The sponsors of the Fletcher Cove Community Center Party Policy Initiative and those opposing the excessive occupancy, frequency and unlimited alcohol outlined in the Initiative can agree on one thing: It
a mess — an expensive one for the taxpayers of Solana Beach who must now fork over $250,000 for the special election triggered by the sponsors of the Voter Initiative. Yet that same small group of sponsors who stood before City Council, demanding that the issue go to a city-wide vote, is desperately trying to turn the tables and blame the City Council for the cost of the special election.
History speaks for itself. In June of 2013, the City Council was faced with a proposal to rent out the Community Center that was excessive and simply not feasible. The proposal demanded two events per weekend with 100 guests and unlimited alcohol. The Coastal Commission weighed in and stated that the City could not set aside public parking in the Distillery Lot for these events. Moreover, an independent traffic study confirmed that there is not enough parking to accommodate parties of more than 50 people. In addition, the City Council had to consider the effects unlimited alcohol at a family park would have on public safety and the character of Solana Beach. The proposal, as outlined, was not feasible due to parking, traffic and safety issues.
The City Council worked hard to find a workable solution — one that would not have such major impacts on our beautiful Fletcher Cove Park and beach. This compromise included fewer people, less frequency and safeguards on alcohol, all in an attempt to reduce parking, traffic, safety and noise problems. Yet despite the fact that City Council established a reasonable Use policy, the sponsors of the Party Policy Initiative continued to push forward with the original policy that was already deemed unworkable. Mr. Golich, a primary sponsor of the Initiative, stood before City Council on Aug. 7, 2013 and delivered an ultimatum, “…we want a decision made by the voters of Solana Beach. We encourage the council to adopt the provisions of the initiative rather than the measures under discussion. Short of that, the Friends will continue with the petition drive.”
Even though the City Council established a policy allowing celebrations such as weddings and anniversary parties with alcohol for a nominal fee, sponsors of the Party Policy Initiative claim it isn’t enough and continue to fight for more. The group hired paid signature gatherers who lied to residents, telling them such things as “the Community Center is closed”; “a couple people who live next door don’t want anyone else to use it”; or “it won’t affect parking because events are only in the evening” — all false statements intended to get people to sign a frivolous initiative. None of those who signed were told it could cost taxpayers $250,000. And Mary Jane Boyd and Tom Golich deliberately turned in the signed petition before Nov. 1 to
they would get their special election.
The sponsors of the Party Policy Initiative demanded a vote by the people. Now they are telling residents that the City Council must adopt their Initiative in order to deter the cost of the special election they, themselves, demanded, orchestrated and deliberately triggered when they submitted the signed petition in late August. Make no mistake, the sponsors of this Initiative
a special election and made sure they got one. They can’t blame anyone for cost but themselves.