Carlsbad councilmembers sworn in; Mayor Hall looks to the future

Carlsbad councilmembers sworn in; Mayor Hall looks to the future
City Clerk Barbara Engleson, left, swears in Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall. He begins his second term as mayor. Photo by Ellen Wright

CARLSBAD— City Council voted to officially accept the election results Tuesday night, marking the first time in 40 years a mayor has run unopposed.

“It was extremely humbling this year, the fact that this is the first year in over 40 years that the position of mayor did not have somebody run against them and to me that was just a true, true honor,” Mayor Matt Hall said.

He also thanked his wife, Phyllis, for her support and the other members on the council.

“We do this together, it’s not any one individual but it’s all of us working together to make this a better community,” Hall said.

Former Mayor Pro Tem Mark Packard kept his seat, which he’s held for the past 12 years.

He won 43 percent of the votes. He thanked the voters and said serving on council is a team effort.

“It’s not about me or any individual but it’s about what we as a city are able to accomplish,” Packard said.

Keith Blackburn was named the new Mayor Pro Tem.

Councilman Michael Schumacher ran for his first time and was elected to his seat, which he was appointed to by the council to fill a vacated seat this past March.

He received 41 percent of the votes.

“It is truly my honor to be able to serve the citizens of Carlsbad in this capacity,“ Schumacher said.

More than 32,000 votes were cast in the city, which meant almost 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Current City Clerk Barbara Engleson and Treasurer Craig Lindholm ran unopposed.

Mayor Hall said he has three long-term goals.

He wants to create a linear park along the coast from Terramar to Leucadia.

“That project could be as much as $100 million,” Hall said.

“It’ll be focused more on access to the beach, parking, walking, biking and we’ll move the road all the way to the east right away,” he added.

The other project he hopes to see accomplished is an outdoor shopping mall by Caruso Affiliated, which owns The Grove and The Americana shopping centers in L.A.

The Grove is one of the highest grossing shopping centers in the country and incorporated a historic trolley into the shopping center’s blueprint.

According to Hall, Caruso Affiliated is looking into the possibility of developing an open-air center at the strawberry fields.

“Part of that will be the preservation of the fields and will move the fields to the east,” Hall said.

He said the company has reached out to over 1,000 people and has been bussing residents to the shopping centers in L.A. to find out what Carlsbad residents think of the out-door centers.

Hall expects officials from Caruso Affiliated to show the council renderings of a mall within the first quarter of next year.

The final project Hall looks to accomplish is the decommissioning of the Encina Power Plant and redeveloping the 80 acres it currently sits on.

He said the possibilities for the property are still wide open but he can “guarantee that it will be spectacular.”

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