Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear named SANDAG board vice chair

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear

During its regular meeting Nov. 16, the SANDAG Board of Directors unanimously selected two of its members to serve as chair and vice chair of the regional government agency.

The board chose its current vice chair, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, to serve as chair. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear will serve as vice chair. Both will take up their new roles beginning Jan. 1, 2019. They will serve two-year terms.

Vaus will take the reins from Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott, who has been the chair since January. Sinnott is retiring from elected office at the end of the year.

“SANDAG does significant work that affects us all,” Vaus said. “It will be an honor to serve as chair as we grapple with how the region gets to and from work, school, home, and those wide-open spaces we cherish. We’ve got a new executive director – Hasan Ikhrata – joining the agency next month, and I hope he will challenge us with big ideas and sound practices.”

Vaus has been on the SANDAG board since January 2015, shortly after becoming mayor of Poway in 2014. Prior to that, he served on the Poway City Council from 2012-2014. He owns a Poway production company and has spent many years in charitable organizations benefiting children in need.

Blakespear has been a member of the SANDAG board since January 2017. Earlier this month, she was reelected to her second two-year term as mayor. Blakespear is a fourth-generation resident of Encinitas. She maintains an estate planning law practice.

“The SANDAG board is the forum for elected officials from throughout the region to come together and develop practical solutions based on solid research and educated discussion,” Blakespear said. “I’m excited to serve as vice chair. I look forward to working with Mayor Vaus and our new executive director on planning and construction efforts that improve transportation options for bikes, pedestrians, cars, and trains, while enhancing environmental sustainability.”

SANDAG is currently working on San Diego Forward: The 2019-2050 Regional Plan. The community effort to find solutions to the efficient movement of people and goods throughout the region will continue throughout 2019. —News release