"Our investigative reporter from the Union[-Tribune], well...I'm beginning to believe that he couldn't track an elephant in two feet of new-fallen snow with a bloody nose," said Mayor James Bond of Encinitas during the January 26 council meeting.
Bond was referring to a January 24 article in the U-T alleging that he and some other councilmembers approved issuing city manager Phil Cotton a check for $8331, in addition to his $15,000 monthly contract fee. According to the story in the U-T, Cotton was paid the extra amount because of a glitch in the calendar and the pay cycle.
Some residents touched on the issue during public testimony.
"What the heck is going on? Who is in charge?" asked resident Bob Bondi regarding the extra pay. Bondi directed his statement at the council's majority voting bloc — Bond, Stocks, and councilwoman Kristin Gaspar.
"You, the controlling few, are making a mockery out of the City. All the city manager needs to do is count to three and he is home free," Bondi added.
Seconds after Bondi spoke, councilmember Stocks took the microphone.
"That is an inaccurate assertion," councilmember Stocks fired back. "That is absolutely inaccurate, and I thank you for allowing me to clear that."
After public comment, Mayor Bond stated that he plans to place the issue on a future agenda.
"There is far too much confusion," said Bond.