The most delicious moment at Wednesday’s Escondido City Council meeting was Ed Gallo’s vote of “absent” rather than his intended “yes”. It was an inadvertent admission of the true state of his position on the Council. Gallo’s absence is something I noticed at one of the first council meetings I ever attended. I commented about in 2007. The North County Times published my op-ed, http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2007/May/12/gallos-defense-doesnt-convince-this-escondidan/, in which I said, referring to Gallo and Mayor Lori Pfeiler:
“I observed my first recent Escondido City Council meeting in 2005—an educational experience. Up until that time I had no idea that one of the duties of the Mayor was to instruct the Council Members on how and why to vote.”
Gallo lost his election in 2008. He, with the backing of the Chamber of Commerce, won a seat again in 2010. His performance on the council has not improved much.
The Second most delicious moment was while Escondido native Katherine Fromm was speaking, during “Oral Communications”. Fromm is a granddaughter of the previous owner the Mountain View Park and was familiar with the Green family who donated Kit Carson Park to the City. She was noting that both transactions were made with the stipulation that the lands remain parkland. During her communication, she, wonderfully, called Ed Gallo to order, saying, “Mr. Gallo, you are not paying attention.” He straightened up, and paid attention. Delicious!
Grant Taylor, the President of The Friends of Kit Carson Park, also spoke under “Oral Communications”. He noted that the parcel that was proposed for the BMX raceway, under the master plan for the park was intended to be a buffer zone between the sports complex and Bear Valley Parkway. He agreed with many of those who noted that the area was not very attractive, and suggested that it could be enhanced by planting trees. Well, planting trees isn’t exactly the best suggestion to make to the current male city council majority. At the end of the meeting, Ed Gallo suggested that it would be better to use the area as a Pickleball court.
I followed Don Greene’s excellent presentation about changing Escondido from a General Law City to a Charter City on the November, 2014 ballot. Greene pointed out that a charter wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for a City, but it should be a process that involves a great deal of public input. He noted the excellent result of the independent Districting Commission. He suggested that a similar process could be followed with developing a charter for Escondido.
I said that I concurred with everything Greene had said, and then added a bit. I suggested that if they were to put the same, developer-written charter that they had placed on the ballot in 2012, that they, with their tendency to waive developer impact fees—adding the costs of infrastructure and services required by those new developments to the burden of taxpayers—should add a sign under their nameplates (in the interests of truth in advertising,) “Paid for, and brought to you by the Building Industry Association.”
Delicious—if slightly evil.