ENCINITAS — The 2020 race for two seats on the Encinitas City Council is heating up, as the sitting Councilmembers Tony Kranz (District 1) and Deputy Mayor Kellie Hinze (District 2) face off with candidates Alex Riley (District 1) and Susan Turney (District 2).
In previous weeks, all four candidates participated in the Coast News Clean Campaign Forum, signing the Clean Campaign Pledge, and answering a series of questions in regards to city spending, housing, their top priorities and why they want to represent residents.
In the race for District 1, incumbent Councilman Tony Kranz has served on Encinitas City Council since 2012 and according to second-period financial statements, has raised $11,274 in campaign funds during 2020, while Alex Riley, a political newcomer, has raised $3,905.
According to Kranz, Encinitas is one of the safest cities in the country with high property values. He looks to continue serving his district.
“We are improving aging infrastructure, engaging our community and providing public art, recreation and helping to clean our environment so that future generations can experience the joy of living along the edge of the ocean in a city we all love and cherish,” Kranz said.
Kranz’s highest priority is public safety, pledging to consistently vote for the highest level of funding for the San Diego County Sheriff’s department and the Fire and Marine Safety division.
Riley, who served as a Lifeguard for the City of San Diego Fire/Rescue Department for 19 years, was motivated to run for the District 1 seat by looming housing developments in the Leucadia area.
“My wife and I moved to Leucadia for a better quality of life we were lacking in North Park,” Riley said. “I’m running because I see the Council has largely ignored the long-standing issues in District 1 except to bury us in a disproportionate amount of dense up-zoning.”
According to Riley, his top priority as councilmember would be infrastructure and public safety.
“Defending our neighborhoods from over-building and prioritizing these two fundamental duties will provide the solid foundation needed to allow us to maintain the high quality of life that we love about Encinitas.”
While Hinze has out-fundraised Turney, raising $41,177.60 in total since January 2020, according to second-period financial statements, Turney brought in more campaign donations between July 1 through September 16, raising $1,808.60 more than Hinze, for a total of $16,560.
According to Hinze, she is running for election to “deliver progress to residents on vibrant public spaces, beaches, parks, and trails.”
“My record reflects transparent decision-making and responsive leadership. The future of Encinitas depends on meaningful, positive collaboration and proactive planning to safeguard our environment, community and economy,” Hinze said.
Hinze also believes public safety to be her top priority.
“Public safety is the city’s core function,” Hinze said. “We have to do this exceptionally well to accomplish any other goals. As one of the safest cities in the county, we are constantly working alongside marine safety, law enforcement and our fire department to uphold the highest level of safety possible with wildland-urban interfaces on all sides of our city.”
Challenging Hinze for the seat, Turney said her priority as a council member would be to “put residents first” with respect to “housing, public safety, and government transparency,” and to raise the number of mandated affordable housing units in Encinitas.
“I propose requiring up to 25% affordable housing, as other cities do,” Turney said. “This way we also preserve neighborhoods and minimize impacts to traffic and on the infrastructure. At 25% rather than the council’s 15%, the need to rezone would drop from 5,587 to 3,352 units. That’s a 40 % decrease.”
Additional information on each candidate can be found on their webpages and social media, as linked in the article above.
Any North County residents unaware of which district they live in may use The Coast News’ 2020 Interactive Voting Map by searching for their address and viewing all applicable candidates for legislative races on their ballot. Also, please check out The Coast News Candidate questionnaire with responses from all six Encinitas candidates.