CARLSBAD — A long-time business owner is outraged by the action from councilman Mark Packard stemming from an erratic online post on the website Nextdoor.com.
Karen Aho Brown, who owns SQS Video Communications on State Street in Carlsbad and teaches yoga, said the Oct. 6 incident blew up when the councilman called her a “twit” over a post.
Brown was attempting to post on the site’s event calendar for her yoga classes. Instead, more than 20 posts spammed everyone on the site within the zip code.
Once notified privately of her error, Brown quickly sent out an apology to the community.
However, about an hour later Packard responded, “Who is letting this twit spam us all with the yoga postings?”
Packard admitted he should have waited, counted to “1,000,” but noted it was the third time in a week he was spammed. Frustration, he added, along with a “weary” day at work pushed him over the edge.
Brown said she has never encountered such offensive action from a city councilmember in more than 25 years as a resident.
“Living in Carlsbad for 30 years and having a business here, definitely outrage. An outrageous remark to make and I was irate,” Brown said about Packard’s response. “I thought it was going to post to a calendar. I didn’t realize it was going to send to 3,000 neighbors.”
Residents blew up and attacked Packard for name-calling, as many posts pointed toward the 2018 election and voting him out of office.
“In retrospect, I should have counted to 1,000, and probably wouldn’t have sent it, but I did,” he said. “Apparently, many people don’t know what the word means, took someone else’s word for it, or worse, and attributed interesting meanings. Some are even stooping to use it as an occasional to mock religion.
“It turns out that one of the Nextdoor members (Brown) was the one who sent it, but says it was accidental and a computer glitch,” he continued. “I don’t think the term is inaccurate for someone who spams, as I believe we would all agree that spam is annoying, and believing it would improve sales is silly, therefor someone who sends spam is a silly, annoying person (the Webster definition of twit). If she really didn’t send it, but a computer glitch did, then she is not a spammer, and the term doesn’t apply to her. But some people are making a tempest in a teapot.”
Packard, though, responded to the onslaught of residents chiding him for the insult.
“My computer did not post the apology until after I had already complained. Apology accepted,” he wrote on the Nextdoor site.
Brown, though, said she believes Packard was accepting her apology for the spam, but has yet to offer one for calling her a twit.
“Do I really need my councilman calling me a twit in public … and never an apology,” Brown added. “He was accepting my apology. He never once came back an apologized himself. He kind of went radio silent there. Crickets. He made a knee-jerk reaction, he knew he did and he was trying to backpedal by saying ‘Oh, I didn’t see your apology until after.’”
She said Packard could have privately messaged her, like others did, instead of degrading her in a public forum.
Brown, though, responded to Packard’s criticism with a post of her own including dropping an insult of her own.
She said, “Is this the infamous council member Packard? IF (sic) so … the ‘twit’ you are referring to is a Carlsbad voter … since 1978 who voted against Measure A. I also have a video communications business on State St. for over 25 years. I am looking forward to the day we don’t have to see your smug face on the city council anymore.”