EDITORIAL: Community character, experience lead endorsement picks

North Coast Current offers recommendations for Encinitas, educational and regional races

North Coast Current

The North Coast Current’s editorial leadership suggests the following candidates for several Nov. 8 races affecting the city of Encinitas. The nature of this year’s local campaign reflects some of what we’ve seen nationally, with preferred candidates taking positions on issues that are at odds with other aspects that make those candidates appealing.

Encinitas Mayor

Like the nation’s presidential election, residents of Encinitas have a mayoral choice between elected experience (Catherine Blakespear) and business acumen with little to no civic experience (Paul Gaspar). Weighing these two perspectives, the North Coast Current recommends Catherine Blakespear.

While the North Coast Current disagrees with Blakespear’s support of Measure T — an initiative calling for an update of the city’s state-mandated housing element — her support of urban farming in a community whose history is based in agriculture is just one example of her overall commitment to the development and preservation of community character. Blakespear currently serves on the City Council.

Encinitas City Council

The North Coast Current generally finds that all five candidates in this race offer something of value for the city. Regardless of who wins — whether they be the Current’s suggested candidates or not — the city should be in good hands. Residents are voting to fill three seats on the council. The Current recommends Tony Brandenburg, Tasha Boerner Horvath and Tony Kranz.

Brandenburg is a necessary counterbalance to a list of candidates weighted heavily in favor of Measure T. Brandenburg is the only City Council candidate specifically speaking out against the measure. In addition, the retired judge’s community experience is extensive, including seats on the Olivenhain Town Council and the Encinitas Planning Commission. The Current’s editorial leadership also recognizes Brandenburg’s work as chief judge of the Intertribal Court of Southern California.

Boerner Horvath’s experience on the city’s Planning Commission is a logical gateway to the next step in Encinitas politics, the City Council. Like Blakespear, Boerner Horvath’s community roots are deep, and she has made community character a key part of her campaign. The Current notes, however, that she also backs Measure T, which the Current does not support.

Kranz, a City Council incumbent, quickly identified with the grassroots effort to keep the Pacific View school property in downtown Encinitas out of the hands of developers, aiding in the city’s successful push to secure the parcel as a rare coastal public site of its kind.

The North Coast Current notes, and applauds, candidate Phil Graham’s questioning of the state’s housing mandate, as represented in Measure T. Incumbent Mark Muir’s longtime civic service in Encinitas is also recognized by the Current. Although Muir and Graham do not align with the Current’s editorial preferences overall, the Current expects they will serve the city well should they win.

San Dieguito Union High School District

The North Coast Current recommends keeping experienced trustees on the San Dieguito Union High School District board, in this case Joyce Dalessandro and Beth Hergesheimer.

Given that there are two seats up for grabs with five candidates overall, the Current offers a third recommendation, Lucille Hooton Lynch. Her fiscally conservative approach is paired with an established commitment to education. For more conservative voters, she is the acceptable alternative.

Encinitas Union School District

The Encinitas Union School District has done a good job keeping an open mind when it comes to creative educational approaches. Those approaches have been met with parochial cynicism and religious suspicion, fiscal policy aside. The Current recommends candidates who support building programs that teach not just the ABCs, but programs that teach personal development and good health. In this race for two seats on the Board of Trustees, those candidates are Patricia S. Sinay and Rimga Viskanta.

The school district’s industry-recognized farm program and admittedly controversial, and court-cleared, yoga program are worth exploring and developing. The Current hopes Sinay and Viskanta will support such programs.

The North Coast Current thanks longtime trustee Carol Skiljan for her service. Skiljan is not seeking re-election.

Other Recommendations

San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 3
Dave Roberts
Incumbent; supports rebuilding the San Diego Film Commission; former Solana Beach city councilman

San Diego County Board of Education, District 5
Rick Shea
Incumbent; a founding councilman in the city of Encinitas

Measure MM, MiraCosta Community College District
$455 million bond measure to upgrade classrooms, career training facilities and more

Measure GG, Cardiff Elementary School District
$22 million in bonds for upgrading and building school classrooms and facilities

Editorials solely represent the opinions of North Coast Current ownership. The Current welcomes letters to the editor and longer commentaries sharing opposing points of view.

‘No’ on Encinitas Measure T
Vote ‘no’ on county Measure B