Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” This statement, made in the 1980s when Moynihan was the U.S. Senator from New York, is as relevant today as it was then. With the advent of the internet and social media platforms, opinions are many and facts are few (in our opinion). What does this have to do with Del Mar and the role of the Sandpiper during this election year?
We pledge to do a thorough and impartial job of fact checking statements from candidates for local and regional offices. Opinions will be labelled as opinions and facts as facts. Why is this important in Del Mar at this juncture in our history?
We discern a disturbing trend of some current councilmembers distorting the facts to bolster their self-defined record of accomplishments, or to support a questionable policy position (for example, see this link to a recent fact check: bit.ly/QuirkFactCheck). Our council is supposed to be comprised of non-partisan citizen volunteers ($300/month still qualifies as a volunteer), not political operatives. Facts matter, and they guide wise policy decisions. A recent example was the January 10th discussion of train operations. The stated goal of the resolution drafted by Councilmembers Quirk and Martinez was to endorse a study of all train operations that pass through Del Mar, with an implicit goal to eliminate the trains and convert the blufftop tracks to a trail. Numerous factual errors in their draft resolution were pointed out by North County Transit District CEO Matt Tucker as well as by fellow councilmembers Druker and Worden. Facts matter when debating an important issue, and misstatements or distortions undercut the credibility of Del Mar when dealing with regional governing bodies.
We hope that candidates for office in Del Mar can avoid the hyper-partisan rhetoric that has spread nationally. Let us have a fact-based, civil debate about issues important to our community character, and label differences in opinion as just that.