October 2009 home page




Speak Up, Del Mar 

Some articles in our last issue provoked spirited responses from readers (see the Readers' Page). We editors find satisfaction in these kinds of exchanges. This gets to the heart of our mission to get citizens to focus on our Community Plan and to preserve our small town quality of life. The history of Del Mar has been characterized by a number of vigorous debates and disagreements about how we want to develop or not develop. Our view is that these exchanges have produced a community of which we are proud.

Frankly, we worry that today our town seems to be a little too laid back at a time when there are dramatic changes in the works. We would like to see the Sandpiper used as a forum for citizens to express varying points of view about what is happening or not happening to shape our future.

On the street we hear voices of concern, expectation, approval, disapproval, bewilderment, suspicion, and satisfaction. But these voices are not entering public spaces where they can be heard and considered.

A small sample of voices heard on the street:

"Is the Council pursuing downtown revitalization so vigorously that small town values are being sacrificed?"

"I believe there is a secret plan to develop the Shores property instead of using it for open space and recreation."

"Why is Del Mar not raising a red flag about the Fairboard's master plan development that will adversely affect the lagoon and create dramatic traffic and noise problems in our community?"

"The Council seems to distrust the Design Review Board and the Planning Commission as quality control checks on unwise development."

"Why is the City Council reluctant to pass measures to get visitors and realtors to pay their fair share in solving our financial problems?"

We would like to see such views surface in public discussion. Our community needs to consider such issues and the varying points of view about each one. Three minutes at a public hearing is not a satisfying way to have a community conversation. The Sandpiper provides an opportunity for constructive discussion of important issues. Each month we reach out to a few writers who are willing to speak up. Please consider this an invitation for more of you to contribute your thoughts in the form of letters or articles. The easiest way to do this is to make contact with any one of the editors listed below.

If something is gnawing at you, put it in writing. If you have a concern about the City, let the City Council and others know, don't just sit on it. It's our community, let's talk about how we can keep it the way we want it to be.


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