Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer will serve as the city’s next deputy mayor, a decision the Encinitas City Council unanimously reached on Dec. 9 without the drama of prior December meetings.
In the past, the council every December chose who among them would be the deputy mayor and mayor. The roles often rotated among councilmembers, but the system was controversial because some were skipped over for mayor or deputy mayor when it was their turn.
Voters in 2012 approved Proposition K, giving residents the power to directly elect a mayor. Kristin Gaspar in 2014 became the city’s first elected mayor. The council, however, still selects the deputy mayor.
Gaspar said she’s happy that voters now directly elect a mayor, avoiding the controversy of previous years.
“Thank goodness it’s not that time of year again to select the mayor,” Gaspar said.
Shaffer will be sworn in for the deputy mayor job at the Dec. 16 Encinitas City Council meeting. The post is largely ceremonial, but duties include filling in when the mayor can’t make council meetings or events.
Gaspar nominated Shaffer, and the rest of the council was on board.
“I’m honored and I appreciate it, and I’d be happy to serve,” Shaffer said. She joked that she still has her deputy mayor business cards and nametag from when she served in the role three years ago.
Shaffer was elected to the council in 2012 and has stated she won’t run for re-election this year.
Gaspar praised current Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear for a job well done over the last year. Blakespear’s title going forward will be councilwoman.
During a related agenda item, Gaspar recommended that council appointments to regional boards stay the same over the next year, and the council agreed with the suggestion. That means Shaffer will remain on as the city’s representative on the SANDAG board, a coveted appointment.
The SANDAG board allocates money toward transportation infrastructure and regional projects.
Other notable appointments include Councilman Tony Kranz representing Encinitas on the North County Transit District board and Councilman Mark Muir serving on the San Diego County Water Authority board.