Kudos to the Solana Beach City Council members who spoke out at the Oct. 9 City Council meeting and exposed the truth about the origins of the Party Policy Group, the small group that forced the special election and the individuals that are funding the group’s campaign.
I have attended numerous council meetings over the last two years and listened carefully to the pros and cons of renting out the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC) for private parties. At those meetings, I watched members of the party policy group repeatedly demand that their specific policy be adopted by our City Council. After listening to all sides, scrutinizing city laws and reviewing environmental studies, the City Council developed a use policy for private parties at FCCC. The City Council’s policy can be amended if necessary. Unwilling to compromise, the Party Policy Group has stubbornly refused to accept anything short of their own version of a party policy, even though studies proved that it will have negative impacts on the Fletcher Cove area.
The Party Policy group has repeatedly commented at council meetings and in the press that they want the people to vote on their specific policy, so they filed for an initiative. The initiative sponsors and their paid signature gatherers used misinformation and deceptive tactics to get voters to sign petitions to force a special election. And now, with the special election looming, the group’s leader says they never wanted a special election and instead they want the council to adopt their policy outright! This is just more double-talk from the group that refuses to accept the blame for causing the costly special election. The council made it clear that adopting the initiative in order to sidestep the costs of a special election will set the party policy rules in stone. The council won’t have the authority to make changes to the policy, even if there are problems. The means to modify the initiative would be through an election. Further, it will set a terrible precedent for others to use the threat of a special election to force the council to meet their demands.
Why did the group’s financier hire an out-of-town election attorney to find ways around disclosing campaign donations and expenditures? Someone paid for the initiative filing fees, the signature gatherers and the slick mailer recently sent out on behalf of the Party Policy Group. Why the lack of transparency over a party policy? There is obviously more at stake for some members of the Party Policy Group, and as several council members implied, it’s a power play. Please get all the facts before you take a firm position on this issue. There is more going on than meets the eye.
I applaud our City Council for boldly calling out the deceptive tactics being used by the group that forced this special election on our city.