ENCINITAS — Unlike previous years, there was little discussion and no dissent on the mayor’s appointments to regional and local boards and committees. City Council approved Mayor Jerome Stocks’ recommendations unanimously during the special meeting Dec. 19. Stocks said during the meeting that he sent a prior email to the council with his proposed appointments and asked if anyone had requests for changes. “A few did,” he said.
In a departure from the normal voting procedure, each council member left the room during the vote on their appointments. The change was in response to a letter sent by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission to the city stating that it was not appropriate for each council member to be present during a vote on committee assignments due to the potential for personal financial gain. Some of the committees afford a stipend per meeting.
There was little change in the 20 appointments, with newly appointed Council member Mark Muir gaining 11 new assignments. Last year, Council member Teresa Barth was stripped of her regional committee assignments by a council majority during a contentious meeting.
During last year’s meeting, then-Deputy Mayor Stocks motioned to have first-time Council member Kristin Gaspar replace Barth as alternate representative on the San Diego Association of Governments, (SANDAG) and North County Transit District Barth was demoted to SANDAG second alternate while Stocks remained as the city’s representative.
Stocks kept those appointments in place this year.
Unlike Stocks, then-Mayor James Bond said he did not speak to anyone on the council prior to the meeting in 2010 except Gaspar regarding his recommendations to the various regional boards. “I would have liked to talk to everyone but it’s not appropriate under the state’s Brown Act,” he said.
The groups deal with issues on regional and local levels including water and waste treatment, transportation and infrastructure, tourism and housing. Most boards and committees require two representatives. Some require alternates.
Muir, a former member of the Olivenhain Water District board, was appointed to the San Dieguito Water District board. He will also serve as a school district liaison representative. His wife, Maureen, serves as a trustee on the Encinitas Union School District board, which has filed suit against the city over the zoning of the former Pacific View Elementary School.
“I’m sure we will all serve the people of Encinitas well in our various capacities,” Stocks said.