Who is the philanthropist backing Prop B?
The U-T identified Peter House as the philanthropist who was the major contributor to the Fletcher Cove Community Center and who underwrote the creation of Overlook Park south of the community center. In addition to those contributions, he has also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city of Solana Beach for various other projects, including Rail Trail enhancements, public art, holiday lighting, and database and infrastructure improvements at City Hall itself, among other gifts. Over the last decade, all those contributions were accepted without complaint from the City Council.
Yes, House did contribute to the group who supports “Yes” on Prop B. A large percentage of the money was used to pay for the required legal oversight, as well as the printing of the petitions for the original voter initiative.
Citizens need to be reminded that his support only came after the City Council “indefinitely tabled” any further discussion of citizen rental of the center. Council’s very public “decision to avoid a decision” was not acceptable to a large number of citizens. Because the council walked away from its civic responsibility, there was no other recourse but to begin an Initiative petition.
The “Yes” proponents knew that House’s sole interest in the Fletcher Cove Community Center was to make it available for reasonable use by residents of Solana Beach based on a reasonable city permitting process.
Isn’t it sad to know that at the core of all the arguments of the “No” group — and now reflected in the city’s use policy as well — is the clear premise that Solana Beach citizens cannot be trusted to rent the community center because citizens (meaning all the rest of us) are basically boorish and irresponsible people interested only in getting drunk, being loud, trashing the neighborhood around the center and creating general havoc on the streets.
Unlike the opinion that the “No” folks have of Solana Beach citizens, House deeply believes in the basic common sense, the fundamental decency and the generous good will and neighborliness of our Solana Beach citizens toward each other.
Thank you, House, for your abiding respect for the citizens of Solana Beach and for supporting our “Yes” on B efforts.