ENCINITAS — After months of speculation, Encinitas Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar announced she would indeed run for mayor, setting up a potential battle between she and council colleague Tony Kranz.
Encinitas voters will elect the city’s first elected mayor Nov. 4 after decades of the position being ceremonious in nature.
Gaspar made the announcement on Saturday at the 20th anniversary of Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy, where she serves as chief financial officer.
“During my first term on the council and as Mayor, I have focused on and voted for projects and services the vast majority of citizens support, such as Moonlight Beach renovations, the Olivenhain Fire Station, completing the Encinitas Community Park and improving the quality of our roads,” Gaspar said in a statement. “My public service experience, strong fiscal record, and business skills make me the most qualified candidate to protect local quality of life.”
Kranz, who serves as deputy mayor, is one of four people who have already pulled nomination paperwork for a mayoral run. He allies with the current council majority, which includes Lisa Shaffer and Teresa Barth, who has announced she will not seek reelection.
Gaspar and Mark Muir comprise the current council minority. Both in recent months have voted against the city’s proposed debt-financed purchase of the Pacific View Elementary School site for $10 million and Moonlight Beach Lifeguard Tower renovation for $3 million. Both have cited the $733,000 annual debt service payments (30-year term) and the price tag for the purchase as excessive.
Gaspar also touts her opposition to a proposed sales-tax increase that the council majority discussed earlier this year. The council ultimately sidelined the plan in March.
In addition to Gaspar and Muir, peace activist Alex Fidel, local activist Al Rodbell and local engineer Munawer “Mike” Bawany are the others to signal interest in running for the mayoral position.
Fidel is the only one to return his paperwork and be certified for the Nov. 4 ballot, City Clerk Kathy Hollywood said.
Candidates have until Aug. 8 to return their nomination paperwork.