Accretive Investments, the developer boosting a project near Valley Center you might have heard about, is in full campaign mode.

Their project, Lilac Hills Ranch, is appearing on the countywide ballot as Measure B.

Getting key endorsements is crucial to any campaign, and as inewsource’s Joe Yerardi reports, Accretive Investments got one from the Republican Party of San Diego County, just days before Accretive donated $50,000 to the party through a subsidiary.

One vocal opponent of Lilac Hills believes the contribution paid for the endorsement.

“That was the price of getting the endorsement, that’s my personal opinion,” Mark Jackson told inewsource. “It looks — everything to me — like an endorsement was bought from the San Diego Republican Party.”

Party Chairman Tony Krvaric said the party’s support is based entirely on the merits of the project, and the broader need for more housing.

Feds Commit to Fighting Bluff Erosion

Bluff erosion is an ongoing headache in just about every coastal city in North County.

This year’s El Niño storms led Carlsbad to perform emergency repairs to a section of Highway 101, while Encinitas lifeguards prepared for bluff collapses near Swamis surf spot, where several tons of earth later fell into the ocean. And there’s the ongoing battle over seawalls in Solana Beach, and sand replenishment problems in Oceanside.

To combat bluff erosion, Congress committed the Army Corps of Engineers to replenishing sand on the beach for 50 years in a section of North County ‒ every five years in Encinitas, and 10 years in Solana Beach.

This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the bill governing new Army Corps projects, put forward by Rep. Scott Peters, which allocates the federal government’s share of the costs ‒ nearly $20 million out of an estimated $30 million ‒ to build up and maintain the beach.

“As the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events increase, it is smart to make sure our infrastructure is resilient in the event of a disaster,” Peters said in a press release.

For Encinitas, the Army Corps would dredge enough sand from offshore to make the beach 50 feet wide from Daphne Street to G Street (about 1.5 miles). In Solana Beach, the beach would be as wide as 150 feet, starting at Tide Park and running south for 1.3 miles.

(Disclaimer: I work in IT at the Surfrider Foundation, which advocates against sea walls and is involved with sand replenishment projects in the county.)

Oside Treasurer Candidate Files Complaint Against City

Last week, Voice covered the Oceanside city treasurer’s race, in which a councilman was urging voters to vote for a candidate who recently died.

Now, the other candidate in the race, Nadine Scott, has filed a complaint with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging the city campaigned for the deceased incumbent, Gary Ernst, when it put out a press release about his death.

The release explained the effect his death would have on the election (namely, that he would still appear on the ballot). A state law prohibits agencies from advocating for a result in an election.

In context of a city councilman advocating for voting for a dead candidate, Scott says the city violated FPPC rules.

“As the second candidate on the ballot for the office, I believe this a violation of candidate advertising rules, mass mailing rules, misuse of public funds for a political purpose and many other violations,” Scott said, according to the Union-Tribune.

City Attorney John Mullen, however, compared the city’s press release and a similar write-up in a public newsletter to an obituary.

48th District Ain’t What It Used to Be for Republicans

Home to wealthy coastal neighborhoods and military communities, the congressional district that stretches from Encinitas to Dana Point was once solid territory for Republicans like Rep. Darrell Issa.

But the primary election in June indicated that may no longer be the case, at least in San Diego County, where Issa led his Democratic challenger, Doug Applegate, by only a few hundred votes. Compare that with the portions of his district that sit in Orange County, which gave him a nearly 8,000-vote lead in the primary.

KPBS reports that demographic shifts in the district are leaving Republicans, and Issa, with a smaller registration advantage than they once had. Combined with the Donald Trump factor (Issa boarded the Trump train), Issa is campaigning like he hasn’t had to for years.

North County Voice at Politifest

This year’s Politifest featured a debate on Measure A, the ballot item to raise the county’s sales tax and invest that money in highways, transit and open space.

Speaking for North County, and against Measure A, Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery said the plan is too vague, and doesn’t commit to a transit system that is needed now.

He also said a line that North County opponents to the tax increase have repeated: Where’s our fair share?

Voice has unpacked that statement before, but Lowery was speaking as a board member of the North County Transit District, which he said is looking at 10 percent of the new funds, compared with its 30 percent share of existing tax funds.

“Even though it’s more money, we’re getting ratio’d out of what we’ve historically received. We have plenty of plans in North County for the transit system that’s already in place. We need to continue that. We don’t want to be deprived because San Diego has different needs than we have.”

And later, he snuck this zinger in:

“We have to work with what we have in place right now and build upon that, and that does not mean building more freeways, expanding all the roadways so people can go 17 mph instead of 15 mph … ”

Also in the News

• The state’s lease from the Department of Defense, for the land covering Trestles and San-O, is up in five years. Nobody knows where negotiations are headed. (Mercury News)

• Designers have unveiled their plan for a hotel, stores, offices and homes at the Solana Beach Transit Center. (Union-Tribune)

 The Hops Highway is jammed with breweries between Oceanside and Escondido, and serves as the gateway to the county’s abundant brew. (Los Angeles Times)

• Still riding the anti-Measure A wave in Carlsbad, challengers in the City Council race call for transparency. (Union-Tribune)

• Issa, state Sen. Pat Bates, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern hosted a town hall on sober-living homes, and discussed new legislation that could allow for some local control. (Union-Tribune)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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