If you’re a Solana Beach taxpayer, you may be surprised to learn that the Fletcher Cove party policy Initiative comes with a $250,000 price tag for a special election. That’s right, a small group is using the Initiative process in an attempt to override the City’s new compromise policy for private rentals at the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC). You may also be surprised to learn that the Initiative sponsors had up to 180 days to turn their petition signatures in to the City. Submitting their signatures on or after Dec. 1 would have allowed the City to put the sponsors’ party policy Initiative on the June primary ballot at a fraction of the cost. Instead, the sponsors chose to submit their signatures on Aug. 27 and purposely force the city to spend at least $250,000 to hold a special election — all in an effort to inflate the City’s new policy by doubling the number of guests, quadrupling the frequency and allowing unlimited alcohol to be served at FCCC private parties. $250,000 is quite a price tag for a party policy.
The Initiative sponsors’ insistence that the City adopt their party policy without an election is a typical example of their unwavering “my way or the highway” stance. Further, why would the City adopt their Initiative knowing that signatures were gathered under false pretenses? It’s become clear that many of the petition signers were unaware the petition could trigger a special election, let alone cost the City $250,000 and that, if enacted, the Initiative party policy could not be modified without another election.
Taking all sides of the issue into consideration the City Council approved a reasonable and workable policy that allows private parties every other weekend at the FCCC for 50 guests with limited beer and wine. On the flip side, the sponsors’ party policy Initiative disregards the impacts on parking, traffic and safety for all Solana Beach residents and visitors to the beach, parks, restaurants and shops in the Fletcher Cove area.
The Initiative sponsors’ strong-arm tactics to force a special election, combined with their refusal to give the City’s rental policy a chance to work, proves they want to dictate to the rest of us exactly how the Fletcher Cove Community Center should be regulated. Let’s give the City’s policy a chance.