Meet the candidates: Encinitas City Council District 1

(Karen Billing)

On Nov. 3, Encinitas residents will make decisions on two city council seats. In District 1, city council candidates include incumbent Tony Kranz and candidate Alex Riley. In alphabetical order, see their bio information and responses to three questions below.

Tony Kranz
Tony Kranz
(Mim Michelove)

Name: Tony Kranz

Occupation: Printing Production Manager

Education: Associate of Arts Degree, Palomar College

Community Service: Two terms on the Encinitas City Council; Board Member, Encinitas Historical Society; Girls Soccer Representative, San Dieguito Academy Athletic Council

1. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the City of Encinitas?

The things I hear about most are the need to fix traffic problems that have been a part of this city since incorporation and how to meet state law on our housing plan while still being able to improve our quality of life. Working through economic issues due to the pandemic will also be a big part of the discussion in the years ahead.

2. How would you propose to address those issues?

One thing that is expected to help with traffic is the completion of the work currently underway on I-5. The auxiliary lanes at the onramps and offramps and the extension of the carpool lanes through Encinitas will improve flow on the freeway, thereby reducing the amount of cut-through traffic we get on our local roads. We are continuously working to address mobility issues and there are many projects being planned that will improve travel through our town.

The housing plan was finalized under court order due to lawsuits filed against the city and argued about over the last five years. Paying lawyers millions more makes no sense.

Reducing the spread of the virus to near zero will be the only way to get our economy back to near normal. That means following County Health Orders and the recommendations of scientists for ways to limit our exposure to the virus.

3. Do you agree with the way the City of Encinitas operates? If not, what changes do you think need to be made.

Our city is operating very well. It is one of the safest in the county and our property values remain high. We are making improvements to aging infrastructure, engaging our community in the governing process and providing public art, recreation opportunities and helping to clean our environment so that future generations of our kids and grandkids can experience the joy of living along the edge of the ocean in a city we all love and cherish. I have had the honor of representing our community for two terms as a member of the city council and I ask the voters of District 1 to allow me to serve another term.

Alex Riley
Alex Riley

Name: Alex Riley

Occupation: Retired San Diego Lifeguard/Outdoor Industry media and marketing manager.

Education: Three years of college; Orange Coast College, UCSD. Wide variety of Technical Rescue, Emergency Management, EMT, and Law Enforcement Training.

Community Service: None currently

1. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the City of Encinitas?

Overdevelopment, high density, and its negative impact on our neighborhoods and quality of life. Encinitas’ current lack of adequate infrastructure, road safety, and their negative impacts on public safety.

2. How would you propose to address those issues?

Through SANDAG the State of California is forcing impossible housing goals upon our town. We must renegotiate and bar that, join cities like Coronado and fight the State’s unfunded mandates.

We should be joining forward-thinking cities like Solana Beach, Reno, and soon-to-be Carlsbad and lower the railroad tracks through Encinitas. This would address many of these issues, especially in Leucadia, which has been overlooked by the council for far too long.

This year’s wildfires should be a wake-up call that Encinitas should begin to explore Olivenhain’s needs for a permanent fire station that is properly equipped and staffed.

3. Do you agree with the way the City of Encinitas operates? If not, what changes do you think need to be made?

If the question pertains to the mayor and council, the answer is no.

The incumbents would be running mostly unopposed if there wasn’t such a growing backlash to the poor decision-making process of the current council. Bad judgment and an inability to foresee the consequences of council votes are leading to increasing lawsuits and in the case of the S. 101 cycle track-- severe injuries.

Residents are often unaware of critical decisions being made for their neighborhoods until it’s too late. Resident participation in council meetings should be encouraged by having shorter and more frequent city council meetings. Important issues should also include town hall meetings prior to council votes.

Strategically-placed neighborhood bulletin boards located near city parks, trails and beach accesses could be a low tech solution to improve communication backed up by better use of digital platforms.

But above all, residents must be listened to.