Encinitas City Council to avoid special election, will make an appointment for vacant District 3 seat

Written by Sebastian Acosta

To avoid a special, mail-in election that would have cost the city $200,000 to $300,000, Encinitas will instead appoint someone to fill the council seat left vacant by Jody Hubbard, who resigned prematurely due to health issues.

Eligible candidates must be a District 3 resident, at least 18 years old, a registered voter in Encinitas, and a California state citizen, City Clerk Kath Hollywood said. The application deadline will be Feb. 11 and applicant review by the council will be on Feb. 24. The spot must be filled by March 14. 

Mayor Catherine Blaksepear has said that numerous people have called the appointment process “undemocratic,” which she did not agree with. 

Councilman Tony Kranz echoed that sentiment, saying, “I think the city has been well served by the appointment process.” The appointment process has a long history and has been used at all levels of government following the unanticipated departure of an official.

The council heard from two public speakers, both opposing the appointment. 

Barbara Murray, a long-time Cardiff resident, said the people in her community should have “a representative they have chosen themselves.”

“It is not democracy; democracy is voting,” said Ken Harrison, another Cardiff resident. 

Councilman Tony Kranz said he’d prefer to pick an applicant who did not plan to run for the Cardiff seat when it’s up for election in 2022, but others on the council said they were open to the idea. Kranz himself was appointed in Jan. 2019 to finish Tasha Boerner Horvath’s term. He was later elected to his seat. 

Photo via City of Encinitas