Justin Fornelli, Chief Rail Engineer for the North County Transit District, appeared before the transit system's board of directors on October 19 at NCTD’s headquarters in Oceanside to report on the status of the temporary train platform at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Fornelli said that NCTD is pursuing funding opportunities for the project.
But that is not all the people movers are doing to push the project. The transit system is proceeding full steam ahead, running down arguments from opponents that are critical of erecting a platform south of the San Dieguito River in Del Mar.
In a October 18 email sent from NCTD spokesperson Alex Wiggins to media correspondents, Wiggins included a link to a September 2007 article in the North County Times that showed a picture of Helen and Richard Eckfield, proponents of a permanent stop north of the river, posing at a site near the proposed temporary stop.
"You may find this 2007 North County Times article interesting, especially given the nature of the current debate about platform options at the Del Mar Fairgrounds," read the email from Wiggins.
"Are Richard and Helen Eckfield advocating for a temporary platform? Based on the photo...it appears Richard and Helen like the South platform option under consideration by NCTD. Am I missing something?" asked the media liaison.
After Fornelli concluded his report to the board of directors, six Del Mar residents opposed to the project testified and then NCTD executive director Matt Tucker addressed the board.
"The board has to look at this not as a North County project or a Del Mar project, this is a regional project. As your executive director, I am not going to take the [foot] off the pedal to find more opportunities to provide public transportation."
Standing in the parking lot after the meeting, Eckfield stated that the picture was not evidence of his support of a stop south of the river but demonstrated his support for a permanent stop at the fairgrounds.
"[NCTD] is only trying to discredit us."