Encinitas Voters To Choose New Mayor
I'm Allison St. John. The city of Antonito has recently started to elect its mayor since 2014. It's a sign of a small city growing up. Encinitas is joined the city to elect a mayor. Candidates represent two different visions. The issues that face Encinitas are shared by many other cities especially along the coast. Our guest today are first of all Katharine likes. Who city Councilwoman in Encinitas. Thank you for joining us. Biggie for having me. We also have Paul Gaspar who is the founder of Gasper physical therapy. Thank you. Would like to start with you Paul and say you had to endure Raven because you are the husband of the current mayor who is running against Dave Roberts for the county supervisors seek so she cannot run. Some people are accusing you of jumping into her high heels without a lot of experience. How do you react to that? I do not pay any attention to this type of things. I am secure with myself and secure with my accomplishments. It is great to be back here at San Diego State where I served as a professor and a Dr. of physical therapy. The doctor physical therapy program started here because of the work I did in Sacramento where I passed a law to allow the state schools to offer doctoral degrees. We have to get an exception to the Masters education program. State schools cannot offer doctoral degrees in physical therapy. One of the many bills I passed I run a successful business. I have done community volunteer for the last 20 years. I'm the most qualified people to run for office in Encinitas. Have you been on any of the cities boards and commissions? I have not done that. I watch many meetings for the last six years. When your wife is the mayor you do not generally want to be appointed to commissions. People see that as a conflict of interest. I know more about city happenings than 99.9% of people that live in the city. Katharine you have been on the city Council for a few years. You served on the traffic and public safety before that. Could you do as mayor that you could not do before on the city Council? Thank you for that question. The mayor set the agenda for the city and the vision and also incorporates the values of the residence. The mayor still only has one vote so there are five total people. It is important that we have a mayor who reflects resident values and I think what that means is a commitment to maintaining the communities care there. That has a lot to do with development. We make decisions and that's the most important decision on the city Council about the land. I'm glad you brought that up. Land use is a big issue for Encinitas and for many other cities. I know you were elected by some people who wanted to avoid dense development in Encinitas. State law does require the city to provide more housing more affordable housing. How do you balance your constituents interests? That's always a struggle. I think it's important that we comply with state law and that's why we have measured tea on the ballot. I do recommend that we passed that. Also to plan for the future of Encinitas. I do not believe that every city should be identified. If you want to live in a desk community to live downtown. Encinitas is a suburban and low density community and we should be able to maintain the community care and not have to have sprawl of density everywhere. I think it is important that would protect the community. Paul, where do you stand on measure T? I do not think there is much daylight between Katharine and I between measure T. There's more interest on the housing rules between Katharine Ann herself. Tell us what your position is. My position is not to violate state law. She has done this and wasted almost $1 million taxpayer dollars. For that she's one this golden fleece award. This golden fleece is not alone. She won it last year for wasting $20 million on the Pacific new school property. Now we're getting into some big dollars. We could do a lot of enhancements and good stuff with our community if she stops wasting the money and stops changing her position. I want to get back to what you would do. And you can respond. Both of the things that he has reference came about before I was elected. The city missed a housing deadline in 2013 and I was elected in 2014. Similar with the purchase of the property that he's discussing it was purchased in 2013 before I was elected. It is true we are in the middle of three lawsuits. I personally did not win any golden fleece award and my votes -- they are not inconsistent with what we as a community are struggling with. This is something that we may continue to vote on and is important that we are engaged in. I think also we need to have leaders that can reevaluate big projects at key times and make sure we are on track. I am not committed to always saying that I made the decision once and never reevaluate. Paul Copper people that are concerned that it will be built and dance what is your concern? I protected the community against Katharine. I've had to work with the neighbors to help change the mind. She changes her mind very quickly. I don't see it as leadership but as political convenience. Let's talk about measure letter A.. Your wife was against it. What about you? I'm also against it as Katharine is to. We went over this in the forum. Generally I like to see the tax dollars spent wisely. I don't think they will focus on Encinitas or North County as they should. I also was against an attempt to raise the sales taxes in Encinitas which two of Katharine's colleagues try to raise a few years ago. Bearing in mind that we are approaching gridlock in San Diego and this would give Encinitas some millions of dollars over the next few years, Katharine you oppose this measure? Yes. I think it's important about the role of the mayor. The mayor position in my mind is not the top of the pyramid. It's somebody who's in the middle of intersecting circles in the community. Working together with the community to come up with solutions around with an traffic is a critical part of being an effective manner. Also being able to be positive and collaborative and make decisions in an environment that is not top-down is defining. Both of you have your own businesses. What is the difference between running the city and running your business? The most important is the budget. I think the most important thing is to make sure we are aligning how we spend money with our priorities. That means we need to do a robust analysis of priorities. That needs to take place periodically. At least yearly if not more frequently. Running a business -- businesses have a tendency to expand the amount of money they want to spend. It's critical to make sure that money is safeguarded because money is like Santa people's hand. It can just run through if it's not protected. The city is in a good financial position and we need to keep it there. Paul? Running a business like my midsize business requires a great deal of collaboration collaboration between partners, employees and patients. What I have seen from Katharine so far she does not collaborate very well with city staff caught city attorneys, consultants. Last night she admitted on the record sheet broke a Brown act once again. This is the third time she's done in the last year. There are a large number of accusations that Paul is making in this interview. None of them have anything to do with city policy. I think it's a reflection of him and his wife feeling desperate of their own elections. I am interested in getting back to the issues. I have spent the last two years making sound recent decisions that are in front of all of the voters to see. I have a clear temperament. I have leadership ability and I am running to be the next mayor of the city of Encinitas and I think I reflect residents values. Take a few seconds to give us your political aspirations. Paul you've had success in Sacramento. Where do you see yourself in 10 years politically? I don't have any politically aspirations. I'm very worried about somebody who cannot play by the rules and has shown that on a consistent basis and does not collaborate within the community. If she is so out of touch with her community Encarta she cannot possibly be in touch with the four communities in Encinitas. What about you Katharine? I'm a hundred percent committed to the city. My family has been in Encinitas for 100 years. I think about what the city can be in 30 or 50 years. This is an important job. If the top problems solver. I am focused you expect thank you both for coming in. Many candidates are not willing to come in. Thank you Katharine and thank you Paul. Thank you.
The two candidates vying for Mayor of the City of Encinitas this November represent different visions for the coastal city of about 60,000 residents.
Rivals, Encinitas councilwoman Catherine Blakespear, a Democrat, and Republican Paul Gaspar, who owns a physical therapy business, come down on opposite sides of the fence on things like new housing development in the wealthy coastal city. Blakespear has supported citizens who object to rapid development in the city while Gaspar is more pro-development.
Gaspar is married to the city's current mayor Kristen Gaspar who cannot run for a second term because she is challenging incumbent Dave Roberts to represent District 3 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
One reason the mayor's race is getting attention is because the issues facing Encinitas are shared by most other cities in San Diego County, especially along the coast.
Blakespear and Gaspar join Midday Edition Thursday to discuss new housing development, transit and their positions on other issues.