Encinitas Residents Accuse City Council Of Cronyism
The protestors were unhappy at the appointment of the city’s Fire Chief Mark Muir to a vacant seat on the Encinitas City Council.
The seat was vacated by popular City Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan, who died of cancer earlier this year.
Resident Steve Meiche says Muir, who retired as fire chief and was sworn in last night, has already violated city ethics.
“He utilized his position to advance himself and his political interests. He ran campaigns for two of the existing council members while he was working as the fire chief.”
Meiche said the new council majority ignored candidates who reflected Houlihan's community prioirities when they chose to appoint Muir.
Many of those at the protest also rallied last year to accuse Encinitas City Councilman Dan Dalager of conflict of interest. Dalager was voted out of office and subsequently pled guilty to the charge.
Bill McCorkle, a supporter of newly-appointed Muir, said the appointment was above board.
“Everything was done the way it was supposed to be done,” McCorkle said. “The City Council appointed somebody and we’re here to support him.”
A number of those who showed up to support Muir were not residents of Encinitas.
The seat formerly held by Houlihan is up for reelection in November 2012.