Mosca) will vote in that district’s election. If you reside in Districts 1 or two, including parts of Leucadia, Old Encinitas and New Encinitas, your representatives (Councilmembers Tony Kranz and Tasha Boerner Horvath) are not up for election till 2020 because they both won short term in the past election.

All residents of this city, regardless of district, may vote in the mayor’s race in 2018.

On Habitat for Humanity

We are moving forward for between two and four units of affordable home. This remnant of town property is adjacent to a projected subdivision, along with the construction cost of these homes that are affordable would gain from moving in the same time.

After discussion, the Council agreed it had been possible to structure this transaction as a lease, instead of a present of the land.

Holding on to our land in Encinitas — by coordinating our trades as long-term leases instead of presents or earnings — positions for the future. The amount of land available is adjusted and the price of acquiring land goes up. While many cities may contribute property to Habitat we conserve our flexibility by maintaining it and leasing it. Additionally, a lease allows us to make these housing units affordable instead of having them escalate after 55 Decades, which is the arrangement to market value in perpetuity.      

On the future

In 2018, expect to see movement and hear discussion on these topics: attachment dwelling unitshousing, the homeless, Community Choice Energy, bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, and retirement liability.   Stay tuned!

During this holiday period of gratitude and celebration, I want to say thank you for what all you does to make our community better. Our commitment to the common good is the reflection of our humanity.

I really like our town in the bottom of my heart. I can not wait to see that the progress we can make in 2018.

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear writes a monthly column for The Coast News. She can be reached in cblakespear@encinitasca.gov  

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