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New Encinitas City Council Swears in; Chooses Barth as Mayor

The Encinitas City Council chose Teresa Barth as Mayor and Lisa Shaffer as Deputy Mayor shortly after swearing in.

An overflow crowd watched as Tony Kranz, Mark Muir and Lisa Shaffer took the oath of office as the city’s newly elected City Council members. The three broke with tradition and took the oath simultaneously.

A handful of attendees stood up and sang, “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,” as many responded by clapping loudly.

In his last act as Mayor, Jerome Stocks, who lost his bid for re-election, motioned to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election. In addition to the new council members, voters approved a proposition that will allow for a directly elected mayor to serve a two-year term beginning with the 2014 election. Councilman Jim Bond, who retired from the council after serving 20 years, cast his last vote in favor of the motion.

Retiring district three County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and her newly elected replacement, Dave Roberts were two of the many familiar faces seated in the gallery.

Tom Frank, a Leucadia resident congratulated the new council. “That’s a great looking council,” he said. “Congratulations to the residents of Encinitas.” 

Barb Yost, one of the nine candidates who ran for three spots on the council also addressed the new council. “It was a privilege running with you all,” she said. “Actually, it was a lot of fun. It’s a new day in Encinitas.”

Her reference to the shifting balance of power on the five-member council was a common refrain throughout the meeting. Councilwoman Teresa Barth supported Kranz and Shaffer, while Bond and Deputy Mayor Kristen Gaspar supported Muir and Stocks. 

The most anticipated portion of the meeting was the selection of the mayor and deputy mayor. The mood was much more upbeat than last year’s selection meeting, when over three-fourths of those in attendance stood with their backs to the dais when Gaspar and Stocks were selected by a majority vote of the council.

The silent protest marked the third time Barth had been passed over for the leadership positions. Despite the rotational process of each council member moving to the next seat until they reach the Deputy Mayor and then Mayor’s spot, Barth, now in her second term in office, had yet to receive enough council votes to serve in either capacity.

During the previous year’s mayoral vote, Barth supporters shouted in outrage after Bond, Stocks and Gaspar voted for the 2011 leadership positions. Late Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan and Barth voted against Bond for Mayor and Stocks for Deputy Mayor, saying it did not follow the longstanding rotational history of selecting the two posts.

What came as a surprise to many in the audience was Gaspar’s announcement that she would not accept a nomination for a leadership post.

Barth responded that she believes in the rotational system and was prepared to follow it. However, as the most senior member on the council, with 6 years under her belt, she said she felt like “the last man standing.”

“I don’t want this evening to be about getting even,” she said. “Tonight we are turning a page.” Barth said the recent past of the council had been “marred by bullying and petty politics,” but added, “I see a brighter future.”

Kranz’s nomination for Barth to assume the mayor’s position and Shaffer the deputy mayor post passed unanimously.

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RATSJ December 13, 2012 at 06:45 AM
If you're such a brainiac, why didn't you run for council since you have all the answers?
Lynn Marr December 13, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Olivier, I can't tell you enough how much the efforts of you, your wife and all the initiative volunteers are appreciated. I hope that people will continue to sign the petition which would enable the public to vote on amendments to Specific Plans and our now being revised General Plan, that enough signatures can be gathered so that Council can adopt the initiative, as written. That would be a huge benefit to all of those who live in and love our beachside town. It would also ensure more open, equitable government!
Lynn Marr December 13, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Yes, congratulations to Mayor Teresa Barth & Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer. I feel that Councilmember Kristin Gaspar did the gracious thing, under the circumstances. In my opinion, Teresa Barth should have stepped up & accepted the reigns of leadership. She had more experience on Council; she had been passed over 3 times; the public had VOTED OUT the rotational system. Contracts should be re-examined, annually, particularly when they are for $100,000 per year, or more. The City's relationship with private contractors, as well as its subsidization of non-profits should be agendized, & discussed publicly. I concur that sometimes too many "awards" are given by non-profits seeking favors & subsidies through the City. All non-profits should have to apply, yearly, for community grants, no exceptions for business associations which sometimes act as lobbyists for a particular agenda. Yes, from my experience, also, the troubles on council began with Christy Guerin. Now that Bilbray wasn't re-elected, perhaps she can become a crossing guard again? Both she & her husband, a "Colonel" in the Sheriff's Department, are living "off the public trough." Both have received disability compensation, through the County Sheriff. Christy's husband appealed his, to get a greater settlement, which was denied. Christy gets about $3,000 per month "retirement disability for stress fractures" although she's run in relays, in addition to her salary as Billbray's District Manager.
Lynn Marr December 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I don't think you're right about the new office furniture, Marcia, I hope not, or new computers. I don't care for the "special awards," either. Special awards & presentations should be agendized in such a way that public speakers can add our two cents. They shouldn't be on the agenda only as a PR moment for incumbents, no matter who the incumbents are. With respect to "stopping all work on everything," that's not happening. However, some work, such as changing a major circulation element by eliminating one lane northbound on a major roadway MANDATES amendments to the 101 Corridor Specific Plan, the General Plan (being updated), and the Local Coastal Program, with a finding that lane reduction will not adversely affect operational adequacy, after environmental review, through the California Environmental Quality Act. We shouldn't rush ahead with projects, including an ill-conceived "lane diet" which will make Neptune & all streets west of North Highway 101, as well as Vulcan, a school zone LESS walkable due to more cut through traffic, & which lane diet will also negatively impact our neighborhoods with slower emergency response time. I'm very grateful Councilmember Tony Kranz asked for an agenda item to be set on this to make sure "we're doing things right." However, the road re-lining should not continue, so that the lane diet is implemented before this needed public discussion. I feel you're wrong, too, Marcia, about most of your predictions.
Miss Peach December 15, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Like most corny soothsayers, your "predictions" are vague and cover every facet of human behavior. I won't be "crossing your palm with silver" any time soon, Madame Marcia, for in my country, we have a saying: "Talk Is Cheap".

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