The upcoming election for your Local City Council is the most important and pivotal one in Poway's history.
(But before we begin note that once you have finished exploring the site, or before, be sure to take a look at the other blogs on the right side of the page. They contain well researched opinions and observations of long-term Poway residents. Excellent and insightful reads for all)
This election is critically important because the next group of leaders will determine the direction of the new General Plan Update. Mullin, Kruse, and Higginson, make up the three "incumbent" candidates while Babich, Grosch, and Stavros make up the group of challengers.
At issue is that Higginson's cabal is makes up a voting block for developers, while Babich, Grosch, and Stavros represent the interests of the Poway population as a whole. Both Mullin and Higginson are the pro-developer's candidates. Higginson has always viewed the General Plan as something to be used when it suits his short term agenda, or it affects his base (North Poway) voters, and to be ignored whenever else it gets in his way. Higginson will often tell people that he is running because of the lost "experience" that the City has had because several former council members are no longer serving, as well as the loss of a long term City Planner. This is bogus. Higginson is running because the people who thwarted his expansionist ambitions are no longer on the council. The loss of the City Planner means he will have time to mold the new one into the image he desires. Sadly, this image is of a Poway split between the City in the South and the Country in the Very North.
Mullin makes no qualms or excuses about his membership on the Board of Directors of CALPASC. This is primarily a lobbying organization, which represents the interests of the Construction industry. This group has used secret backroom dealings to successfully lobby the State Assembly to pass a pair of laws which reduce the legal liabilities of certain groups of subcontractors working on construction jobs. He ascended to this position at CALPASC after his supporters essentially bought the seat in the special election. (He outspent his nearest opponent ~3:1 and gained the office by a margin of 104 votes. Something less than 0.4% of the electorate) And his supporters are a who's who in San Diego construction. Mullin knows that there are major limitations to construction in Poway, as dictated by Poway General Plan and that the City Council is technically required by law to follow said plan. But not so much the City Staff. As such, Mullin has proposed to "streamline" the process of urbanizing Poway by transferring the authority to start building projects into the hands of the City Staff. The very same group that is born and bred to Build, not to follow the General Plan.
Kruse is not a real candidate. Besides flitting from one position to another by "appointment" he has no real independence. His sole purpose is to make sure than the building out of Poway does not occur near Green Valley, where he derives his political support. In exchange for this, Kruse is a Higginson vote, all the time. He will second any motion to get the process moving and make up the 3rd and final vote in a block that renders each of the other two Council Members irrelevant bystanders.
Despite this Current CRISES of Leadership, Poway is Phenomenally Fortunate to have Three HIGHLY Qualified Candidates to Put Poway Back on the RIGHT Course.
Pete Babich, Dave Grosch, and Nick Stavros are each long term Powegians who know that the "Country" in the "City in the Country" is not only under assault, it is meant for ALL residents, not just a select few elitists. Each of the Challengers has extensive successful entrepreneurial small business sense. Each know that to have a prosperous future as a City, Poway will need to maintain its unique character through a robust and consistent General Plan, and to focus on attracting "Smart" industries of the 21st century. This means industries where the employees are highly skilled and want to live near where they work, and can afford to do it. Not large box stores where the low wage work in imported from outside of Poway, and the workers cannot afford to do much for Poway but provide traffic.
These candidates are not beholden to the Developer's Special Interest Lobby, but listen to the residents. These Challengers are the worst nightmare of the City Staff, because, unlike the current crop, Babich, Grosch, and Stavros, actually take the time to read the reports, not just regurgitate what the City Staff puts in front of their faces.
If you want Poway to turn into Mira Mesa, vote for the "Incumbents". If you want Poway to remain that unique place in San Diego County, vote for the Challengers. For all of our sake, I hope that you...
Tell your neighbors to Vote Out the Incumbents.
........Before its too late