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Letter to the Editor: A Response to Commentary on the Selection of Mayor in Encinitas

Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks adds his two cents.

Editor’s Note: The following is a Letter to the Editor written by Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks. 

A response to: The Letter to the Editor written by Encinitas City Councilwoman Teresa Barth.

Barth writes: “I have been passed over for the position of Deputy Mayor or Mayor for three years and been denied a position to affect change or implement any creative solutions unexplored by the majority.”

This is completely false and a little bit sad. Ms. Barth is exhibiting a sense of self-entitlement for all to see, but in fact the law of the land in Encinitas states that “the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected by a majority of their peers.” Nothing further. There is no such thing as being “passed over.”

However, your City Council recently changed the system to place the voters in charge of who becomes Mayor. Ms. Barth voted against giving you that right, and she is so angry that she didn’t get her way, she published her letter to the editor about it.

This policy change is about good public policy, not personalities; but Ms. Barth is stomping her foot in objection to you being in control because she wants to be and isn’t.

Additionally, any two Council Member can place any item on a future agenda in Encinitas, so all Ms. Barth needs is one other City Council Member to agree and an item she finds to have merit will be agendized, and in fact many items have been agendized at her suggestion. 

Barth writes: “I have been put into an unwholesome place, marginalized and disrespected. It poisons all discussions.” 

Well, I must say that if that’s where she feels she is, she got there with her own behavior by hurling false accusations, insulting her peers, as with her editorial published here, causing the city to spend thousands of dollars investigating those false accusations, and in general having a very caustic attitude toward her Council Peers. I agree that many discussions have been a bit “poisoned”, but by Ms. Barth, not the balance of the city council. 

Ms. Barth says now that she is proud to be a stone thrower, and also treated with courtesy. Frankly, in the real world if one wishes to receive professional courtesy and civil behavior, one exhibits the same. Ms. Barth has made a practice of not doing so and most adults would expect the same in return. Again, her sense of self-entitlement is astounding.

In her editorial she goes on a bit more actually making my earlier points about her lack of civil behavior and professional courtesy all too clearly, but I will say that Ms. Barth has been and continues to be petty and rude, and did duck hard votes (fire station in Cardiff) as well as pander to a group of upset mobile home owners by voting in an irrational way to gain their support, then actually say directly to Dan Dalager and me “I knew you guys would vote the right way.” And that is not leadership.

Barth writes: “Yet at last Wednesday's council meeting my colleagues pretended that the process was 'broken & needed to be fixed,' a bizarre statement considering they broke it. They have plans, I’m not included and neither is the public.”

Again, Narcissism and self entitlement in full bloom. The action the City Council took without Ms. Barth’s support actually says the VOTERS shall choose the Mayor based on vote count. The public shall now be completely in charge. This is not about Ms. Barth, regardless of her inability to accept that fact.

Ms. Barth, an incumbent, failed to garner the most votes against an unknown challenger in 2010 and is now having a very public pity part. And that’s a shame. But this policy change is a good one for our city, and is a logical step to take Encinitas forward as a maturing municipality to provide predictable rational Mayoral leadership, and eventually have a directly elected Mayor as we should. 

On a further note, Our City has important business to attend to such as some very tough labor negotiations, decisions about budgeting, and decisions about capital projects to be made. Having Council Member Barth write and publish a poison-pen editorial about not getting her way is an annoying distraction and further evidence of her being ill-suited for a leadership role and confirming past City Council Mayoral appointment decisions.

Jerome Stocks, Mayor, City of Encinitas.

If you have a Letter to the Editor that you would like to submit, please email it to Marlena.Medford@Patch.com

juerosteve February 20, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Jerome,you are delusional at best and devious at worst.Did you not see the video of Mr Bond chastising Dan Dalager for even thinking about not following tradition in the method of choosing the next Mayor? Do you think we forgot that recinding the rules for bringing items before council was recinding YOUR previous rule? So Mrs Barth is ticked off? Yes because you and your slim majority of slimey cohorts has violated the city by making a mockery of the democratic process. You think that by moving the goal posts of the Mayoral selection process that you're now some sort of saint and pillar of virtue? You make me sick to my stomach. Please refrain from patting your self on the back while your dirty hand has barely left the cookie jar. I will be campaigning against you next election and i believe I will have lots of company
steve February 20, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Jerome, Please do this City and the citizens a favor and don't run again for council. You've done enough damage and you are an embarrassment.
Carolyn Cope February 20, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Seriously Mr. Stocks do you really think the citizens of Encinitas are that stupid? We saw, we heard and we will respond in November. You just dug yourself a deeper hole.
steve February 20, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Jerome states "Our City has important business to attend to such as some very tough labor negotiations, decisions about budgeting" I'm not sure what was so tough about giving a 12% pay increase to city employees in these economic times. Most likely granting this raise will seal union support for next years election. See the link below and find out what city workers made in 2010. http://encinitasundercover.blogspot.com/2012/02/firefighters-get-four-more-years-of.html
encinitasyouneedus February 20, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Hubris thy name is Stocks. He simply can't stop himself. I'll join in the chorus, "keep talking, Jerome." Not surprising why he and his owners pulled in the smiling one in shiny blouses who reads from their scripts. He is increasingly unable to keep the gloating, mocking and sneering in check.
Jeanette Shire February 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Read the comments Jerome, no one is buying your "lets fool the public tap dance". I think what got me was your comment about being the "only grownup in the room" to concerned citizens speaking before the council. Many communities do not have citizens that take the time to come and address their city council. I am sure you would prefer that we do not do this but your arrogant and demeaning attitude toward the people you represent and the people you work with is unworthy of a city council member. The fact that Teresa Barth has the guts to speak out against you and your handpicked pals only goes to show her worth. No amount of fancy justification can cover up the fact that you are really not qualified for this position.
Jerry Waddle February 20, 2012 at 06:30 PM
As long as the monied special interests continue to buy influence with their support of easily accessible candidates we will have office holders like Stocks and his ilk. This is the same reason we end up with people like Horn, Issa and Bilbray. These are the philosophical 1%'ers who only give lip service to serving the public while their back room deals seal the fate of our community and country. Until the progressive element of our society reaches a voting majority we will continue to have these destructive elements holding powerful positions in our community, county and country. These "bought and paid for" office holders are there because they were elected by the voters. We might learn some lessons from nearby Solana Beach, a small town that seems to be under the control of a population that has the best interests of the community in mind instead of the developers, realtors and big business. The power rests in the hands of the people. All we need to do is to use it constructively. Be sure you vote and get your friends and neighbors to vote. If you don't vote you can't complain about the office holders.
Lynn Marr February 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I agree and empathize with all of the comments made here, and with Teresa Barth's letter. Jerome Stocks, because he gets a two year term as director at SANDAG and NCTD, has decided that we SHALL have two year terms for mayor now, too, in Encinitas. But that was NOT on the agenda. The agenda only stated there was to be discussion and possible direction to staff. Mr. Stocks made his belated second substitute motion AFTER the public discussion was closed. He himself (confusingly) called the vote an "interim policy." There was no real staff report on the agenda item . . . We need a more accurate estimate of the cost of voting on whether or not we will have an elected mayor, and the length of that term. NO OTHER CITY uses this method of selecting a mayor. With this method someone with a lot of PAC money behind her, can use the influence of development supporters and professional associations to blanket the community with misleading campaign materials, and because many DO NOT FOLLOW CITY POLITICS, can essentially buy the vote. I feel someone should notify the DA that the Brown Act has not been followed, once again, this time in reference to properly agendizing such an important issue for ACTION, that is a binding vote, by Council. The public was SHUT OUT of the discussion of a two year term. That has never been the tradition. The tradition was, on an HONOR SYSTEM, to allow everyone, possible, on Council to serve one year as Mayor. Honor, sadly, has been absent.
Lynn Marr February 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The vote by Council Majority for a two year term does not have legal effect, as it was not properly agendized. To change Encinitas Municipal Code, the proposed new ordinance would have had to been PLACED ON THE AGENDA, with a full staff report. So the vote was truly only to GIVE STAFF DIRECTION to come back to Council with a full report, including the exact wording of the new ordinance. In order to become " a done deal" this ordinance would also require a second reading. To answer Cyrus' question, a law is NOT considered retroactive, unless the law specifically spells out that the "legislators" intend that to be the case. Jerome states "there is no such thing as being passed over." This is blatantly false, and he knows it. He has so much gall in thinking that ANYONE will swallow his distortions and twisted logic. The City was NEVER "forced to spend thousands of dollars investigating false accusations." Our City Attorney could have EASILY provided his legal opinion, which is his job, that Teresa Barth is not considered a City employee, and thus her charges had no standing. Because a judge never ruled on this, doesn't mean that she had no standing to bring forward her issues. In fact NO INVESTIGATION was ever done on the MERIT of the charges, and NO JUDGE EVER RULED ON THE MERIT of them, as no lawsuit was ever filed. What is obvious is that Jerome Stocks has used the issue to divide Council, to chastise Teresa Barth, repeatedly, to play politics at their worst.
Sally Pla February 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I'm a new Encinitas resident and know next to nothing about our local politics. Well, now, I know something. Any mayor who is insecure enough -- and who has the time enough -- to pen a lengthy personal diatribe such as this, cannot have his town's overall best interests at heart. Petty, public squabbles in the local news reflect poorly on all of Encinitas -- not just the mayoral office. Control your team, and control yourself, sir. If we are to be an enlightened city we need enlightened, professional, mature leadership capable of positive communication. I am looking forward to those public mayoral elections soon.
david smith February 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Jerome It appears your missing the point here. The city of Encinitas has a five member elected council. In this council each member in this council is to share an equal amount of authority and responsibility, in managing our government. When a council member holds the mayor position, they possess an extra amount of authority. They have a significantly more control over the city council agenda, and political appointments. In order to manage this imbalance there has been an established practice and professional courtesy of an equal mayor rotation in our city, giving each council member an equal forum to represent the citizens as they see fit, other wise known as a balance of power or a check and balance. This is a founding principal of our country and is normally practiced in all levels of government. Council Member Barth’s point here is not “exhibiting a sense of self-entitlement for all to see”. She is appropriately bringing attention to a practice of gross neglect of our council majority, and the citizens that support Council Member Barth and voted for her are being unconstitutionally silenced. The standing protest at your appointment to mayor is deafening call to you that you are missing the mark.
Lynn Marr February 20, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I worked with Bob Bonde, through the North Coast Coalition to Incorporate Encinitas. It's sad to see how this has played out, with developers & their sycophants often seemingly in charge. When submitting paperwork for the ballot proposal, for incorporation, we filed a financial report, which I inputted on an old Kaypro Computer. We used Solana Beach's financial report as our model. I also feel that Solana Beach has retained its small town character, and the integrity of it's public officers. I truly feel that the majority on Encinitas Council has relied on the apathy or disinterest of much of the voting public. When people are uniformed, they often just vote for someone who "sounds good," like Agent 007, "James Bond," (who changed his name, probably for that very reason) or someone who looks good, someone who has been compared to a Barbie Doll. People who do "know the score," become disillusioned and sometimes discouraged to the point of leaving town. I am so grateful for activists and concerned citizens that don't give up. We can can tell our friends, distribute campaign materials for those candidates who come to Council Meetings and speak out, who do have integrity, foresight and compassion, like Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz. Jerome Stocks, by his own words and actions has shown himself to be egotistical and narcissistic. His and Bonds' robo calls fully supported discredited Dan Dalager, voted out & convicted of conflict of interest.
Barth Fan February 21, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Thank you Teresa! The only way to fight a bully is to push back! And thank you for displaying the sign on the dias that we crafted for you entitled "Don't let the bast**** get you down." We need someone on our side who says what they really think and is willing to get their hands dirty, just like the Council Majority. You truly make us proud! Should we occupy City Hall again, bang on the council chamber doors, and get thrown out, just like we did during Mark Muir's appointment to the Council? Anyone up for next week?
jennifer brinley February 21, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Mr. Stocks, you are missing the point of representative democracy here. First by deciding to replace Maggie Houlihan with someone who does not represent her constituents. You took advantage of your council majority status to appoint someone who was on "your team" as you stated yourself in one of your comment letters to the newspaper. Now you are again steamrolling over representative democracy by cleverly denying Teresa Barth her turn as Mayor with this rationalization of "whoever got the most votes last election." We all know elections can be bought, money matters and Ms. Gaspar did get the most funds from outside the city. Simply getting the most votes is mob rule. Democracy is ensuring that all voices get a chance to be heard including the minority not just the majority. That is why our country has an electoral college, two senators per state regardless of population, etc. This is done in attempt to protect us against "tyranny of the majority." A democracy is supposed to have opposing views and you'll find when you have opposing views, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle and that's where you look for common ground. What you are doing is subverting representative democracy by utterly quashing any opposing view with this rationalization to deny Teresa Barth her turn, simply because you don't like her and you don't like her views. The definition of a rationalization is coming up with "plausible yet untrue reasons for one's actions or behavior."
S. Daly February 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM
What an idiot! No finesse, no class, no ethics. Citizens of Encinitas, vote his sorry butt out of council this next election.
steve February 21, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Jerome, we know you are following all the comments posted. There appears to be many unhappy citizens. Speak up! We want to hear a response. This is your letter, defend it.
david smith February 21, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Yes Jerome, please elaborate and clarify. Your constituency needs to know your perspective.
rob February 21, 2012 at 08:15 PM
How embarrassing for Encinitas that our mayor consistently acts like such a jackass in public & in the press. It is encouraging, however, that more & more people are becoming aware & intolerant of the corrupt clowns that run our little city.
Fairness February 21, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I have no doubt that Mr Stocks will not respond. He has publicly stated that he will not listen to dissidents. (those who do not agree with him). Gaspar stated the same thing during her campaign. They do not care what opinions citizens here have to offer. They believe they have the power to do whatever they want, and have and will continue to do so without regard to what anyone outside of their super majority wishes. For a fair, balance and open city council for our future, we must change this council this year. They are going to raise all sorts of outside money to keep their power. We have to do ALL we can to get our city back.
Lynn Marr February 21, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Patch readers can read and comment on the sour, thorny raspberry given to Council Majority in the opinion section of NCT, yesterday: http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-roses-and-raspberries/article_a7c3b3e7-f021-5b21-93de-7be58a6c57f1.html?mode=story Stocks appears to be responding, in the discussion there, as "Moderate Majority." The language used is very similar to that in Stocks' letter to the Patch editor. His current buzzword is all about "entitlements." Ironically, Stocks obviously feels he is "entitled" to be mayor, this year, when he is running for re-election, because apparently he has been able to plan ahead of time with Gaspar, and Bond, to "stack the deck" with Muir as the appointed replacement for Maggie, thus insuring a majority for any motion, he as mayor makes. . . Bond, in this instance of direction for mayoral selection, was "not in on it," and made a motion to put the question of electing our mayor on the ballot. This had been the case in Lemon Grove, as reported by Mary, the Mayor of Lemon Grove. Teresa had then made a motion for a one year rotational appointment, with criteria, taking into account who received the most votes during his or her election cycle, which no one seconded. Stocks KNEW, in advance, he could count on Gaspar and Muir to support his 2nd substitute motion WITHOUT DISCUSSION, AFTER HE MADE IT, BY COUNCIL OR THE PUBLIC! The Brown Act mandates anticipated action must be agendized for public discussion.
Cyrus Kamada February 22, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I think we should explore the issue of legality here. Can the council majority re-write the municipal code in anyway it pleases - retroactively redefining the context of previously held elections to their own advantage? It's clear now that the intent all along was to find a way to avoid the political fallout of the annual spectacle of political bullying by the council majority.The fix is in to have Kristin Gaspar occupy the mayor's seat in 2013, and not have to answer to anyone - the public or Teresa until 2015. In addition, she gets to hand-pick her successor. The "democratization" of the process is purely a facade. The immediate outcome is that results of the previous council election have been conveniently reinterpreted by the council majority to cover their abuse of power. What is it going to take for citizens to wake up? Stocks, Muir, Gaspar and Andreen are probably celebrating their ability to "outsmart" the public.
jherald February 22, 2012 at 05:04 AM
This is a perfect example of politics in action. In reality, people like Jerome Stocks can do and say anything and although it is reported in the paper and a few people get up in arms nothing gets done. So what, that people are upset. Unless you can arouse the "silent majority" people like Jeromes Stocks can act with impunity. So what that these guys get together and hammer out stuff like the recent Mayor debacle. The Brown act has been flaunted in our faces over and over again and what happens...nothing. It is time that we get our selves together and get this guy and his cronies out of there and get The Encinitas City Council back to working for the citizens of Encinitas.
Lynn Marr February 22, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Cyrus, if an individual or group feels the Brown Act is violated in an open meeting, then one has 30 days to formally notify Council (and I would think the City Manager and City Attorney) and immediately initiate a complaint with the District Attorney. A private citizen can take the City to Court for open government violations, but the Brown Act also has the option of going to the District Attorney for enforcement of injunctive and declaratory relief. Since Bonnie Dumanis is running for mayor of San Diego, and she has recently prosecuted directors from the Sweetwater School District, and also a Deputy D.A., perhaps she would be more likely to use her discretion to send a stern letter of warning to our Council? By calling the State Attorney General, we were able to get a free "hard copy" of the Brown Act, and the California Public Record's Act, but I believe they are both available online, as well. In the past, the DA has used her discretion to basically ignore complaints about our Council, so I understand how Stocks and the rest of Council majority may think they can "break the law with impunity." Perhaps the Calaware attorney, Winston, who represented Cummins, pro bono (for free), finally paid more, by the City, because of the risk he took, could also be approached for this flagrant violation of the law. NO ACTION WAS AGENDIZED, only council discussion and possible direction to staff. A two year term was not mentioned, and should not be retroactive, in any case.
juerosteve February 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Anyone else up for a recall effort? I'm all in.Stocks has got to go.
S. Daly February 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Masses of people want Stocks gone. Someone needs to start the recall process and/or investigation process into his questionable violations. Any volunteers?
bobby riggs February 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Mr. Stocks, It will be hard to negotiate with our fire department now that the council has an ex-fire chief (collecting a $170k/year pension). I hope he's not in the room during those negotiations because the firemen will certainly say, "look at you Mr Muir! We were there for you when you were appointed! We will help you get re-elected if you want to have a backyard bbq!" I hope you look at all the out-of-work people who would love a cushy fireman job with health benefits, tons of holidays, retirement plans, union representation, etc. I hope you and Mr. Muir will remember your duty as representatives of the people of Encinitas. Your job is to look at all the facts and get the lowest possible price and best possible service (within reason - do all the firemen really need to be trained paramedics?). Good luck, Citizen Taxpayer
Jody Hubbard February 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Mr Mayor, I find it absolutely incredible that you have come up with this brillant new way to identify the mayor. Interesting that you did not suggest this years ago while councilwoman Maggie Houlihan was on council.......
jherald February 23, 2012 at 06:11 AM
I was dismayed to see the flag at city hall was not lowered to half staff in memory of Maggie Houlihan. After hearing that Jerome felt any tribute to Maggie was political that flag made sense. What does not make sense is how we can have a man like this on our City Council. How petty and small his actions. Fortunately, he cannot diminish the work Maggie did for the City of Encinitas he only diminishes himself. Time for you to go Jerome....shame on you.
Mum February 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Unfortunately I have not paid enough attention to local politics. Could someone, perhaps the mayor, please enlighten me regarding the issue of proposed development along El Camino & Enicinitas Blvd? I believe this decision will determine my vote for the foreseeable future. Why is the development necessary?
Lynn Marr October 23, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I'm grateful to have just read through this thread of comments again. I'm surprised at a terrible "slate mailer" that came in the mail very late today, sent by a PAC, "North County Taxpayers for Responsible Government,"the slates being Stocks and Muir against Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz.

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