The Coast News Group
Mayor Tony Kranz speaks during the State of the City address on March 21 in Encinitas. Photo by Darren Lazarus
Mayor Tony Kranz speaks during the State of the City address on March 21 in Encinitas. Photo by Darren Lazarus
CitiesCommunityEncinitasNewsPolitics & GovernmentRegion

Kranz underscores local investments in State of City address

ENCINITAS — Mayor Tony Kranz delivered the Encinitas State of the City address on March 21 at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center, touting several accomplishments while emphasizing the importance of investing in local infrastructure, homeless services, and public health and safety.

The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which was sponsored by local organizations like Scripps, the Encinitas Rotary Club, and Mira Costa Community College. Videos from various local groups highlighted accomplishments, focusing on support for small businesses, street fairs, and community events.

The evening began with opening remarks from Richard D. Marks, chairman of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, followed by Pastor Sam Nelson from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, who led a moment of gratitude. Local Boy Scout Troop #776 presented the colors and recited the pledge of allegiance.

Council members each spoke, showcasing plans for their respective districts.

Members of the Cardiff 101 MainStreet Association attended the State of the City on March 21 in Encinitas. Photo by Darren Lazarus
Cardiff 101 Main Street Association members at the State of the City on March 21 in Encinitas. Photo by Darren Lazarus

Councilmember Allison Blackwell discussed improving railroad crossings for pedestrian safety and increasing infrastructure like sidewalks and roundabouts. Councilmember Kellie Hinze focused on revitalizing Orpheus Park with new equipment, including adult fitness gear.

Deputy Mayor Joy Lyndes addressed issues such as the sinkhole on Lake Drive, park beautification, and native plant preservation. Councilmember Bruce Ehlers concluded by discussing community plans, including acquiring Surfer’s Point, a $6 million piece of land.

During Kranz’s speech, the mayor emphasized the evening’s theme as “Investing in Our Future,” arguing the city is “worthy of investment.” Kranz underscored accomplishments from the past year, including establishing an Infrastructure Task Force to help identify priorities.

As part of local infrastructure investment, Congressman Mike Levin successfully procured $4 million in federal funding for drainage improvements along Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia, construction of which will begin soon.

However, Kranz pointed out the unmet demand for city improvements, prompting the city to propose a ballot measure for the November ballot. The measure seeks to implement a one percent local sales tax increase, ideally generating up to $5 million annually to help fund improvements, particularly roadway safety and drainage infrastructure.

Among this past year’s accomplishments was the recent opening of the Buena Creek Navigation Center, a 48-bed homeless shelter serving Vista and Encinitas residents.

“Being able to support every member of our community is very important, and I am incredibly thankful that we are now able to do so,” he said. 

The Encinitas City Council: Kellie Hinze, Allison Blackwell, Tony Kranz, Joy Lyndes and Bruce Ehlers. Photo by Darren Lazarus
The Encinitas City Council: Kellie Hinze, Allison Blackwell, Tony Kranz, Joy Lyndes and Bruce Ehlers. Photo by Darren Lazarus

In response to heightened concerns over cyclist safety, Kranz acknowledged a pressing need for action, citing safety issues and tragic accidents as urgent catalysts.

This year, South Coast Highway 101 saw safety enhancements, including the addition of two bike lanes and reduced speed limits aimed at enhancing cyclist safety. Kranz expressed satisfaction with the city’s continual efforts to improve transportation accessibility for all residents, regardless of their chosen mode of travel.

“Over the past year, we have hunkered down and made this a top priority,” said Kranz.

The city has launched a series of initiatives to bolster bike safety, including appointing a mobility manager, Nick Buck, who spearheaded the development of training programs in collaboration with local school districts. Additionally, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has forged partnerships with schools to impart education on cycling safety and enforce related regulations.

Mayor Tony addresses the crowd during the State of the City event on March 21 at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center. Photo by Darren Lazarus
Mayor Tony addresses the crowd during the State of the City event on March 21 at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center. Photo by Darren Lazarus

Kranz also discussed environmental health, highlighting the city’s recent implementation of a smoke-free ordinance aimed at fostering a “healthier, cleaner, and more beautiful Encinitas.” The city’s status as a Bee City USA affiliate underscores its commitment to protecting vital pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Kranz also announced plans for an ordinance to safeguard native plants and affirmed the city’s progress toward meeting its 2030 Climate Action Plan and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The mayor also mentioned the launch of Encinitas Academy, designed to enhance community members’ understanding of local government and services.

In his closing remarks, Kranz discussed significant land acquisitions and highlighted the city’s strategic investments, such as the purchase of Pacific View School. Kranz said the school’s impending reopening is anticipated to symbolize a “beacon of unity and progress” for Encinitas.

Similarly, acquiring an iconic parcel of land on the northeast corner of 101 and La Costa Avenue is poised to serve as a “sanctuary” for the community, further enriching the city’s open spaces and fostering a sense of belonging.

Quoting Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ Is The Thing With Feathers,” Kranz ended with optimism and gratitude for the opportunity to serve as mayor.

Leave a Comment