In the race for city council, my goal was to conduct a positive campaign based on the serious issues facing all of us residing in Del Mar. To be successful, we needed to create a message that was inclusive and could be easily understood by all. From the plurality of votes we received, it would appear my message has been heard and welcomed.
As I walked door to door during the campaign, I heard people’s concerns directly. They included an unexpected diversity of thinking on short-term-rentals, a clear wish to use Measure Q funds for Undergrounding ASAP, and worries about wildfire risk.
In a nutshell, I ran a positive campaign, stated my positions on the issues, did not attack any other candidate, walked door to door throughout the community, stated my qualifications, and let the Del Mar voters know that I had the leadership experience to go to work for them. I believe our approach could be a winning strategy for future candidates.
Del Mar had a great election season. Four candidates ran for two council seats, all signed the Campaign Fair Practices Pledge and all followed it. Voter turnout was high at 70%+. This is the second consecutive contested election, encouraging after prior cycles when councilmembers ran unopposed. While campaigning can sometimes be contentious, the success of our city government depends on quality candidates articulating and defending differing views, and an active community choosing the perspectives and values that will best shape our future.
Our tradition of citizen activism is the best way to bring forth good candidates for future elections, and our commitment to civil discourse helps keep the focus on issues. That includes debating key issues, respecting different viewpoints, refraining from personal attacks, and discouraging anonymous material. While the candidates did a good job on that front, some anonymous activities fell far short. Let’s work on that.
Although the campaign was very demanding it was so rewarding to get to know so many good people and make so many new friends. The clear winner in this election were Del Mar residents who got the opportunity to voice their concerns with many now united and mobilized to make positive change in our community.
From knocking on doors throughout Del Mar, I learned that many Del Mar residents are frustrated and feel that they have not been heard when they voice their concerns to the City Council majority about public safety, the City’s lack of progress on undergrounding dangerous power lines, the mistreatment of 38-year employee Pat Vergne that has contributed to record and wasteful litigation spending, threatened managed retreat policies, and zoning changes that violate our Community Plan and compromise our quality of life without a public vote.
I am hopeful that this election sent a message to City Hall and that Terry Gaasterland is able to persuade this Council to become more receptive to all the citizens of Del Mar.
The election and campaign were incredibly positive experiences for me. It was great being on the campaign trail, meeting and building genuine bonds with so many people. We have a passionate and remarkable community of people who live in Del Mar, all with unique stories to tell and talents to contribute. As such, the future of Del Mar is undoubtedly bright. There will always be issues to debate, but I continue to believe a more data driven approach could improve governance and reduce resident frustration. In addition to burying our utility lines, I’d also love to join or lead the effort on extending the lagoon trail along San Dieguito Road to complete the Del Mar Scenic Loop Trail, as stated in the 1976 Community Plan. The data would show that approximately 110% of residents enthusiastically support this. Let’s get after it!