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On Thursday, the Encinitas City Council will discuss whether to appoint a new councilmember or hold a special election to fill the seat left vacant after the death of councilwoman Maggie Houlihan. Houlihan passed away on September 16 after a long battle with endometrial cancer.

In late September a subcommittee, headed up by councilmembers Teresa Barth and Kristin Gaspar, recommended the council appoint a new councilmember as opposed to spending $320,000 on a special election to serve out the remainder of Houlihan's term.

"Considering the relatively low cost of appointment, the immediate need for a full Council, the fact that the appointee could be seated relatively quickly...we believe appointment would be prudent under the circumstances," read the subcommittee's recommendation.

If the council decides to follow the recommendations and appoint a new councilmember, the City will begin accepting applications the following day. The council is expected to begin interviewing applicants at a October 26 meeting.

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