ENCINITAS — Future council members will be selected from four separate electoral districts, with the mayor elected in a citywide election, the Encinitas City Council has decided.
The City Council voted 3-2 on Nov. 8 to select “Citizens Map 16” as the new electoral map that will take effect in the 2018 election cycle, and also voted to set the sequencing for the district elections.
Encinitas is one of several cities in North County to transition from at-large elections to a “by-district” format after a Malibu-based law firm slapped the cities with threats of legal action if they did not abandon their elections systems, which they said disenfranchised Latinos.
As first reported by The Coast News, Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath anonymously drew both of the final submissions from which the council selected the final map. Boerner Horvath drew praise and criticism from fellow council members after she failed to disclose that she drew the maps until a public records request filed by The Coast News revealed that she was the author of the final two.
The selected map places each of the current council members in a separate electoral district, with Mark Muir and Joe Mosca’s seats up for election in 2018, and Boerner Horvath and Tony Kranz’s up in 2020.
The council will finalize the map selection and sequencing at the Nov. 15 council meeting as they vote on the second reading of the ordinance that memorializes the district process.
District 1, which is currently held by Kranz, includes most of Leucadia north of Leucadia Boulevard, Encinitas Ranch and the Town Center.
District 2, Boerner Horvath’s district, includes the southern edge of Leucadia and Old Encinitas, and runs from Leucadia Boulevard to the north to Santa Fe Drive to the South.
District 3, which is held by Muir, includes all of Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the easternmost segment of Old Encinitas along Via Cantebria. Muir, who lives in the sliver of Via Cantebria in District 3, said that he believed the district was gerrymandered and would hurt the chance of a future candidate from his neighborhood getting elected.
“I am not concerned about me as much as I am the next person from my neighborhood who wants to run,” Muir said. “This map makes it very difficult.”
Kranz, who also voted against the proposal, has opposed the move to district elections, which he said would divide the community. He has argued that the city should maintain its at-large election and force the hand of the firm, Shenkman & Hughes, to sue, and then defend the lawsuit.
A number of the community members who have spoken at council meetings leading up to the decision have also implored the city to delay or end the district-forming process for many of the reasons outlined by Kranz.