In Brief

Rational Representation

After Councilmember Gaasterland and a group of Republican SANDAG board members staged a walkout at the January 13 SANDAG meeting in a protest over weighted voting, Gaasterland obtained Council support to direct Del Mar’s City Attorney to review and interpret the application of AB 805 on SANDAG’s weighted voting structure and the interplay of weighted voting with Brown Act requirements. At the February 21st Council meeting, the City Attorney’s detailed analysis was presented in a four-page memo, concluding: “Pursuant to both the express language and legislative history of AB 805, it appears evident that the intent of AB 805’s revisions to the SANDAG voting structure was in fact to allow weighted voting to override a tally vote. With respect to membership and meeting under the Brown Act, however, such weighting does not appear to be relevant.” Gaasterland then argued that the voting system before AB 805 was “good for Del Mar” because it allowed cities comprising a small fraction of the county’s population “to force a negotiation if something was going against them” based on the vote of those representing a majority of the population. Gaasterland stated, “I can’t imagine under what circumstances all of the people in the City of San Diego and all of the people in the unincorporated County would feel that they ought to get their way when it hurts some of the smaller cities.” Others might imagine that if all of the people in the City and unincorporated part of the County support something that Del Mar opposes, majority rule should carry the day, in line with the principles of proportional representation and democratic rule.



Winston Lease Delayed

Before the scheduled March 2023 trial in Winston School’s case against the City over the termination of its lease, Winston and the City engaged in mediation, and subsequently released the following statement: “During the recent mediation, the City of Del Mar and the Winston School mutually agreed to postpone the upcoming trial to give both parties time to meet in good faith and determine if a mutually agreed upon a path forward can be reached. The Winston School will remain on site until at least July 1, 2024, while representatives from both sides work towards a long-term solution. The City and Winston will agree jointly to provide updates when appropriate.” Neither party is publicly commenting on the matter, beyond this statement.



Horse Haven

On February 23rd, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced that the Breeders Cup Event will be returning to Del Mar in 2024. This international horse racing competition will be held on November 1st and 2nd, and it is expected to attract an enthusiastic crowd much like the prior Breeders Cup events in 2017 and 2021.


Mean Streets

Parking and traffic challenges in the North Hills District (north of 15th Street and east of Camino del Mar) are the subject of an alert from the city. Residents and guests are being asked to be mindful of the narrow, curving streets that characterize our Community Plan’s rural, woodsy character. If there are parking or traffic problems, the Parking Enforcement Division can be reached at 858 755 1556.

Earlier Opening

As of April, the Farmers Market will be open Saturday, noon to 4:00 PM.



To Del Mar With Love, Chiquita, a new book by Chiquita Abbott and Anne Mery was celebrated at Julie’s Beach Life on Feb. 19. The book is now available for purchase at