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Political newcomer enters race for Encinitas City Council

ENCINITAS — Bryan Ziegler’s name might be familiar in political circles, as he emerged late in the race for San Diego County’s District 3 Supervisor. 

Yet, Ziegler, 32, was one of the first to file candidate papers to run for the Encinitas City Council.

Facing stiff competition from seasoned incumbents Jerome Stocks and appointee Mark Muir, as well as other candidates with high name recognition such as Tony Kranz and Lisa Shaffer, Ziegler remains steadfast in his resolve to win a seat on the dais.

Ziegler said family, friends and colleagues encouraged his bid for City Council. He also got a nudge from his former competitors in the supervisor’s race. “Steve Danon and Dave Roberts even said this would be a good fit for me,” Ziegler said. “I’ve always wanted to serve in this type of capacity,” he said. “The city was the next logical step.”

Ziegler has lived in Village Park for the past 10 years and enjoys time with his wife, Michelle, and their four children. He said he views the council position as an exercise in community outreach.

Ziegler has served as Senior Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Diego for the past four years and other municipalities and government agencies previously.

He said his work as an attorney “for the people” gives him an edge over his competitors.

“I’m going to continue to represent the public on the City Council,” he said. “I’m in the perfect position to do just that. Unlike the other candidates I’m an unbiased representative of the people and fully support what the people want to do in their own communities.”

In fact, Ziegler said he became involved in opposing the draft General Plan’s housing element last year that would have increased the density along the El Camino Real corridor. “It was just a nightmare to think the city would develop that area with so many new houses,” he said.

The experience led him to support the “Encinitas right to vote” effort in which citizens would get to vote on major amendments to the general plan, specifically development. “I support the people’s right to vote on major changes in zoning,” Ziegler said.

On financial matters, Ziegler said he would take a balanced approach to capital projects. “Taking out loans and bonds may not be the best thing to do but sometimes you have to do it to get the job done,” he said. “We certainly don’t want to put the city in a position where it can’t pay the bills or where our children will be saddled with debt.”

When asked about the issue of how to address coastal erosion and bluff failure, Ziegler said he agrees with the city’s current approach to approve the seawalls on a case-by-case basis. “We need to do whatever is necessary to protect health and safety of the public,” he said. “If we say that absolutely no seawalls are allowed then we might not have any houses (on the bluff) to protect.”

Although he’s never held elected office, Ziegler said his experience working with communities and government entities gives him the experience necessary to serve on the council. “I’m real passionate about it,” he said. “I thrive on multitasking and know that I’m more than capable of doing the job.”

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1 comment

The Big Picture September 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Interesting comment – “Unlike the other candidates I’m an unbiased representative of the people and fully support what the people want to do in their own communities.”

Which candidates does Mr. Ziegler think are biased, and on what does he base this? I don’t think the candidates are all the same – some definitely have large amounts of funding from development interests and people outside of Encinitas; others haven’t even reported any donations. Let’s not paint everyone with a broad brush without any data. If this is how Mr. Ziegler makes decisions, I’m concerned.

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