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Group Gathers Over 1,200 Signatures Requesting Vote on 85-15 Plan

Carlsbad CA— More than 1,000 signatures were collected in 72 hours for a petition calling on Carlsbad’s City Council to act tomorrow to put the Caruso Affiliated 85/15 Plan before the voters in a special election.

“It is a remarkable achievement considering we aren’t employing a single signature gatherer or running any TV or print ads,” said De’Ann Weimer, president of Citizens for North County, a 501 (c)4 organization. “With this level of concern, we hope the Carlsbad City Council will do the right thing and place the initiative on the ballot at its meeting tomorrow. It is imperative that the citizens have the opportunity to vote on this proposal.”

To date, more than 1,200 have signed the online petition at http://chn.ge/1MEXcAY.

It also is important that Caruso Affiliated live up to its promise to pay all costs related to the special election. When Caruso Affiliated announced in May it would use the initiative process to gain approval for its proposed outdoor mall on the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, its chief executive officer, Rick Caruso, assured the Council and city staff that Caruso Affiliated would pay for the expense of holding the election.

But last week, the company appeared to back away from that promise. Caruso Affiliated Vice President Bryce Ross told KPBS’ Maureen Cavanaugh that Caruso Affiliated had not been asked to pay for the initiative, and professed not to know what the company would do.

“I was sitting next to Mr. Ross in the studio and was taken aback by this statement. Caruso Affiliated representatives had said to myself and other members of local environmental groups that Caruso Affiliated would indeed pick up the tab for a special election on this initiative,” said Weimer. “In conversations with a high ranking city official after the KPBS interview, I was told the city has CEO Rick Caruso on tape making the same assurances, or at least that is how those on the council dais interpreted his statements.”

After hearing testimony from residents on Tuesday, the council will have three choices: 1. To adopt the initiative outright as is; 2. To place it on the ballot; or 3. To study the proposal for another 30 days in hopes of shoring up some of the concerns raised in the city’s 9212 report assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the 85/15 Plan.

Citizens for North County favors immediate assignment to a special election ballot. Citizens for North County is a 501 (c)4 organization advocating on behalf of preserving North San Diego County’s natural habitat, quality of life and character.

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