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Encinitas councilwoman resigns, citing advanced cancer

Encinitas City Councilwoman Jody Hubbard
(Courtesy of City of Encinitas)

Jody Hubbard, who represents Cardiff, to immediately step down

Encinitas Councilwoman Jody Hubbard, who has represented the Cardiff region for two years, announced Wednesday night, Jan. 13, that she was resigning “effective immediately” because her lung cancer has spread.

Last summer, Hubbard disclosed that she had been diagnosed with non-smoker, non-small cell adenocarcinoma after an emergency room visit for severe abdominal pain in late May. Noting the many recent advancements in cancer treatment, she said at the time that she was undergoing chemotherapy, appeared to be responding well to treatment and would continue to serve on the council.

Unfortunately, her status has changed and she now needs to revisit that decision, Hubbard said at the start of Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

“Well, the lung cancer decided to spread and now I have brain cancer too,” she said, adding that she no longer has the energy levels to “fight cancer and fight for the city, too.”

Hubbard, 64, said she was resigning from the council with “a heavy heart,” but said she was proud of a number of accomplishments during her two years as the city’s representative for District 3, an area that covers much of Cardiff, as well as part of the city’s mid-section along Encinitas Boulevard.

“It’s been my great honor to represent the city of Encinitas in this elected role,” she said, her voice breaking a bit at first and looking a little teary-eyed but still ending with her typical high-wattage smile.

A retired public accountant who’s an avid body surfer and cyclist, Hubbard said she was particularly pleased to have been involved in the creation of the new protected bike lane along Coast Highway 101. She said also she was glad she supported establishing a safe parking lot for people who have recently become homeless and are temporarily living in their vehicles.

Known for her gregarious nature, her forthright conversational style and her athletic lifestyle, Hubbard’s sudden cancer diagnosis stunned community members last year and council members said Wednesday night that they were going to greatly miss her presence at city meetings.

“You’re so full of life — you’re one of the spunkiest people I know,” Councilwoman Kellie Shay Hinze said, adding that she credits Hubbard with encouraging her to run for council. “I’m grateful for you pushing me to do it because I don’t think I would have done it without you.”

Mayor Catherine Blakespear said Hubbard has “become a very dear friend to me” and vowed “we will continue the work that you care about.”

Councilman Joe Mosca said she’d helped him select an e-bike that he loves to use, while Councilman Tony Kranz called her a “tremendous inspiration to many in the community” and said he knows firsthand how tough fighting cancer can be — his mother died from cancer at age 30.

“Keep fighting,” he said, adding, “My hope is you have many years left to enjoy our community.”

Hubbard said she remained upbeat and closed by encouraging council members to say, “Hello,’ when you see me.”

A Southern California native, she comes from a civic-minded family. Her father was the first president of a group that helped create what is now the 67-mile Backbone Trail through the Santa Monica Mountains and her mother’s an equestrian who’s active in the Encinitas Trails Coalition.

A graduate of California State University Northridge, Hubbard received her certified public accountant’s license in 1983. Her first job was at the international KPMG accounting company and she later went to work for Deloitte. In the 1990s, she left the accounting world and established a business that provides long-term care planning advice to families with ailing relatives.

— Barbara Henry is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune


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