Poway City Council: All Boys Club In A Town Of Women

This story was reported for KPBS News on Jan. 27, 2015.

The last woman to serve on the Poway City Council was Merrilee Boyack, who sat on the board from 2004 to 2012. Boyack said there were instances when she felt her approach was different because of her gender.

“I felt very drawn to and connected to the people,” Boyack said. “That reaction wasn’t quite the same with the other council members. It was just a different perspective.”

Women make up more than half of Poway’s population of 49,417 people. According to the census, 400 more women than men live in the city. But, at least for the next two years, Poway will have an all-male council leading the city. It joins Santee in being one of two cities in San Diego County without any female council members.

Read the full story at kpbs.org.

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Solana Beach: Styrofoam ban on way to implementation

Solana_Beach_Styrofoam_ban_on_way_to_implementation_-_Seaside_Courier_News_-_2016-01-08_20.58.52This story was reported for Seaside Courier on Oct. 15, 2015.

Solana Beach is on its way to becoming the first city in San Diego County to ban Styrofoam.

The City Council on Wednesday voted 4 to 1 to adopt an ordinance banning the use of polystyrene — or as it is commonly known, Styrofoam — at restaurants. Councilwoman Ginger Marshall cast the lone no vote.

The ordinance also bans the use of expanded polystyrene packing materials by businesses in Solana Beach. An exception was made for foam ice chests.

“This health of the environment outweighs, the really, temporary disposable nature of the polystyrene container,” said Councilman Peter Zahn, who proposed the idea at the Sept. 9 City Council meeting.

Read the full story by clicking on the image to the right or going to seasidecourier.com.

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New Oceanside majority approves puppy mill ban

New_Oceanside_majority_approves_puppy_mill_ban_-_Seaside_Courier_Business_-_2016-01-08_21.18.08This story was reported for Seaside Courier on Jan. 9, 2015.

Oceanside’s City Council majority enjoyed its newfound power at its first meeting of the year on Wednesday.

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, who previously saw many of their proposals dismissed, passed several new items with the help of newcomer and now Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery. Former Councilman Gary Felien lost the November election—leaving Council members Jerry Kern and Jack Feller as the minority on the five-person council.

Among the items approved by the City Council on Wednesday included a draft ordinance that would regulate the retail sale of dogs. The controversial ordinance—which was previously denied by Felien, Kern and Feller in September 2013 after Oceanside Puppy opened in the city—was passed by the new majority.

Read the full story by clicking on the image to the right or going to seasidecourier.com.

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City Hall power struggle in Encinitas

City_Hall_power_struggle_in_Encinitas_-_Seaside_Courier_News_-_2014-07-02_08.54.53.pngThis story was reported for Seaside Courier on May 23, 2014.

So much for that power-sharing agreement.

Encinitas Councilmember Lisa Shaffer is asking her colleagues to reconsider a December agreement that had political opposites Teresa Barth and Kristin Gaspar splitting the mayor’s post this year, with Barth serving through June and Gaspar serving in the largely ceremonial position for the second half of 2014.

The agreement was reached after Barth and Gaspar said they hadn’t decided whether to run for mayor in November – when a new city law will for the first time make the post an elected one. The City Council also voted to have Councilmember Tony Kranz serve as deputy mayor in the latter half of 2014.

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Next for Wood: Change the Oceanside City Council

Next_for_Wood_Change_the_Oceanside_City_Council_-_Seaside_Courier_News_-_2014-07-01_08.18.37.pngThis story was reported for Seaside Courier on June 18, 2014.

With a failed shot at unseating county Supervisor Bill Horn behind him, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood says he is now focused on changing the City Council.

Wood, who often finds himself at odds with the council majority, said he’s “embarrassed” by his colleagues.

“Hopefully, I’ll change the makeup on this council,” said Wood who has served as mayor since 2004. “I want to represent the citizens. I want to listen to the neighborhoods and bring businesses. I can’t do any of that being on the losing side.”

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