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Encinitas' Political Power Shifts Toward Environment

Encinitas' new mayor Theresa Barth.
Encinitas' new mayor Theresa Barth.

The Encinitas City Council is one of the most radically changed city councils in San Diego County as a result of the November election.

Voters, upset by what they perceived as too much “behind closed doors” governing, put in a new council majority. That majority has appointed Theresa Barth as the city’s next mayor.

Barth said she is not against development, but she will favor smart growth.


“I think that you will see us talking about more environmental issues,” she said, “more sustainability issues.”

One of the Encinitas councilmen who lost his seat was Jerome Stocks. Stocks was the city’s representative on SANDAG, San Diego’s regional planning board. Stocks served as the SANDAG chair and a spokesperson for the region’s 2050 regional transportation plan. That SANDAG plan was recently struck down in court for not meeting the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Barth said she plans to nominate political newcomer Lisa Shaffer to replace Stocks as the city's representative on the SANDAG board, and bring a more environmentally-friendly perspective to regional planning.

Shaffer, who was the top vote getter in the Encinitas City Council election, is an ethics teacher at UC San Diego's Rady School of Management and has worked with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NASA and NOAA.