Short field set for council race

Sometimes it’s lonely at the top. With three seats open on the Del Mar City Council in November that exact number of candidates will run.

“It looks like it’s three for three,” said Del Mar City Clerk Mercedes Martin.

Incumbent City Councilman Carl Hilliard, Planning Commissioner Mark Filanc and Design Review Board member Don Mosier, were the only candidates to officially file papers with Martin by an Aug. 13 deadline. The filing period opened on July 14 and was scheduled to close on Aug. 8, but a stipulation in local election laws, extended that filing deadline to Aug. 13 if other incumbent candidates had not filed. That was the case this year, as both Mayor Dave Druker, a 12-year member of the council and Councilman Henry Abarbanel, on the council since 1992, will not seek reelection.

Martin says that the three current candidates pulled and filed their papers in the first week, and she received no further filings afterward.

Martin said the extension to Aug. 13 was designed to give the community every opportunity to fill incumbent seats. She also said despite the done deal aspect of the race, the city would still hold the council election. County election laws require that if a city has any accompanying qualified measures on the ballot, a city council race must be held regardless of the number of candidates on the ballot. This year the city has two qualifying measures, one for increasing the city’s transient occupancy tax or TOT, and the other, an approval measure for the Garden Del Mar mixed-use construction project.

Hilliard, a retired law professor, with a JD degree from the University of Southern California, will be seeking his second term on the council. He is currently the President of Wireless Consumers Alliance, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing consumer interests. He was the top vote getter in the council election four years ago.

Filanc is the president and chief executive officer of J. R. Filanc Construction, a general engineering contractor that specializes in constructing, renovating and expanding, water and wastewater treatment facilities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering/Water from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in Construction Management, from Stanford University.

Mosier is a professor of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and as a research scientist, studies the basic biology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He received a Ph.D., from the University of Chicago.