We have to decide what path we’ll follow in the coming years.

Ask yourself, “Why do I live in Encinitas?”

Is it because of our beach town spirit, our community character and the promise of a great quality of life? Or do we want ever-increasing traffic, more pollution and overwhelming growth that adds stress to our lives?

If you elect me as your mayor, my goal will be to preserve the soul of Encinitas, the unique character of our communities and the quality of daily life.

I’ll bring my experience, honesty, knowledge and wisdom to city government. I helped incorporate our communities as a city and remain an activist. I always represent the citizens’ well-being. Out-of-town developers who exploit our zoning and increase traffic and pollution will not come first. 

I have a positive public record of accomplishments as a former mayor and council member. I worked on many issues. For example: Leucadia Boulevard completion and beautification, Cottonwood Creek Park, the trails master plan, the clean water program, the first $1 million grant from the Department of the Interior for our recycled water program, the Encinitas Library.

We face many issues and challenges and where I stand on these important topics:

Protect Proposition A.
Prop A is the most important proposition in our city since incorporation. With its passage, citizens have the right to vote on whether we want to change zoning or intensity of land use in Encinitas. Prop A mandates that neighbors within 500 feet, rather than 300 feet, of any construction project must be notified in advance. Projects must now be measured from ground level instead of raised pads. Prop A empowers citizens to decide what our city will become. We must keep it from being undermined or corrupted.

Density Bonus Law.  Even with the recent city-imposed restrictions, it still lets developers exploit our zoning. I will fight it at the state level.

Widening I-5.  It will deeply affect our communities. Do the majority of Encinitans want the freeway widened as proposed?

Emergency Response Times.  We must improve them. With fire stations throughout our city, there is no excuse for sub-standard response times.

Street and Road Repairs.  We have neglected our streets and roads too long. Let’s get the repairs done and maintain the pavement in good condition.

Debt. We must get a handle on our burgeoning $310 million debt. 

Leucadia Streetscape.  I’m for a plan based on what the majority of citizens want. Do we want six roundabouts on North Highway 101 and single traffic lanes in each direction? 

Beacon Beach.  We should stabilize the access and reimburse the capital improvement project after doing that.  

Downtown Encinitas. We must develop a plan for the Pacific View property as an arts and cultural center. We should pass a deemed approved ordinance to help citizens deal with the proliferation of bars downtown.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea.  We should restore Rossini Creek to its natural state. Excessively tall lights in the Community Park would be devastating to the lagoon wetlands and wildlife, and are not necessary for the use and enjoyment of the park.

Rail Corridor.  Install wayside horns at vehicle crossings and add pedestrian crossings through the rail corridor to ensure safety and reduce noise.  An alternative is to trench the tracks as Solana Beach has done. With the doubling of the tracks through Encinitas, rail traffic will grow to 119 trains a day.

El Camino Real.  The road is at an “F” level of service. That must be improved. There’s a proliferation of advertising signs on public sidewalks. People with ads on bicycles and cars drive El Camino Real causing more traffic and distractions on this too busy street.

Olivenhain.  Density bonus projects threaten the rural character of the community. We need responsible planning for all our communities.   

Leadership is key in the mayor’s role. Listening carefully to your concerns, finding common ground and facilitating constructive conversation to make decisions that reflect your views is vital.

We have to put the City Council in charge instead of the city manager and staff. I’m concerned with the erosion of the council’s and mayor’s roles and the loss of control that helped make ours a truly open government that serves the citizens.

If elected, I will listen, learn and lead. Please vote for a person you can trust as your mayor — Sheila Cameron.


Where I Stand on the Issues


for October 31, edition

Name:  Sheila S. Cameron
Occupation:  Writer, Citizen Activist
Age - less!
Previous Government Experience: Worked on the incorporation effort to create our City;
former Mayor and City Council Member; VP of Leucadia Community Advisory Board

Professional Experience:  Human Resources Manager for one of  North County's largest
employers - 1200 employees; 32 departments; 5 unions; President and Legislative Chair for the North County Personnel Association; many years of responsible positions in business.  Law Clerk for San Diego firm researching and writing briefs, motions, answers.


1. What prompted you to run for council or mayor?

I am an advocate for citizens rights and felt voters needed an alternative to the two incumbents who have through their votes represented big money and out of town developers pursuing zoning changes and pack and stack development.  Unlike the incumbents, I supported Proposition A - the Right to Vote Initiative that empowers citizens to decide zoning changes, increases in density or building height - the future landscape of our City.

I offer strong leadership for the citizens' interests in this City.  Together, let's keep the soul of Encinitas!

2. What do you feel are the three biggest priorities for the next city council, and how as mayor or council member would you help the council achieve those objectives?

Two of the most important challenges facing our city's future are:  Excessive Development and the Drought - lack of water in the State of California and locally. These resulted in two conflicting State mandates  - the Density Bonus Law and water conservation laws. The continued level of development that is exploiting our zoning code and our General Plan cannot be sustained, because it worsens the lack of available water.  

 The third important priority for the next council is solving problems related to the Housing Element Update (see answers to #3 and #4 below); the Leucadia Streetscape plan to put 5 roundabouts on Hwy 101 within 8/10 of a mile with one lane in each direction; rail crossings and trenching the tracks; the turmoil created by bars particularly along Hwy 101 in Downtown Encinitas (see #5); how to renovate and create a vibrant arts and cultural center at the Pacific View site, now that the City is purchasing it; increase and improve our road maintenance schedule; efficient, modern and practical public transportation within our own City as well as regionally; and a fund to conserve what is left of our open space.

You help the Council achieve these objectives by constructive conversation, listening and implementing ideas from our citizens as other cities do, and working as a team to recognize the concerns of  the citizens of this city.

4. City staff has contended that the housing element needs to include zoning to accommodate for the development of more of 1000 “affordable” units to meet state affordable housing mandates. A number of residents feel the city could achieve its affordable housing mandates by providing amnesty for illegal dwelling units provided they be earmarked for a certain period of time for affordable housing. Where do you stand on this issue?

( I am reversing the order of questions 3 and 4, because to respond to question 3 without first considering question 4 is to put the cart before the horse. )

Encouraging Amnesty for accessory and so called "illegal" units is the first step in adding to our affordable housing inventory.   Why build more?  We already have units that can be counted. 

The best way to count accessory units is to activate an Amnesty program that reaches out to all residents of the city; that provides incentives and financial relief so that people are willing to list their units, come forward and become compliant.  Low and medium income units actually allow for a reasonable level of rent and protection for both owners and renters.   The City can set the length of time that units are affordable and this does not have to be an onerous period.  We need to do away with the threat of punishment for non-compliance of a unit.

3.  In 2016, the electorate will vote on the Housing Element Update, which is currently in its preliminary stages of public input. What do you think the housing element should reflect in terms of density, housing types and community character?

The Housing Element Update - we don't know what we're getting.   We are being asked to up zone as many as 95 parcels, with no visible evidence of what we are going to get.  Before you assume the only way we are going to get affordable housing is to rezone and build, build, build - let's look at Accessory units that we already have through the Amnesty program (above), which will go along way to reducing this 1,000 housing number. 

You can vote "No" to this Housing Update because you are not being fully informed. It will be accompanied with threats of why you have to vote for it - but they are bogus. This is an attempt to undermine Proposition A by rezoning, and pack and stack development.  You can and need to vote "No". 

In fact, we've been told by the Director of Planning (in charge of the Housing Update) that it makes no difference what we as a city do, because all units will end up at market rate.   So, the answer is to make an honest effort to count nonconforming accessory units first and apply those against our State-mandated numbers.

5. The City Council recently received a report that showed that nuisance complaints stemming from the city’s downtown bar scene had decreased since increased enforcement began during the summer, but it also showed that two of the largest alcohol-serving establishments, Union and Shelter, consistently missed the mark during inspections. What do you feel needs to be done to continue to improve the downtown night scene and specifically what needs to be done in regards to the two bars that have been out of compliance?

The proliferation of bars along Hwy 101 and particularly downtown Encinitas is hailed by some businesses as making the downtown "vibrant", but for other residents who live within several streets of this blossoming vibrancy - it has become a noisy, obnoxious undermining nuisance that is destroying their quality of life and changing the character of this community. 

Alcohol and Beverage server training is needed in most of the bars, teaching them how to deal with customers before they drink too much - research has shown that a small percentage have this training.  That is a good place to start.

Code Enforcement needs to have a greater presence downtown and the Sheriff's and fire dept.  need to start citing bar owners for violations of fire codes and city regulations.

This City Council needs to pass a Deemed Approved Ordinance (DAO) which I favor, because it is the only thing that will put some teeth into enforcement of the bars' responsibilities. 

6. The City is currently in the process of closing escrow on the purchase of the Pacific View Elementary School site for $10 million, which it will pay for with debt financing that will amount to $24.4 million (this includes the financing of the lifeguard tower) over the life of the bond repayment. Briefly state your position on the purchase, and, moving forward, what should the city’s next steps be with the site, and what priority should be giving to accomplishing those steps?

The City Council voted 3-2 to go forward with the final purchase of the 2.8 acres of the Pacific View school site in downtown Encinitas.  Likewise they agreed to fund bonds for both this $10 million purchase and a new $3million lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach.  The two bonds will ultimately cost over $20 million by the time they are paid off at a bond debt to the City of over $800,000.00 per year. 

Mr. Bob Bonde has worked with the Arts community group and has submitted a proposal to the Mayor and City Council that will allow a living museum of art activities and galleries to be housed there.    It makes it easy for the City to begin the first steps and move forward. 

7. How would you rate the city’s efforts with road and infrastructure maintenance and how much of a priority would it be for you as mayor or council member?

Improved Road maintenance is a high priority for me.   We are at least $40 million underfunded, according to a recent study, for needed road maintenance and improvements.   

8. What action should the city be taking to address the Leucadia rail crossing issue. Should the tracks be lowered similar to Solana Beach or should there be level crossings, and how much of a priority should this be for the council?

There are three aspects to the Rail Road corridor issue.  And the City Council needs to consider and take positive steps to all three of them.

First - wayside horns.  We have several major roads crossing the tracks in our City.  Leucadia Blvd; D Street in downtown Encinitas; and Chesterfield crossing in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.    Wayside horns would eliminate the need for trains to blow their horn approaching these crossings - but there would be a warning sound at the crossings themselves in time to allow awareness of an approaching train.  The wayside horn in Del Mar has been 100% successful. 

Trenching the tracks throughout Encinitas is possible.  $6.5 billion has been allotted to SanDag for widening of the I-5 freeway, with only $820 million being set aside for Public Transportation improvements!   The primary reason that people passed the 1% sales tax increase was because an investment in Public Transportation was the number one reason for promoting that increase.  So more of that $6.5 billion needs to be allotted for Rail improvements and certainly trenching the tracks through Encinitas could be done
for about $152 million - a fraction of  that $6.5 billion.  

"At rail crossings" are being implemented in other cities, and are an inexpensive approach to allowing people to easily cross the tracks.  Whereas, underground crossings such as the one installed at Santa Fe and Hwy 101 cost around $6 million a piece.

If we trench the tracks - Look to the City of Solana Beach as a model.  A simple ramp every two blocks would allow easy pedestrian crossings.   When they get to Hwy 101, people can press an activated pedestrian crossing with blinking lights.  This will slow traffic down.  You could establish speed tables at every crossing - wide low bumps - easy to cross for cars or bicycles,  slows down traffic, and safe for pedestrians to cross.  These ideas are being used on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and even in Solana Beach and many other cities.   It also eliminates the need and frustration for 5 roundabouts in 8/10 of a mile on Highway 101.

9. For the mayoral candidates, what do you see the role of an elected mayor as being and how would you put your personal stamp on the position?

The role of an elected Mayor or any Mayor is to be a leader, a representative and an advocate for the citizens of our City.  As Mayor, I will welcome and encourage participation by people to get involved in the City's governance now and in the future, and promote true government transparency.   I listen, I learn, I lead!

10. The performance of several high-ranking city staff members, namely the City Manager, City Attorney and high-ranking planning department officials, has been a steady talking point during the election. How would you rate the performance of these staff members, what can be done to improve their performance, or do you believe at this stage they are irredeemable?

I really think that the type of conduct and climate of low morale that is being spread by our current City Manager is very detrimental to our City - both within our city walls and without for both employees and citizens alike. 

The City Attorney has charged the city $10million in the last 7 years alone, for his and his law firm's work.  Most cases defended unsuccessfully. 

The City Council has allowed this conduct to go unchecked.   A change needs to be made.     

11.  Why should people vote for me? 

 My husband and I have lived here for 40 years.  I helped Incorporate our City 30 years ago; I've been your public servant here, and have walked through and know and understand each community and our culture.   

I am committed to the City and am not running for office for any personal gain, only to serve the citizens of this City, as I have been doing for many years. 

Proposition A, the Right to Vote Initiative is the most important initiative to give protection to our City and empower the citizens since our Incorporation in 1986.

I do not want to see it corrupted or undermined and lose the essence of why we all chose to live here.     
Let's keep the soul of Encinitas - it is a rare gift. 

Please vote for Sheila Cameron for Mayor


Accomplishments of former Encinitas Mayor Sheila Cameron


Current Endorsements for Mayoral Candidate Sheila Cameron


Community Letters and Quotes by and about Sheila Cameron

Letters & Quotes

About Encnitas Mayoral Candidate Sheila Cameron

About Sheila Cameron