Solana Beach Council meeting a disappointment

I am a person who has been an active participant in my local government since I was young. I have been on boards and elected to planning groups governing land use since community planning became an issue. I served eight years on Uptown Planners, covering Hillcrest and Mission Hills in the late ‘60s. After moving to Solana Beach, I served eight years on the first duly elected San Dieguito Citizens Planning Group in the mid-’70s.

I attended endless Board of Supervisors meetings before we became a city. As a former city councilwoman on our first council, I know how hard it is to sit and listen to people complain about the issues, but nobody makes you take this job and people expect you to listen to both sides with an open mind.

The Oct. 9 meeting was a disgrace to our city. Council members accused the good citizens of evil intent for exercising their constitutional right to petition their government. Two members of the council named names, calling supporters of reasonable use of the center liars, saying they donated time and money with the intent to have rowdy parties with unlimited alcohol and for a political power grab. Their real intent in using their own money to circulate a petition was that the council couldn’t or wouldn’t make a decision on their own that might upset the Fletcher Cove Community Center’s new neighbors. The neighbors moved there long after the center was located there. Do they believe that only people wealthy enough to live right above the beach have a right to see a sunset and toast the bride and groom at a small wedding? Were the people who managed and donated to your campaigns getting their way from you?

It’s OK to come in and compliment this council for the good things they have done, but don’t ever disagree with them. As one of their supporters pointed out, they are intelligent people with careers and degrees. I only wish that they all had a degree of common sense. While I served on our first council, I sometimes completely changed my mind on issues after listening to testimony — isn’t that what a hearing is for, to listen? No comments or show of attention were ever made to those testifying in support of reasonable rules. Opponents to reasonable rules always got the last word with last minute speaker slips turned in. Then, when the council closed the public comment period, members attacked and slandered good citizens for their sincere efforts. They show a horrible example of unequal treatment under the law, in my opinion, and people less tough than I will hesitate to express an opinion or appear before them.

Celine Olson

Solana Beach