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Encinitas City Council set for major changes next week

ENCINITAS — Across the region, elected city councils, school boards and special district boards will swear in their newly elected and re-elected officials next week.

But Encinitas’ swearing-in ceremony Dec. 13 will be different, as an entire council will be sworn into office.

The unique situation was created by a combination of factors: a 2012 election that changed the mayor position from appointed to a biannually elected position, a 2016 election that had three of the council seats up for grabs and the decision by current Mayor Kristin Gaspar to run for County Supervisor, which guaranteed there would be a new mayor.

When the dust settles on Tuesday, the council will say goodbye to two elected officials, swear in four members — which until they fill the fifth vacancy will comprise the entire council — and figure out how to fill the vacant fifth seat.

The Dec. 13 swearing-in ceremony will begin with the traditional send-off of outgoing elected officials, which this year are Gaspar — who unseated incumbent Dist. 3 Supervisor Dave Roberts — and Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer, who did not seek re-election after one term.

The current council will then certify the election results.

Then, the council will swear in newly elected Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who defeated Gaspar’s husband Paul Gaspar in a landslide, and Councilwoman-elect Tasha Boerner Horvath, who received the second highest votes among the five candidates.

Also being sworn in are Tony Kranz and Mark Muir, who voters elected to their second terms.

Once the new council is seated, the four members will vote on who will serve in the ceremonial position of deputy mayor.

Finally, the council will decide whether to appoint someone to fill the vacancy created by Blakespear’s election to mayor, or whether to host a special election to fill the seat. If they choose to appoint the fifth member, the council will have 60 days to make the appointment.

The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at City Council chambers, 505 S. Vulcan Ave.