Dear Editor:

This is Bob Bonde your neighbor, friend, father of Encinitas and president of the Encinitas Taxpayers Association asking you to join me in voting for Sheila Cameron for Mayor of Encinitas and Julie Graboi for City Council.

I have spent the last 33 years, virtually full time,fighting for citizen rights and against city folly and waste.  I know from experience that Sheila Cameron and Julie Graboi are committed to perpetuating this effort and have pledged to make the quality of your lives and public safety their highest priority.  Encinitas and its 5 communities needs their leadership and common sense,if logic and reason is to prevail.

Today, the city has debts and deferred maintenance needs that exceed 319 million dollars; rather than cutting obvious waste, there was recently talk around city hall of raising taxes.  Sheila and Julie, know what needs to be done to stop the bleeding and will fight for your rights and services while gettingthe city fiscal house in order, without raising taxes.

Sheila and Julie have been active for years in city politics, protecting our neighborhoods from overdevelopment and misuse of taxpayer’s money. Recently, both worked tirelessly to pass Prop A, the “Right to Vote” initiative that guarantees a public vote on up-zoning in density and height.

While others may talk a good story, Sheila Cameron and Julie Graboi have, over the years,proven that they can be counted upon toplace citizen needs first.

Please vote for Sheila Cameron for Mayor of Encinitas and Julie Graboi for Councilperson.

Thank you,

Bob Bonde

I saw that one or more newspapers listing contributions to the local candidates mentioned my name as a contributor to Tony Krantz for Mayor.  The implication would be that I am supporting him.  I am not.  The contribution was made early on (to support anyone but Kristin Gaspar), before I knew Sheila Cameron was running.

I support Sheila Cameron for Mayor and Julie Graboi for Councilperson.  I do so because they are the two who have clearly and publically stated their positions on the issues, and I know they will follow through.

I am concerned about the upcoming density increase in the proposed housing plan and the ongoing drunken public safety and nuisance activities in old Encinitas. 

Based on the current Council’s opposition to Prop A (requiring a public vote on density increases) I cannot assume any will go to the wall to prevent overbuilding and thus traffic gridlock in our City (this includes Krantz).

While 2 councilmembers supported a downtown ordinance to govern the alcohol outlets’ participation in the destruction of downtown community character, Tony Kranz has failed to follow through on positions he took before his election.  For those who support him for his work on Pacific View (I agree), he will still be on the council to head up the follow through whether he is mayor or not.

I acknowledge that Blakespear is an articulate person with a winning personality running on a feel good issue (urban agriculture).  Unfortunately she has not taken a clear position on the hard issues:  saying she will review staff information and make a decision at that time, to me is a slippery way to avoid commitment and public scrutiny.  Of course, Lerchbacker and Gaspar’s pro-business guise is simply a cover for over-development and traffic gridlock.

Cameron and Graboi are clear about where they stand.  They support the citizens and our quality of life, not based on general platitudes but by specific commitment to “yes or no statements” on the issues.  Sheila has called for the removal of the City Attorney and Manager who are the hangover from the build or bust days of Stocks/Bond/Gaspar.  The current City Administrative Power Structure does not support the ideology of the citizens or even the current council.  Sheila’s position is critical to the change needed.

The City, with new creative intelligent administrative and legal leadership from within and the right council elected, can thread its way through the state imposed mandates to come up with a unique and appropriate response for our city, rather than simply caving in to the status quo.

I will vote for Cameron and Graboi.

Dennis Holz
Former Mayor of Encinitas

I’m off the Fence!

I joined many citizens from Encinitas to participate in the Candidate’s Forum that was held at the Olivenhain Town Hall on October 1st.  I have refrained from supporting any candidate until I’ve had the opportunity to hear all the candidates’ positions on issues that are important both to Encinitas and Olivenhain.

The Candidate’s Forum provided both insight and clarity.  The responses given by the candidates indicated their knowledge of the various issues and their positions relative to these issues.  I am now comfortable in endorsing two candidates.  Please bear in mind that I am not asking you to substitute my opinion for your own good judgment but several people have asked for my opinion.

The upcoming election presents us with a unique opportunity.  For the first time, we will be electing a Mayor and the field is no longer limited to incumbent City Council members.  In the past, the mayor’s appointment was passed around as a political favor by the members of City Council.  Now, we citizens, have the opportunity to select the best person for the job….period!

After hearing from most of the candidates for Mayor, I firmly believe that Sheila Cameron has the most to offer our city.  With years of previous experience in the local government, she has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about the workings of effective government that the other candidates do not possess.  She has integrity that is not matched by any of her challengers.  I recently witnessed her taking an unpopular position, despite the possible political fallout.  She is principled and will stand up for her beliefs.  She has been a staunch supporter of Proposition “A” and an equally vehement foe of density bonus.

Of all of the candidates for the vacant City Council seat, Julie Graboi impressed me the most.  The other candidates clearly did not have the background about the issues and City positions that Julie has developed.  She is a serious advocate for the citizens of Encinitas and her responses clearly showed her grasp of the issues that face our city.  When asked about their contributions to the citizenry of Encinitas and the governmental process, the other candidates paled by comparison.  I know that Julie cares deeply about the character of our communities and she will resist the influence of others who would embrace changes that are inconsistent with the City’s General Plan or are unsafe and/or inconsistent with community character.  She too was instrumental in the passage of Proposition “A” and opposes density bonus.

So, if you were to ask me whom I’m voting for, you now know.  Again, I do not ask you to blindly follow my lead.….Take the time to investigate on your own and reach your own conclusion.  If you do, I think you will also embrace Sheila and Julie to best represent the interests of the citizens of Encinitas.

The most important thing is to VOTE!  Do not be a member of the Apathy Party when election day rolls around!  If you fail to extricate yourself from your comfy sofa to get to the polls, you deserve whatever you will get.  I would like to know that 100% of the people that receive this email will vote!  Voting is a right and privilege that too many take for granted.  Please feel free to forward this email to your friends and neighbors in our fair city.

Thank you!


P.S.  If you are inclined to vote for other candidates, I will understand if the pull of the sofa is just too great for you on voting day.


Don’t let your vote be bought by special interests!

It happens all the time at all levels of government: Voters who do not do their own research will simply vote by name recognition, by party alliance, or by falling prey to promotional hype. Thus, people do not get the leadership they deserve and really want, but instead suffer under professional politicians who were endorsed by special interest groups and who promoted themselves with the most money.

Here in Encinitas, two government seats are open for election, one for mayor and one for council. Five candidates are vying for mayor and four for council. All promise to preserve “Community Character” and “Quality of life.” A few are sincere about these desirable values. Others use their own definitions of what these phrases mean. It is up to you to distinguish between true intentions and mere promises.

It is well known that big money is flowing into this campaign to selected candidates from land barons, corporate business interests, and most often from developers, realtors, and the housing industry in general. This seems to be specifically applicable for incumbent mayoral candidate Kristin Gaspar and council candidate Alan Lerchbacker, the only Encinitas candidates endorsed by the Building Industry Association of San Diego (BIA). Even though they are also endorsed by the Encinitas Firefighters and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Mayor Gaspar and her sidekick are not necessarily suited for governing Encinitas. Local firefighters and hired police deputies depend on the city council for annual pay raises, perks, and job security.

You are probably tired of receiving seemingly endless numbers of redundant and oversized election mailers by now. Candidates Gaspar and Lerchbacker, along with council candidate Blakespear, are the most profligate spenders of their campaign funds, while claiming to be fiscally responsible. I agree with Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer that “we will not have the best government if we elect candidates just because they are able to self-fund their campaigns and use their money to buy large and plentiful signs and glossy mailers.”

If you want “pack-and-stack” high density housing in Encinitas, vote for Gaspar and Lerchbacker. If you want high-intensity stadium lights, and regional tournaments taking place till midnight for weeks on end on the new Encinitas Community Park, along with traffic gridlock on Birmingham Dr., Santa Fe Dr., McKinnon Ave., and surrounding residential streets, vote for mayoral candidate Gaspar.

However, if you truly want to preserve quality of life and community character, vote for SHEILA CAMERON for mayor and JULIE GRABOI for council!

Sheila Cameron and Julie Graboi are my choice, because they are the only two candidates who are intimately knowledgeable about our General Plan goals and Municipal Code regulations, and who will fight for compliance with these laws, goals and visions for the benefit of our city. They have sworn to put residents first, instead of serving so-called “stakeholders” who seek personal advantage and gain. Sheila and Julie are truly members of a rare breed of honest politicians. They are endorsed by County Supervisor and former Encinitas Mayor Pam Slater, by former Encinitas Mayor Dennis Holz, by Father of Encinitas Bob Bonde, by Ian Thompson, husband of late Mayor Maggie Houlihan, by supporters of Prop A (Encinitas Right to Vote Initiative), and by many of us residents who chose to live here, including myself, because of this city’s unique semi-rural, small-town character.

Dietmar Rothe, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Scientist, Engineer, Philosopher, Author, Environmentalist

Encinitas Advocate, Oct. 3, 2014

Sheila Cameron served as the mayor of Encinitas 15 years ago. She wants to pick up the gavel again.

A city activist who frequently speaks at council meetings, Cameron turned in her paperwork for the mayoral race just before the filing period closed Aug. 13. After mulling the run for weeks, she moved forward in the belief that her views represent a strong alternative from the other candidates.

“I had friends calling me and telling me they didn’t know who to vote for,” Cameron said.

She vocally supported Proposition A, the growth-control initiative that won voter approval last summer. Candidates Kristin Gaspar, the mayor, and Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz joined the rest of the council in opposing Prop. A.

Largely because of Prop. A, Cameron no longer aligns herself with Kranz, or council members Lisa Shaffer and Teresa Barth, though she backed their earlier campaigns.

“The council didn’t do its homework on Prop. A,” Cameron said. “They’re not listening to residents.”

Cameron also took issue with the council unanimously approving the controversial Desert Rose development without ordering an environmental impact report. After residents appealed, a judge eventually ruled that further environmental review is in fact required.

Her frustration with city affairs extends to the city manager, city attorney and some other staffers. Cameron believes they side with developers too often.

“We have some very good employees, and I want to keep them, and there are some I don’t think belong here,” she said.

Besides Kranz and Gaspar, Cameron faces longtime engineer Munawer “Mike” Bawany and independent journalist Alex Fidel in the mayoral race.

Cameron was elected to the council in 1996 and named mayor in 1999. However, about a month before her term expired, council members voted 3-2 to strip her of the mayor title. The council majority at that time accused Cameron of going it alone on issues and intimidating employees.

Earlier this week, Cameron dismissed that vote as pure politics. She said a former councilman wanted to be mayor to improve his chances for a state Assembly bid.

“You can listen to any tape of when I was (on) city council and mayor, and you will never find anything negative,” Cameron said. “And as far as the employees go, I had a very good relationship with the employees.”

She added that she worked with others during her term to build support for well-regarded projects like Cottonwood Creek Park.

Encinitas is gearing up for the housing element, an issue Cameron has weighed in on many times at council meetings in recent years.

The housing element, due to appear on the 2016 ballot, looks to add affordable housing stock. The city has proposed gathering community input to identify select sites that could be rezoned for denser developments.

Cameron has opposed rezoning. Instead, for the past few years she has pushed to count existing accessory homes — also called “granny flats” — as affordable units.

City Planning Director Jeff Murphy has said that accessory units alone probably won’t fulfill the housing element. But Cameron believes this approach could significantly reduce or eliminate the city’s housing requirements.

“I believe we have 1,000 units out there waiting,” she said.

In hopes of having to rezone fewer properties, the council recently agreed to send out a mailer promoting its amnesty program for accessory units. The council will also consider easing the rules for the program in the coming months to encourage more granny-flat owners to step into the light.

Cameron said she supported those council moves, adding that she’d do everything possible to promote the program.

Another hot topic is the Leucadia Streetscape, and Cameron has raised concerns about it. The Coast Highway 101 plan would add six roundabouts and more landscaping, and would eliminate a northbound lane. A year ago, the council approved funding for streetscape engineering work.

She favors retooling the streetscape so it wouldn’t remove as many eucalyptus trees. Also, because she believes the roundabouts could cause traffic problems, Cameron advocated for temporary roundabouts to gauge their effectiveness.

“What we need to do is see if this is going to work, because it’s very controversial,” she said.

Also on her radar: The California Coastal Commission voted a month ago to approve a $6.5 billion package of improvements for the Interstate 5 corridor. Although the transportation agencies involved have a tentative green light to proceed with construction, they have stated they’ll review projects over time to see whether they’re still necessary.

If elected mayor, Cameron said that when possible, she’d encourage shifting funds from widening the freeway and toward public transportation and rail improvements.

On a related note, with more train trips projected in the rail corridor over the coming decades, Cameron has promoted trenching the tracks to shield residents from noise. She added that she’d pursue federal grants to achieve this end.

Cameron had not raised any money as of June 30, the most recent period for campaign finance disclosures. The next round of disclosures is due Oct. 6.

Former County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and council candidate Julie Graboi have endorsed Cameron. In turn, Cameron is endorsing Graboi.

“I agree with Julie on a lot of things,” Cameron said.

Cameron said that preserving Indian Head Canyon Trail was among the early causes that sparked her interest in city happenings. Since then, she said she has felt an obligation to protect the city, whether as a resident or on the dais.

“I’m passionate about keeping the soul of Encinitas,” Cameron said.

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.  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