ENCINITAS — Terms limits and other changes for the city’s Arts Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission and other commissions will take effect in 2014, as a result of a 3-2 council vote last week.
Now, incumbents who served two terms will have to sit out for one year if they want to reapply for the same commission again. However, if there are no new applicants at the time, a commissioner could stay on for more than two terms.
Council members debated term limits last month. At that time, Deputy Mayor Lisa Shaffer argued a one-year break would give more people a chance to serve.
Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar opposed the restrictions during that October meeting. If commissioners are unpopular with enough people, the council will hear about it and they likely wouldn’t be reappointed.
“There are certain cases where you don’t vote for an incumbent, because someone comes forward that offers something unique and different,” Gaspar said.
Additionally, the council’s vote extended commission terms from two years to three, with the exception of the youth commission, where terms will remain one year.
In opposing the motion last week, Gaspar and Councilman Mark Muir said term limits remained a sticking point for supporting an update to the commission language.
The mayor will recommend appointments for commissions; a three-out-of-five councilmember vote is required to approve an applicant.
In addition to the aforementioned commissions, there’s also the Environmental Commission, Senior Citizens Commission and newly restructured Traffic and Public Safety Commission.
Previously called the Traffic Commission, the Traffic and Public Safety Commission will include seven members, rather than five as it did before. The name change reflects the commission’s expanded focus on safety.
Council members Shaffer and Tony Kranz will return with language defining the commission’s scope for approval at an undetermined date.