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Who is funding all the political mailers?

The number of political mailers coming out as we reach the end of this election season has been amazing.

As a non-incumbant candidate for Mayor I can’t match that, but at least I can show you were the money is coming from and let you figure out what is expected in return.

In short, the big money backing this city council is coming from real estate and development interests.  These interests see that we have the first 100% development friendly city council in Poway history and they do not want to lose it.  Poway has been a tough nut to crack, but now they see Poway as ‘open season’ for developers. 

The non-candidate mailers released so far have been from:

Republican Party of San Diego County (RPSDC)

Deputy Sheriff’s Association of San Diego County (DSA of SDC)

Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (GSDAR)

The agenda of the GSDAR should be clear. They want real estate that they can sell.  I applaud them on being transparent at least. 

The funding sources behind the other mailers needs a little more explanation.

The donor list to the Republican Party of SDC is basically just a long list of real estate interests in San Diego. It is would take up too much space go list all of them, but the vast bulk of the money donated at the county level comes from real estate interests.  

There are a few donors that stand out, however.  They are:

Stuck in the Rough LLC (Los Angeles) $70,000 year-to-date

Sudberry Properties (San Diego) $32,500 year-to-date

Associated Builders and Contractors PAC (Poway) $36,000 year-to-date

California Real Estate PAC (Los Angeles) $40,000 year-to-date

The first donor of particular interest is stuck in the Rough LLC (SIR), which is the Michael Schlesinger’s company that owns Stoneridge.  SIR is the second largest donor to the SDCRP listed on their latest fundraising statement.  They are a big player.  Schlesinger clearly feels the need to donate so much because he know the activity he is engaged in is hated by the local residents of San Diego and he needs to give the Republcan Party a lot of money in order to carry their water here in San Diego.  And the Republican Party of SDC seem perfectly willing to do that for him.

The second donor of interest to Poway is Sudberry Properties.  Sudberry Properties currently has an exclusive right to negotiate with the city of Poway over the development of the city owned land near civic center drive and Poway Road.  I want some of that land to be used to expand our city park.

Amazingly, the negotiations with Suberry Properties are not public. I guess that is a perk you get for making such a generous donation.

Keep in mind that while you might support a political party’s positions at the national or state level, the policies of that party on a local level may be much less appealing to you. You need to consider local politics separatelt from state or national.

The other set of mailers came from the Deputy Sheriffs Associate of SDC. You may think to yourself surely the Deputy Sheriff’s Association is not influenced by real estate interests?  Well they are.  

Their latest filing shows two large donations from real estate interests out of a total of only four donations. (the other large donation is from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association itself, which presumably comes from union dues).  

The real estate donors to the DSA of SDC are:

Building industry Associate of San Diego County PAC – $20,000

Sunrise Gardens Project Owner LLC – $5,000.

These contributions represent 58% of all the contributions received by the SDA of SDC during the last reporting period – more money than from the union it supposedly represents!

Some of this money was used to send out the Caylin Frank mailer.

So, I just ask you to consider why this current city council is receiving so much support from real estate and development interests and how that support will affect they way they will vote on development projects in Poway during the their next term -development like those that will go on Poway Road.  I guarantee you that these donations and the mailer that the financed will not go unnoticed by our sitting city council.

The single greatest factor in making Poway a great place to raise a family has been slow growth policy towards development, which was largely made possible by proposition FF passed some 30 years ago, not anything this city council has done.  This slow growth policy has also kept our crime low.  

The current city council is trying to take credit for all the good things that make up our city, but in my opinion the unprecedented increase in growth they have planned for Poway in the next few years posses the greatest threat to Poway since its incorpration as a city in 1980.  That is why I am running for Mayor.

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A Win for both sides on Measure A

Measure A failed last year. That is part of Poway history now.
But there is still a way for everyone to get everything they wanted and more – no matter how you voted.  The way to do that is to vote for Edmonston for Mayor in 2018.
Just think about it.
If you voted Yes on A, you wanted a public golf course for Poway and you thought allowing some development on this land was they best way to do that. Fair enough.
And if you voted NO on A you wanted to preserve this important open space for Poway. That is also a reasonable goal, and one you still need to pursue.
What is important now is that you care about the future of Stoneridge, and that is an issue that is important to me as well.
And because this issue is important to me, if elected mayor, I will work to try and find a way to bring a family friendly golf course to Poway with the most likely location for that course being the Stoneridge land. Placing a golf course there would provide the desired recreational facilities and preserve the open space, which gives everyone everything that they wanted.
And I believe that it could be obtained at a reasonable price and, with a little financial help from the surrounding community, operated profitably.
To do this, after conducting a third party review of this plan, I would urge the city to obtain this land and bring family friendly golf, tennis and other public recreational facilities to Poway for use by all. A family friendly golf course is one where Powegians pay reduced green fees and Poway youth pay deeply discounted green fees. We could then explore adding a walking trail through the course and finding partners to bring in a modern eatery and/or a community center.
But we have to have a Mayor with the vision, leadership and energy to get this done.
If you voted on Measure A in 2017, then your best way to get what you wanted, either way, is to vote for Edmonston for Mayor 2018.

Problems with the PRSP

The PRSP is effectively a zoning change that encourages the construction of over 1,100 condos and other commercial development along Poway Road. This represents a massive change for the Poway we know and love.

After careful review of the plan I have many concerns that would need to be addressed before I would approve any additional PRSP development. My concerns include insufficient building fees to pay for new public facilities and affordable housing, inadequate parking requirements, and the use of very vague “benefits,” which allow developers to bypass the already lenient zoning requirements of the PRSP. There are plenty of other issues with the PRSP, but these are the most glaring in my opinion.

The bottom line is that the PRSP is too developer friendly. The PRSP does not protect residents from the damage PSRP development will do to their quality of life. I think we need an improved PRSP with more protections for residents if we want to allow this type of development to happen while preserving our great city at the same time.

Landscape Management Districts (LMDs)

Many may not realize that our tree lined streets along Espola and Twin Peak Roads are paid for by “Landscape Management Districts” (LMDs.) These are special assessments that the homes along those streets must pay each year. A recent effort to adjust these payments for increased costs failed. This failure is causing severe degradation of the greenscape along these main thoroughfares.

I think this issue is not receiving the focus it should by our city council. These are some of the most public and most travelled areas in Poway and their poor condition reflects very badly on our city. I believe we need more investigation into why the homeowners rejected the previous increase and then new proposals should be created based on this information. Additionally, we need more education and leadership during the next vote in order make residents understand how important these assessments are to the community. I saw no leadership of this type during the previous attempt to update the LMD rates.

I would also propose that the city include some funding to start repairs of these areas immediately if a new LMD structure was approved, rather than waiting for the funds to be collected over some number of months or years, which was the previous plan. Poway should not have to endure the poor condition of these green spaces any longer than necessary.

The Vision for Stoneridge

Poway Golf and Tennis Club

The closure of Stoneridge Country Club has placed 117 acres of open space land into a state of limbo. At best this is unused land that is an eyesore. At worst it is a fire hazard and an attraction for criminal activity.

While our current leadership feels it has no role to play with respect to Stoneridge, I see its closure as an opportunity to bring great things to Poway. This includes potentially opening a family friendly golf, tennis and swim facility for all of Poway with a view towards exploring a public exercise facility and/or eatery some time down the line. A family friendly golf facility would charge very low green fees for Poway youth allowing a family to play golf at a modest price. This would give everyone in Poway access to golf near their home. The facility would also give Powegians substantially increased access to tennis as nine additional tennis courts would more than triple the number currently available.

Also, because the golf course would be public, the city could add some walking paths. I have witnessed the success of such a configuration first hand at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course and Coronado Public Golf Course, both of which have protected walking paths that run along each course. It is also worth noting that both these golf courses are built on land that is much more valuable than Stoneridge, but these highly respected cities view a golf course as a suitable use. That is one reason why they are great cities. It is not unreasonable to ask the same from Poway.

And to ensure that this public golf/tennis/swim facility will not be a drain on the city’s budget, I am working with the homeowners around the course to create a special assessment that would allow these homes to subsidize the irrigation costs (i.e. the water bill) for the course. This is a clear win-win deal as we get a great golf course and these homes get great views. I have found strong support for this proposal so far. With this subsidy I have determined that the course is highly likely to be profitable, with the potential revenue to the city being as much as the taxes received from 30 new homes. The city should take advantage of this generous offer so that we can have a fantastic new recreational facility available to everyone in our a community without any burden to the budget.