Encinitas mayor reacts to political sign controversy

ENCINITAS, Calif. - The mayor of Encinitas, who is accused of violating the city's election policy, is relying on email to set the record straight.

Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks believes what people are calling "sign gate" is overblown. On Oct. 5, two days before city code allowed political signs to be put up, a local resident caught the mayor and Encinitas City Councilman Mark Muir putting up signs.

On Oct. 10, at the next city council meeting, members of the public angrily expressed their opinions.

"You engaged in campaign violations, not out of ignorance but out of selfishness," said one resident.

Another resident simply said, "You broke the law."

The mayor's position in Encinitas rotates among council members, but there is a measure on the November ballot that would make the mayor an elected position.

Stocks, in an interview with 10News after the meeting, said, "The idea that signs are posted in the street is somehow a capital offense and you should resign from office, is I think a bit overblown."

Political consultant John Dadian said the problem is similar to if someone built a fence two days before they were allowed to and went before the city council.

"So, I built this fence, I violated this rule, but it's a small infraction. It would be hard to argue that because there is a precedent," Dadian said.

Stocks has since sent out an email to supporters which included his phone number, asking that if anyone has questions, just call.

Long time political analyst Carl Luna said, "You know, it's nice that Encinitas' biggest problem is 'sign gate' and not bankruptcy, but it sure is a sign that even at the local level interesting things happen in politics."

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