At the behest of concerned citizens, Encinitas City Council will examine safety concerns associated with the on a future agenda.
“Even though it’s shut down right at this point in time, we’re in great danger with the amount of nuclear fuel sitting there,” resident Harold Johnston said.
Some residents questioned whether Encinitas has an adequate evacuation plan in place should San Onofre have problems; several brought up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station disaster.
Councilman Mark Muir asked whether the city could send a letter of concern to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state legislators. Because the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station wasn't on the agenda, City Attorney Glenn Sabine said the city could be directed to send the letter at a future city council meeting.
Council members also voted unanimously to amend how the city council records public comments.
Due to inconsistencies in recorded minutes over the years, meetings will now note whether speakers were for or against agenda items. The policy for oral communications remained largely unchanged. Oral communications will still include brief, one-line sentences such as: "John Doe spoke regarding the power plant."
Residents have argued the city’s current method of recording citizens who speak at city council meetings is not descriptive enough. Lisa Shaffer, for example, believes that minutes from a previous city council meeting were so vague that they did not accurately reflect what she spoke about. She asked city staff to update the minutes.
Video of specific parts of past city council meetings can be viewed online on the city's website. But resident Donna Westbrook said minutes of council meetings are still important.
“Minutes, by the way, when they go to other agencies, that’s what goes — it’s not the video,” Westbrook said.
Several residents also urged city council to extend oral communications by 15 minutes. During oral communications, five speakers at the start of city council meetings are each allotted three minutes to discuss items that may or may not be on the agenda. Additional speakers have to wait until the end of the city council meeting, often up to two hours, to speak to council members.
While it wasn’t voted on, Mayor Jerome Stocks and council members Muir and James Bond said they opposed setting aside additional time for oral communications.
Bond said an added 15 minutes for oral communications could take away time from agenda items, which he called “the people’s business.”
Also of note: council members voted to purchase a new fire engine for $557,000. The council agreed to prepay for the fire engine, which saved an estimated $35,000.