Why I am Running for Mayor

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KUSI Interview with Brian Edmonston, Candidate for Mayor of Poway

Poway’s recipe for success over the last 30 years has been slow growth combined with local control over land use.  This is why we are a great place to raise a family, and why we have low crime and a high quality of life.  Don’t let this city council claim responsibility for something they did not cause.

But our slow growth tradition is under threat.  Almost all the mailers you are receving are financed by real estate and/or developer money.  This includes the mailers from the Republican Party of San Diego and the Deputy Sherif’s Association. (More detail here.)

This real estate money is pouring into Poway in the hope that our city council will continue to open us up to substantial new development.  However, this new development will undo the decades of slow growth tradition that has made our city such a wonderful place to live.

I see no reason to move away from the formula that has kept our city special for over 30 years.  So, I am running for mayor to preserve our traditional growth pattern and our city’s special character.

Let’s keep Poway the city in the country.

-Brian Edmonston

[Breaking News:] Poway crime ranking falls to the worst in four years under Steve Vaus.  The latest Safewise crime survey, which is a survey often cited by our Mayor, has Poway falling to 37th in 2018.  Previous Poway rankings were 11th, 16th and 26th, so 37th is the worst ranking in the last four years.  If the Mayor wants to take credit for the city’s 11th rank he should take the blame for our fall to 37th.  This change in rank represent about 20 additional violent crimes in Poway over the previous year (estimated change is from 40 to 60 or about a 50% increase).

The latest Safewise ranking can be found here.

[Breaking News 2:]  The Reader is reporting on “Growthzilla” [e.g. big development] in San Diego and who is supporting it (Link).  Turns out they are close political allies of Steve Vaus in including Kristin Gaspar and Bill Horn.  And just in case you don’t think this will affect Poway, Vaus’ appointment to the open city council seat, Carlin Frank has worked in Bill Horn’s office for ten years.  Additionally, Vaus routinely fund raises for Kristin Gaspar.  Expect nothing less than an explosion of development in Poway over the next four years if this City Council stays in office.

Why I am running for Mayor

My name is Brian Edmonston and I am running for Mayor of Poway.

I am running for Mayor because I think our current leadership is too focused on developing Poway Road and not focused enough on maintaining and improving our parks, fields, and open spaces.

What am I talking about?

Well, I am talking about the fact that the city council is encouraging the construction of 1148 condos or apartments on Poway Road. They are encouraging this by reducing parking requirements, raising building heights, and increasing the allowable density in this part of the city via the the Poway Road Specific Plan (PRSP). Additionally, the city has given one developer exclusive negotiation rights to city owned land near Poway Community Park.

Why would the city council unleash this level of development in Poway? Because they have run our great city into a fiscal crisis and now they want the expected tax revenue from this development to bail them out.

Preventing this bail out from fundamentally altering our city is one reason I am running for Mayor.

The fiscal crisis I am referring to is the exploding pension costs that Poway faces over the next two decades. According to city documents, the city’s general unfunded pension liability is more than $31 million and the city’s safety pension unfunded liability is $15 million. These numbers are huge when you consider the yearly budget for the city is only $42 million.

The city council knew this crisis was coming, but continued to keep staffing levels high and pay increases generous. For example, according to transparentcalifornia.com, our city manger’s pay increased from $200,000 in 2016 ($322,000 with benefits) to $239,743 in 2017 ($379,129 with benefits). While I don’t want to pick on anyone, these types of pay increases, combined with high staffing levels, were simply reckless for a city facing a huge pension crisis.

Now they want all us to pay for this recklessness by allowing overdevelopment along Poway Road.

I am committed to righting our city’s fiscal ship while also protecting our city’s character and making money available for the badly needed improvements our city requires. These improvements includes upgrading our aging parks and fields as well as protecting our open spaces. I plan to do this through stronger fiscal oversight and giving higher priority to the things that make Poway special.

I have little confidence that the folks that got us into this mess will be able to do the same.

If you care about Poway, and don’t want to see it fundamentally changed, I urge you to learn more about me and my campaign at the various blog posts on this website.

If we fail to do something now, I think Poway will be changed irreversibly in four years given the expected pace of development that would take place under this current city council

Also, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have about the city of Poway. I hope I can convince you to support me in the upcoming election this November.

Here are some quick links to learn about my position on other issues.

Expanding Poway Community Park

What is the Poway Road Specific Plan

More Reasons to Love My City (Neighborhood Investment)

The Vision for Stoneridge

The Caylin Frank Appointment. Backroom Deal?

Landscape Management Districts (LMDs)

Problems with the Poway Road Specific Plan

Summary of High Priority Issues

Learn more about Brian Edmonston

If you have time, you can learn much more about me, my background, and how I think, from this podcast/interview I did with John Riley as part of the John Riley Project.