Political newcomers eye City Council seat

ENCINITAS — The city’s November election ballot will feature two seated council members and seven challengers vying for three seats on the City Council. Self proclaimed neighborhood activists, Barb Yost and Thomas Brophy both hope to draw enough attention to capture two of the positions. The political newcomers have never been elected to public office, but both say they have a strong desire to preserve community character.

Yost, 51, president of the Encinitas Neighbors Association, is a former caregiver for people with disabilities. She has also written a children’s book. “I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time,” she said. Friends encouraged her to run after a battle with cancer. “It is the right decision at the right time,” she said.

Barb Yost

Yost said she has learned how unique each area of the city is and wants to protect the integrity of community character.

“It’s about improving the city, not developing the city as much as other people may want,” she said. Yost said public input should be required for new development. “The neighborhoods are beautiful as they are,” she said.

In fact, Yost supports a direct vote by residents of a specific neighborhood when development would significantly alter the current plan. “In our democracy, the majority rules,” she said.

Yost said that while she doesn’t have experience in local politics she does have valuable life experience that has taught her to be a good listener. “My biggest reason for running is that I’ve seen a lack of interest on the City Council,” she said. “Encinitas needs someone who actually listens to the people and will represent them.”

Brophy, 51, has been active for six years on the Homeowners Association Board in the Encinitas Ranch community of Mendocino, including having served a few years as president. He owns Educational Management Consulting Services and works for the California Institute for Human Science.

“I have a communication style that is fair to all involved and will bring that approach to the City Council,” he said.

Brophy said city governance issues “could be improved upon.” His participation in a forensic audit of the Encinitas Ranch golf course has given him a unique perspective on development issues in the city, he said.

Thomas Brophy

One of his main campaign issues is “to oversee development and growth from a perspective that puts all citizens first rather than special interests,” he said.

Brophy describes himself as “non-aligned and independent.”

“I don’t want the City Council to be a rubber stamp, especially on important financial decisions like the recent lease revenue bonds for the (Encinitas Community) park,” he said.