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EDITORIAL Civil Campaigning

Let’s have an election campaign that does Del Mar proud.

Our City Council campaign is our opportunity to choose leaders who will be addressing our unprecedented current concerns as well as future challenges. We urge all candidates to forego traditional campaign slogans and gamesmanship. Voters deserve a serious and civil discussion about all of our most important issues. They include:

• Protecting our citizens from the ravages of the pandemic: Are we doing enough to achieve full compliance among ourselves and our large visitor population?

• Strategies for coping with the significant loss of revenue from the economic downturn. Can we expect revival of lucrative sources of revenue from hotel and fairground visitors? If so when?

• How can we protect our residential neighborhoods from the debilitating effects of a powerful, growing short term rental industry?. Even the very generous 7/28 compromise approved by the Council is under fire from the Coastal Commission. Can we count on Council members to defend our residential zoning?

• Will the new Council members support continuing our membership in the Clean Energy Alliance with Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and other prospective members?

• Will the new Council members stand firm behind our sea level rise adaptation plan as an element of our Local Coastal Plan?

• Will new Council members take decisive action to implement our Climate Action Plan?

• What support can we give to the inevitable re-purposing of the fairgrounds operation? Can we achieve greater protection of the lagoon estuary in the process?

• Will new Council members take decisive action to improve our miserable record of achieving our city’s fair share of housing? How can we overcome resistance in the community and on the Council which poses a significant risk of losing local control over development decisions?

• Moving train tracks from the increasingly fragile bluff top cannot be delayed much longer without significant risk. Do new Council members have ideas for gaining funding from military budget and commercial sources to help fund this expensive, but vital undertaking?

Lastly, we have heard from numerous citizens about the increasingly toxic negativity that has invaded our public conversations. Strident voices with no civil restraint undermine efforts to reach consensus on important issues facing us. While issue-based differences among candidates and supporters is important for voters to make choices, personal attacks and intentional falsehoods such as those we witnessed in our last election have no place in our community. We ask all candidates to review Del Mar’s adopted Code of Ethics as a guide for their campaigns. And we ask that all of them to speak out if inappropriate attacks are launched against any of their opponents.



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