On Saturday evening, Deputy Mayor Terry Gaasterland sent out an eblast (paid for by the Dave Druker/Tracy Martinez campaigns) which used violent imagery to make a series of false allegations against me, and to deflect blame from herself and Councilmember Druker for the City’s current affordable housing crisis. Terry falsely claims that I support upzoning the North Bluff and South Bluff (Staver) properties to 20 units per acre, to deflect from the votes she and Dave Druker cast that in fact increase the risk that these bluff properties will have to be upzoned.
She casts me as “pro-development” even though the Sierra Club, the leading defender of our environment for over 120 years, has endorsed me (and Glenn Warren), and has declined to endorse Druker or Martinez.
Her claims are ludicrous:
1. The North Bluff and Staver Properties are at higher risk of being upzoned because Druker and Gaasterland, with the support of Martinez, cast votes – twice – that blocked the Council from bringing the City into compliance with State law. Those votes, blocking the amendment required by our Housing Element to allow residential use in the North Commercial zone, put us in violation of State law, and will result in penalty units that put North Bluff and Staver at greater risk. Those votes put us at immediate risk not only of large fines, lawsuits, and other penalties, but of loss of local control over our zoning. How are we supposed to preserve our Community Plan if we don’t have control over our own zoning?
2. The City of Del Mar made a binding commitment to the State over 7 years ago to allow residential development in the North Commercial Zone. Druker has been on the Council for the past 4 years, and Gaasterland for the past two. If they had alternatives in mind, why have they waited until the 11th hour – after the State warned us that inaction by the Council in September would put us in jeopardy of penalties – to suggest them? More importantly, why are they ignoring the unanimous opinions of the City professional staff and the Planning Commission that their suggested alternatives do not meet State law and are inadequate to bring us into compliance?
3. Gaasterland, Druker and Martinez have begun to spread the unfounded lie that I am captive of developers from whom I have accepted campaign contributions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The identities of my campaign contributors are a matter of public record, and none of them are developers involved in any commercial projects in Del Mar. In fact, with 4 exceptions, all of my contributors are full-time residents of Del Mar. In contrast, 20% to 30% of the money raised by Druker and Martinez has come from non-residents. Why are people who don’t even live in Del Mar so interested in our politics, or in seeing Druker and Martinez elected?
This is just the latest instance in which Councilmembers Druker and Gaasterland have refused to take responsibility for their own failings, to the point of blaming people like me who have never even served on the Council. This is not the only crisis our community is currently facing. On August 28, the NCTD filed a petition with the Federal Surface Transportation Board to proceed with fencing the train tracks, and to prevent the train tracks from ever being moved off the bluffs. The City did not learn of this action until late August, even though Druker and/or Gaasterland have been Del Mar’s representatives to the NCTD Board for the past four years. Whose fault is it that they didn’t know the NCTD Board was preparing to take this action, if not theirs?
When Dave Druker, Terry Gaasterland and Tracy Martinez cast me as an enemy of Del Mar, they are attacking a 20-year resident, an 8-year officer of the Del Mar Foundation, and a member of the City’s Finance Committee for the past 5 years. They are attacking a candidate who, unlike them, has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. I have also been endorsed by the Torrey Pines Democratic Club, the San Diego County Democratic Party, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Southwest.
Terry, Dave and Tracy attacked not only me, but also all of my supporters, a group that includes prominent opponents of Measure G, as well as supporters; Sierra Club members; and people across a wide spectrum of views. Terry, Dave and Tracy are attacking a proven bridge-builder with the image of a ticking time bomb. Is this what we accept as political discourse in Del Mar?
It is time to reject the politics of divisiveness, demonization and fear mongering. Let’s send a message to Dave, Terry and Tracy that we won’t sink to their level of deception and be susceptible to their dissemination of misinformation, nor will we condone the use of violent imagery to incite fear-based voting. Let’s all use our votes to tell them that we’re better than that.
If you have any concerns or questions about my positions, please call me at 858-342-4656. Join me in embracing a positive, constructive dialogue for the future of our little slice of paradise.