"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." — Matthew 5:17
If a book were to be written about the City of Encinitas, and track record of past elected officials, the title would be a toss up between "Vote for me I always know best" or "Progress in spite of itself." The current chapter of the city's sorted history is currently being orchestrated by an ex-mayor who failed during her tenure to provide Encinitas with adequate library services, and her attempt to derail efforts to retain the main library as part of the downtown Civic Center.
Blinded by a chronic case of self importance, Anne Omsted, and her hand picked disciples of disinformation,have decided theirs is the only opinion that matters. Joining Anne in her municipal monkey wrenching is another ex-mayor, Lou Aspel, who showed little concern for library services during her time on the city council.
Ms. Aspel, proving her talent for short sightedness and miscalculation, while a member of the city council chose not to advocate for a library as part of the Encinitas Ranch development,instead focusing her efforts on a golf course that few residents would use, and a performing arts center with no chance of being built. Had a library on Quail Gardens Drive been a priority of Lou Aspel, she could have easily advocated for one.
Another ex-notable associated with efforts to further eviscerate Downtown Encinitas, long time Planning Commissioner Alice Jacobson,who played an integral part in the development of Encinitas Ranch, also has been silent up to now regarding library services. Yet here she is lending her name to an effort aimed at further eroding the historic downtown in favor of the politics of sprawl. Sadly, these women are mistaking egocentrism for altruism, and the city of Encinitas is suffering because of it.
After my last column citing Anne Omsted's vocal support of a downtown library on September 13, 2000, and her desire to move forward on a reinvigorated civic center, a reader asked me how I could question the motives of the recently formed "Library 4 All." Mentioning the simplistic jingoism of their name as reason enough to be suspicious, I then informed her of the process and tax dollars that went into the decision to keep the library on Cornish. She asked if I would review the website of the grammatically challenged group.
After studying the entirety of the website, it was clear to me the purpose of this site is to disseminate the truth according to Anne. To help readers recognize the blatant propaganda being spread by Ms. Omstead and her disciples, I thought it best to address the most glaring examples, as a way of countering the miscommunication being spread by Anne's agents.
The main justification cited by those seeking to torpedo the downtown library is the failure of the city council to site an interim library on El Camino Real. Talk about red herrings. Reviewing the tape from the September 13, 2000 meeting, as well as the "Library 4 All" initiative, it is quite clear the Council direction was only to appoint an ad hoc committee to work with staff to review potential sites for an interim library.
What "Library 4 All" fails to mention in their literature is that the review of potential interim library sites concluded that the cost of an interim facility would severely delete the city's library development fund, leaving little money to complete a permanent library in the foreseeable future.
Another claim being circulated by those opposing a civic center library is that by rebuilding the library at its current location on Cornish drive, Council members and city staff are guaranteeing Encinitas will always have a substandard library. This is simply untrue. Ms. Omsted, having been a part of the design process from its inception, knows the city is committed to providing residents with a state of the art library facility within walking distance of City Hall, mass transit, and the downtown business district.
The most obvious lie being told by the proponents of placing the library next to the Encinitas golf course, is that the Cornish Drive site would need to be purchased from the County prior to construction. Again this is totally untrue and Anne Omsted knows it, as she was present when Supervisor Pam Slater informed city officials the County of San Diego would give the city the Cornish Drive property as well as help the city procure additional funding.
Library 4 All? More like mendacity forever.