13 residents apply to fill vacant council seat

ENCINITAS — By the Oct. 20 6 p.m. cutoff time, 14 residents had applied to fill the remainder of Council member Maggie Houlihan’s term. Houlihan died of cancer Sept. 16, leaving the seat vacant and the council scrambling to determine the process to fill a vacancy. However, one of the applicants, Dave Clark, a Cardiff School Board member withdrew his application on Oct. 24, saying he could not hold two elected offices simultaneously.
The council opted not to hold a special election citing the cost and time delay. Houlihan’s term ends December 2012.
Eventually, the council agreed with a subcommittee recommendation, made up of Councilwomen Teresa Barth and Kristin Gaspar, to accept applications from the public over a two-week period, allow each applicant five minutes to speak at an open regular meeting about their qualifications, make an appointment on Nov. 2 and swear in the newest councilmember on Nov. 9.
Half of the residents turned in applications on Oct. 20, including the city’s current fire chief.
The applicants include:
-Tony Brandenburg, currently a member of the city’s planning commission and former Encinitas Union school board member and president of the Olivenhain Town Council.
-Robert Campbell, a member of the city’s Senior Citizens Commission who states he will not run for the seat after the term ends.
-J. David Drielsma, a retired schoolteacher who also serves on the city’s Senior Citizens Commission.
-Ken Harrison, a lifelong resident and business owner who promises not to seek election.
-Joann Hoffman, founder of a public health research firm who promises not to seek election.
-Alice Jacobson, a former planning commissioner for nearly a decade who currently serves on the Environmental Advisory Commission.
-Joel King, also a member of the city’s Senior Citizens Commission with a background in finance.
-Tony Kranz, who placed third, with two seats available, in the last City Council election.
-Alan Lerchbacker, a former CEO.
-Kent Mesplay, a biomedical engineer.
-Mark Muir, the city’s fire chief who promises to resign if appointed to the City Council. Muir also serves as an elected member of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District.
-Robert Schneider, a retired Navy commander who indicates he will not seek election at the end of the term.
-Lisa Shaffer, a UCSD lecturer, who was endorsed by Houlihan prior to her death.

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