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Conversation Informs Our Community
June 2008 | by Ulla Sweedler


A dozen people gathered in the living room of our neighbors Tuesday night April 29 for a community conversation about the future of Del Mar. We were joined by Mayor Dave Druker, City Manager Karen Brust, Director of Public Works David Scherer and City Engineer Carmen Kasner. I'm told that 19 similar meetings have been held in other Del Mar neighborhoods.

Dave Druker illuminated the city budget by showing colorful pie charts and explained why some pieces of the pie were bigger than others, e.g., public safety. We learned that the largest sources of income for the city were property taxes and parking fees.

Numerous issues and questions were raised and fielded by Mayor Druker. He led the discussion that ranged from the Gas Station Project to the Fairgrounds plans and addressed facts and perceptions, e.g., our stores don't sell enough, but we do have enough parking in Del Mar. We spent some time talking about the downtown redevelopment. If you ever wondered why certain types of stores are here, it may be because their owners have them as hobbies. The city can try to attract the kind of stores we want, as new spaces open up.

David Scherer explained the bureaucratic and fiscal intricacies of clean water; it'll cost us a few dollars more a month. Karen Brust told us what it was like to be, metaphorically, thrown into the fire last October and what the city has learned from that disaster. We generally agreed that everything was handled very well. Carmen Kasner said that changes had been made in the clean-water department resulting in less pollution in the run-off drains.

We enjoyed this evening of professional outreach and conviviality. Even a person who reads every word in the Sandpiper and scans the Del Mar Times learned a thing or two.



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