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Commentary: Say what you mean.
Bud Emerson | Klish Way

One of the most frustrating things about election campaigns is how difficult it is to figure out whether a candidate will actually do what she says once he gets into office. He may use a lot of words but they are often phrased in a way that lacks precision. Consequently, we get a new office holder who can hide behind that lack of precision when it comes time to cast a deciding vote. We are witnessing this phenomenon now with some Council Members whose campaign words do not match their official stances regarding the difficult issue of how to keep short term rental businesses out of neighborhoods that are zoned for residential use only.

I expressed my frustration on this to an attorney who is skillful in interrogating witnesses. He suggests a line of questioning as follows.

• Do you believe that the Community Plan allows for the existence of commercial business interests operating in a residential zone?

• Do you believe that the operation of commercial business interests should be forbidden in residential zones?

• Are there exceptions to this belief?

• If not, why not?

• Do you support the City continuing to litigate the city position in court?

• If the city’s 7/28 compromise (7 day minimum stay, 28 maximum days) is not validated by the courts, do you support an ordinance banning all commercial business interests operating in residential zones?

• If not, why not?

• Do you agree that other cities have successfully banned commercial business interests operating in residential zones and have not been challenged by the state?

It would seem hard to wiggle out of such a sequence of questions. Perhaps some of us can use this questioning sequence in candidate ZOOM meetings to see if we can pin down our candidates for Del Mar City Council to definitive positions on this critical issue.



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