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Editorial: Shedding extra light on the election

News outlets often endorse candidates for office that reflect the ownership’s vision of the community. This election season, however, the North Coast Current takes a different approach. As Election Day approaches, the Current offers the following points to ponder as you decide who will best lead the city of Encinitas.

While some of these issues might seem off the beaten path, the Current believes they, too, offer a window into the state of the city as it stands today, for better or worse.

Industrial chic: Over the past year or so, the city has undertaken a program of installing energy-efficient street lighting throughout Encinitas. While the goal of the program is laudable and several cities in the region have taken similar steps, the Current believes city leaders made poor choices in exactly what kind of light to choose. Cities such as Carlsbad and San Diego have chosen to light the night with induction technology – pleasant yet utilitarian. Not Encinitas. The garish, bluish LEDs now being installed are blinding to look at yet appear hazy at street level. Encinitas deserves better than to appear like a massive industrial factory at night. Lots of light but little illumination … something that some voters might argue reflects other aspects of city government.

The quiet megastore: In an era when local business leaders have tried to get residents to “Buy Local-E,” the Everywhere, USA influx of megastores and chain outlets runs counter to a core small-town feel in Encinitas that’s fading ever faster. People are buying locally, all right. Just not at the stores owned and operated by the good people of Encinitas and its neighbors. There were no screaming hordes of protesters or special elections for the Encinitas Walmart. The North Coast Current doesn’t intend to beat on Walmart as a megabusiness. But must there be one in practically every community? Can’t Encinitas think outside of the big box? Some have argued that the nature of the store’s appearance was thanks to the quiet efforts of city leadership to get the store located in an out-of-place corner that was not originally designed for the likes of such a massive outlet.

Speaking of quiet: The residents of Crest Drive were anything but quiet when it came to protecting the character of their classic stretch of the community. When residents found out that the city – in a seemingly “oh, by the way” fashion, as some observed – intended to pave over historic trees and a rural setting with concrete, they rallied to protect their neighborhood. To the city’s credit, leaders listened and put a stop to the project. But like the Walmart installation and a controversial General Plan update process, many in the community took note of a perceived lack of disclosure when it came to the scope of the project and timing.

Seat of powerlessness: The North Coast Current is not taking a position on a ballot measure asking voters to elect a mayor for Encinitas. However, it’s worth noting that Councilwoman Teresa Barth, under the current system of a council-appointed mayor, hasn’t been selected for a yearlong term by her colleagues. It’s been insinuated that the lack of support for her has been related to her positions running counter to the council majority. Fair accusations or not, the purpose of a yearlong, rotational mayor’s post should be to allow all council members the opportunity to serve. The current setup has its merits, but favoritism isn’t one of them, no matter what City Council pact holds the majority at the time.

Issues galore: The Current notes that there are plenty of other issues to cover, from city pensions to the General Plan. We urge you, the voter, to be engaged and informed about the issues that matter most to you. Read the North Coast Current’s candidate overview in which contenders explain – from detailed to dismissive, to missing entirely – some of their positions and outlooks for Encinitas. And don’t just read our coverage. Continue reading all local media, including our community competitors. If there’s ever a time of the year where community media variety matters, it’s election season. A variety of information will help you make a decision you can be certain of, no matter your political outlook.

Editorials solely represent the opinions of North Coast Current ownership

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Editorial: Shedding extra light on the election