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EDITORIAL: Ellie Takes the Gavel

With Ellie Haviland taking the oath as Mayor on December 2, Del Mar can look forward to a year of bold leadership from a battle-tested councilmember. Her calm demeanor will be a strong asset in presiding over the council, and we expect that she will treat all citizens who speak at Council meetings with respect. Del Mar will also benefit from strong regional ties she has developed through SANDAG and other agencies.

Ellie has been a strong proponent of core Del Mar values during her three years on Council. Her commitment to our Climate Action Plan and sustainability goals would make Dave Keeling proud. Her leadership on short-term rental issues, with a compromise plan supported by a 4-1 Council vote, has put Del Mar in the best possible position to protect the special residential character mandated by our Community Plan. Her leadership on Community Choice Energy over the past 2+ years is bringing us local control and a green approach to Del Mar’s energy procurement, a refreshing change from what was long a monopoly enterprise. In this effort, she worked collaboratively with Solana Beach and Carlsbad, and is serving as Del Mar’s representative to the Clean Energy Alliance (CEA), the JPA overseeing the implementation of the three cities’ community choice energy program. Her CEA colleagues selected her as Vice-Chair.

She has worked hard on our housing goals, working collaboratively with the 22nd DAA Board (the Fair board) to meet part of our affordable housing mandate using Fairground property. It has been during Ellie’s term that Del Mar has achieved its first-ever affordable housing units, with three approved units now underway.
Our focus on Ellie’s collaborative successes and strong leadership is intentional. The key to success on big issues is effective collaboration with those who share our core values and goals, coupled with the willingness to lead by drawing a clear line in the sand when necessary to protect our community and its values. And it is the difficult housing issues we face, including SANDAG’s current RHNA process, that have brought Ellie the kind of fire that brings to mind Franklin Roosevelt’s dictum, “Judge me by the enemies I have made.”

Repeatedly, the long knives of the Woodpecker crowd have been out for Ellie. In our October issue, the Sandpiper felt compelled to fact-check two of those attacks, and another fact-check is in this issue. As the saying goes, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.” We expect that we’ll need to reserve ample space over the coming year for fact-checks on these attacks on our Mayor. We trust Del Marians to understand that the key issues we face are complex, to reject personal attacks, and instead, to do the work to understand complex issues and decisions, and to reward the leaders who bring deep knowledge and strong Del Mar values to their work on our behalf. Above all, we trust you’ll join us in wishing Ellie great success as our Mayor – and in taking a laboring oar, when possible, to help bring about that success.



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