Change coming to Del Mar, not Solana Beach

COAST CITIES — The filing deadline has come and gone for candidates for the Nov. 2 election, and it looks as though there will be changes in the governing bodies of Del Mar, but things will remain status quo in Solana Beach.
After serving more than a decade on the Del Mar City Council, Richard Earnest is not seeking re-election.
“I think turnover is a good thing,” Earnest said. “It’s time for some new faces and new ideas.”
Earnest was first elected in 1996 and ran again successfully in 2004. He did not seek a third term, but returned to the council in the spring of 2007 to complete the term of Jerry Finnell, who stepped down because of illness. Earnest is currently serving his third rotation as mayor.
Councilwoman Crystal Crawford is seeking to represent the 74th District in the state Assembly, running against Republican incumbent Martin Garrick. Crawford, who is completing her 12th year on the Del Mar City Council, also served as mayor three times.
This is the second consecutive election during which two incumbents did not seek re-election in the county’s smallest city. Lee Haydu, Terry Sinott and Jim Tucker are vying for the two open seats.
The Del Mar Union School District board of trustees will also reconvene this fall with at least two new members. Annette Easton and Katherine White are not seeking re-election.
“For me the decision not to run again this year was an easy one as it was, in fact, made four years ago,” said Easton, who was first elected in 2002. “When I ran in 2006 I promised my family that two terms would be it.”
White said as a single mother of three, she “put a lot of things on hold” during her one term on the board.
“I know there are a lot of things to tackle and the state budget is making it difficult for schools,” White said. “It’s not that I’m not interested or committed, but I want to focus more on my kids for a while.”
Steve McDowell is seeking a second term on the board. In 2008, McDowell, Easton and White voted to buy out the contract of then-Superintendent Tom Bishop, a move that cost the district about $300,000.
Earlier this year, Easton, White and Doug Perkins voted to fire Superintendent Sharon McClain “with cause,” which meant she would not receive further pay or benefits. McClain has filed a lawsuit against the district.
McDowell abstained from voting on the McClain issue. He did not respond to a request asking why.
McDowell, Kristin Gibson, Jason Maletic, Doug Rafner and Scott Wooden are seeking to fill the three available seats.
Mayor Tom Campbell and Councilman Mike Nichols were the only candidates who submitted papers for the two available seats on the Solana Beach City Council. This is the second consecutive election in the county’s second smallest city during which only the incumbents are running.
During a special meeting Aug. 18, council members voted, as they did in 2008, to cancel the local election because there are no ballot measures. The move will save the city an estimated $10,000.
In the Solana Beach School District, incumbents Jeff Busby, Vicki King and Debra Schade were the only candidates who filed papers to fill the three available seats on that board.

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