The Coast News Group

Council approves drama-less committee appointments

ENCINITAS — For the second consecutive year, the City Council approved its appointments to various boards and committees with little fanfare.

Mayor Catherine Blakespear will represent Encinitas on the board of directors for the powerful San Diego Association of Governments. Better known as SANDAG, the county’s transportation and metropolitan planning agency oversees regional pedestrian, motor vehicle and transportation projects and has the authority to propose tax increases to support those efforts.

Blakespear replaces former Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer, who did not seek re-election and served as the city’s SANDAG representative for four years.

“The last time there was a full partisan vote on the committees it is so nice not to have to do that,” Blakespear said after the vote. “I’m glad we all agree.”

“Last time” was 2014, when controversy erupted when then-Mayor Kristin Gaspar nominated herself to replace Shaffer as the SANDAG representative, arguing that the majority of representatives on the board were city mayors. Shaffer said the move was a politically motivated demotion.

Ultimately Shaffer retained her title.

This year, there was no discussion as the council unanimously approved the appointments, which also included keeping Tony Kranz on the North County Transit District board and Mark Muir on as the city’s San Diego County Water Authority representative.

Muir was recently named chairman of the water agency.

Newly elected councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath will serve on the San Elijo Wastewater board, replacing Blakespear.

Blakespear also replaced Gaspar, who was elected county supervisor, as representative on the Encina Wastewater Authority.

City Council members serve on the boards of various regional agencies and city committees. Some of these positions include stipends per meeting ranging anywhere from $50 to $182, paid by the Encina Wastewater Authority.