Another episode of “The Real Council Members of Encinitas” played out at city hall last week. In true reality TV fashion, scripted accusations were hurled, back biting cast members confronted co-workers and self-serving alliances were on display.
Playing the role of a “Desperate Council Member” Kristin Gaspar laid in wait to ambush council member Teresa Barth. After the gavel had fallen ending the meeting, Gaspar attacked Barth over a supposed talk Barth had with city staff. Lacking civility, Gaspar violated procedures. Lacking leadership, Mayor Bond let her. The entire spectacle was a ruse to give the council super-majority cover, leading up to the appointment of Mayor and Deputy Mayor in next week’s episode. They hoped to make Barth look bad but instead they looked foolish.
Gaspar has reason to be desperate. The public is finding out Gaspar the council member is not Gaspar the candidate. She’s on the wrong side of many votes. While Barth has mostly delivered on her campaign promise of “trust and transparency,” Gaspar has failed to measure up to her empty campaign rhetoric.
As a candidate, Gaspar claimed to be a CFO despite having no financial degree. She wanted us to believe she was fiscally conservative. It turns out she can’t read a contract and is a fiscal spendthrift. As a council member she ignored a signed contract and voted with Bond and Stocks to extend ex-city manager Phil Cotton’s monthly contract, costing taxpayers $45,000. Barth wanted to terminate Cotton’s contract when it was learned he received an extra paycheck.
As a candidate, Gaspar wanted us to believe she supported family values. Encinitas families want leaders to follow city codes of conduct. It turns out Gaspar prefers people who violate them. Residents asked the council to appoint one of 12 applicants who had not violated conduct codes. Gaspar, along with Bond and Stocks, ignored residents and appointed the only applicant who violated city ethics codes, Mark Muir, who just happened to be their campaign supporter. Barth voted for an applicant who did not violate policy.
Gaspar the candidate told the public she would bring transparency to City Hall. As a council member, Gaspar went into a “closed meeting,” voting with Bond and Stocks to waste taxpayer money on a lawsuit to keep the public from seeing a road report costing some $90,000.
Barth suggested an open meeting.
As a candidate, Gaspar pledged to “focus my efforts on the needs of our city instead of disparaging the personal character of those whom I might not agree with.”
As a council member, Gaspar is focusing on the needs of her friends and disparaging the co-worker she disagrees with.
In next week’s episode of “The Real Council Members of Encinitas”: Appoint a mayor and deputy mayor.
Based on Barth’s voting record, as the only council member who is a pro-business fiscal conservative with strong family values and a belief in open government, she is a logical choice.
However this is “Cronyville,” where violators of policy are promoted and candidates are not who they say they are.
2012 is an election year and a Stocks-Muir appointment benefits them for the election.
A Stocks-Gaspar appointment benefits Stocks and SANDAG just ahead of the vote to up-zone Encinitas.
You can catch North County’s newest reality TV show next Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. on Channel 19. It is must see TV, bring your banana’s.
Filed Under: Life, Liberty and Leadership