ENCINITAS — The change in the Encinitas Council chambers last week was subtle, and occurred with little fanfare.
On June 11, Kristin Gaspar officiated her first meeting as the city’s last appointed mayor, a title she will carry for six months until voters elect the city’s first elected mayor in November.
“It really is a privilege and honor to serve,” Gaspar said.
Gaspar transitioned into the largely ceremonial post as part of a compromise that called for Teresa Barth to serve as mayor from December to June 11, and Gaspar to complete the second half of the year.
That transition was briefly in question when Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer requested to discuss the compromise. While Shaffer said her intentions were never to deny Gaspar the mayoral seat, Gaspar and her supporters questioned the need to have the item on the agenda.
The council unanimously voted after a heated hearing to proceed with the transition, though Gaspar acknowledged that the incident might have strained her relations with the council majority of Barth, Shaffer and Tony Kranz.
“There have been some events that strained some relationships on the council,” Gaspar said. “The next few weeks I hope we can rebuild those relationships so we can continue to work in the best interest of the community.
“I am hoping they are interested in doing the same, rebuilding trust and relationships,” she said.
Gaspar’s first time officiating a council meeting went largely without a hitch, though one of Barth’s supporters fired back at Gaspar for allowing her son and mother to vocally criticize Barth at the May 28 council meeting.
She said her priorities for the next six months are continuing to ensure the public and her fellow council members have freedom to voice their opinions, and maintain a respectful and professional environment on the dais.
Gaspar has yet to declare whether she will run for the elected mayor position this fall.