LETTER: Costs justified for safe and legal beach access, rail upgrade

In a letter to the editor (“Hypocrisy on Encinitas City Council?” Feb. 4), a resident accused me of a double standard in not considering repair and replacement expenses for a rail crossing in Cardiff, while voting against artificial turf at Leo Mullen sports park for reasons he assumed were the absence of budgeting for repair and replacement.

I had multiple concerns about the turf project, including cost, time schedule relative to grant opportunities, and absence of enough information about the type of materials and health and safety considerations. With respect to the rail crossing, repair and replacement requirements are completely different than artificial turf, which has a design life of 8-10 years, and thus is known to require replacement in that time period. Furthermore, I do prioritize the rail crossing above spending over $1 million on one sports field serving one sports group.

I believe all Council members strive to be fiscally responsible, and we each vote based on our perceived priorities for the community. Safe and legal access to the beach as part of an overall upgrade to the rail corridor, which is being double tracked and will have increased frequency of trains, to me, is a well-justified investment in improved quality of life and public safety for Encinitas.

Lisa Shaffer
Deputy Mayor
City of Encinitas

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