Name: Tony Kranz
Occupation: I am a printing and graphic arts project manager
Previous governmental experience: I have served on the city council the last four years. I also served in the National Guard for 10 years.
Family: Wife Cynthia (married 1985), Son James, 31, Son Brian, 29, Daughter Stephanie, 26
- What prompted you to run for Encinitas mayorCity Council? In the late 90s, I got involved at city hall while trying to address the significant traffic issues that had become commonplace on my street. While working with my neighbors to solve the problem, I noticed several other things that I thought could be improved if I was serving with other like-minded council members.
- What do you feel are the three biggest priorities for the next city council, and how as mayor or council member would you help the council achieve those objectives? The impacts of traffic on our community are significant and it is important to make our roads safer and more efficient. I believe the first step to accomplish this is to update the Circulation Element of the city’s General Plan and to use the public outreach during this process to prioritize improvements. We must have a strong voice in regional decisions about the transportation infrastructure that cuts through our communities and leaders with vision to usher in the age of autonomous vehicles. Improving our biking and walking infrastructure is also a high priority of mine. Doing our best to control growth will be very important and I will continue to do everything I can to limit the impacts of development on our communities. Improving our quality of life by protecting our environment is also very important. We need to do all we can to reduce waste and improve our stormwater system to protect the ocean and other wetlands.
- Do you support Measure T, Encinitas’ proposed housing element update? Please explain your position. If you do not support Measure T, please provide your alternative plan to address the state and regional housing needs allocation. I support Measure T, which will get the city in compliance with state law and avoid additional costly lawsuits (there have been two so far for not having a Housing Element that complies with state law).
- Outside of the housing element, what can the city do to promote the creation of actual affordable units throughout the city? The city could do more to promote the construction of “accessory dwelling units”, which would be small “granny flat” type structures built in back yards on larger lots throughout the city.
- What are the biggest issues facing the city’s rail corridor? What approach, if elected, what steps would you take towards addressing those issues? There are two big issues with the rail corridor: train horn noise and the need for more safe and legal pedestrian crossings. With an emphasis on these issues, the city was recently awarded a state grant of $4.7 million to build a pedestrian underpass at El Portal, just west of Paul Ecke Central School. And there is currently a study underway to assess what it would take to create a “Quiet Zone” throughout the city, which would lessen the use of train horns. During my first term, I have served as the representative to the North County Transit District board, which owns and manages the railroad corridor property and tracks. I have worked to establish a collaborative relationship with the agency to bring more focus on ways in which the corridor can be improved to the benefit of everyone.
- The purchase of Pacific View was completed two years ago, but the process of transforming the property into an arts center has been slow. What, as a council member or mayor, would you do to stimulate or move the process forward? (Please note, I am not asking you to debate the merits of the purchase, please refrain from doing so). The city recently signed an agreement with the Encinitas Arts Culture and Ecology Alliance (each.org) which allows them to begin cleanup and repairs at the school. The Alliance is also working on finalizing a plan for city council consideration that would detail how they would propose to turn the school into the Pacific View Arts Academy. Like most of us, I am looking forward to beginning the transformational process in earnest.
- The city has had plans such as the Leucadia Streetscape and the bicycle master plan that have languished for years after approval and community consensus. What would you do to move those plans forward? Moving the plans forward requires significant resources and the city needs to be in a position to win Federal, State and SANDAG grants whenever possible. To that end, the city council approved the preparation of construction documents for the entire Leucadia 101 Streetscape project, so that we have the project “shovel ready” in case more infrastructure improvement grant money becomes available.
- There has been some debate over the concept of how the city should implement complete streets, a state mandate. How should the city satisfy its statutory requirements to accommodate multiple modes of transportation along its street network, and what would you do on the council or as mayor to accomplish this? The easiest way to make more room for bicyclists is to reduce lane widths. Studies have shown that 10 foot car lanes are wide enough and that it actually makes it safer for everyone when car lane widths are reduced. I support evaluating all our circulation element roads to see how we could make them safer.
- What should the city be doing to address the rise of homelessness within the community? We need to ensure that the social service organizations in our community (including faith-based organizations) receive the support they need when they are doing the important work to help people find long-term solutions to obtain food and shelter. This would mean working with the County to focus their significant resources to address this problem.
- Why should Encinitas voters vote for you? Because during the last four years, my first term in office, the city council has taken steps to address important public safety, infrastructure and environmental issues. We’re doing more road repairs, building a new Marine Safety Center (Lifeguard tower) at Moonlight Beach, reduced the use of pesticides in our parks and we are expanding opportunities to participate in city government. I would like to continue to build upon our success.
- Do you support County Measure A? Why or why not? I do support Measure A. The current Transnet Sales Tax has provided billions for road repairs and improvements in our community. The additional revenue raised by Measure A will give the city a chance to obtain grants for railroad improvements and acquire open space, among other things. Regionally, it is very important for providing the money to the public transit agencies for making repairs to existing equipment and for operational enhancements. On balance, it will be good for our city and county.