As deadline passes, council vacancy yields 16 applicants

ENCINITAS — To say that the field of applicants to fill the Encinitas City Council vacancy is robust would be an understatement.

The city received 16 — yes, 16 — applications to fill the council seat left vacant by Catherine Blakespear’s election to the mayor seat.

The large group includes several former city commissioners, several large and small business owners and two of the most visible opponents of the city’s housing element update, Measure T.

Bruce Ehlers, a former planning commissioner and chairman of the “No on Measure T” committee, submitted an application on Jan. 3. He and Tony Brandenburg, a planning commissioner who ran unsuccessfully for election in November, were among the most vocal opponents of the failed ballot measure.

Ehlers told the new council in December that it should appoint a person from the “No on T’ movement so that opponents of the current housing element would be represented on the council. Currently, all four members supported Measure T last fall.

The group of applicants also includes one former elected official, Joseph Mosca, who previously served as a city council member in the Los Angeles County city of Sierra Madre.

Mosca was elected in 2006, re-elected in 2010 and left his post abruptly in 2011 later he, his partner and children moved to London.

Mosca currently serves on the city’s parks and recreation commission and contributed to the campaigns of Blakespear, Tony Kranz and Tasha Boerner Horvath.

The City Council is scheduled to interview the applicants at their Jan. 11 meeting, and could select a member at that meeting or at a subsequent meeting if they need more time to make a decision.

The vacant council term is for two years, and the seat would be up for re-election in 2018.

Here is a list of the finalists and a brief description of their occupation and former governmental or city experience:

• Mark Demos served on the parks and recreation commission from 2011 to 2013. According to his application, Demos has founded and owned several businesses.

• Stacie Davis, a local salon owner who lists crime prevention, elderly care, environmental awareness and economic improvement as her priorities

• Tony Brandenburg, former judge and current planning commissioner, lone council candidate to oppose Measure T.

• Bruce Ehlers, former planning commissioner over a decade ago that served as campaign manager for Maggie Houlihan. Served on the successful “No on T” and “Yes on Proposition A” committees.

• Marla Elliot — longtime marketing executive

• Steele Fors — self-described long-term resident, parent and public servant

• Wendy Harper — Retired landsape architect

• Terra Lawson-Remer — A decorated attorney with extensive experience in property and land use law, as well as a professor of economics who specialized in “opportunity and exclusion in the global economy.”

• Daniel Marotta, former executive of Broadcom who moved to Encinitas in 2003.

• William Morrison — landscape architect who is a three-term president of the Leucadia MainStreet Association. Morrison flirted with a run for council in 2014.

• Joe Mosca, former mayor and councilman in Sierra Madre, manager of SDG&E

• Lisa Nava — Longtime office manager for Encinitas Union school District

• Edward O’Connor — attorney at Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith. Has been a practicing attorney for 16 years.

• Greg Post — former MiraCosta College trustee, who founded the Amanda Post Foundation and Track Meet at La Costa Canyon in memory of his daughter, a former track athlete who died in a car crash in 2010 near Bishop.

• Michael Schmitt — A lifeguard, substitute teacher and a former taxi driver

• Steven Winter — a small-cap and micro-cap investor and Olivenhain resident

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