EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include additional information regarding Corrine Busta’s failure to comply with conditions of a DUI program and her full statement as submitted to The Coast News. Court documents related to this case are available in PDF format.
CARLSBAD — This week Carlsbad City Council candidate Corrine Busta issued a statement regarding a 2009 conviction for a misdemeanor driving under the influence arrest.
She apologized for her actions saying she is embarrassed by the incident. Since then, Busta said, she has not had a drink.
“However, I hope that it is not something that prevents me from serving my community,” she said in a statement. “I have not had a drink in nearly 10 years, been proud to serve our region in local government. While I made a mistake earlier in my life, I continue to hope that I use the experience to affect good and will continue to do so.”
On January 6, 2010, Busta pled guilty to a single count of driving under the influence of alcohol after registering a 0.27 percent blood-alcohol level, more than three times the legal driving limit, and was ordered to complete a first-conviction DUI program. Busta was later referred back to court in July 2011 for a failure to comply with her program’s requirements.
Three weeks later, Busta successfully completed her court-ordered program after more than 88 hours of unpaid volunteer service work answering phones, providing customer service and data entry at San Diego Christian Servicemen’s Center, according to court documents.
Now, Busta’s campaign is heading down the final stretch as she takes on Priya Bhat-Patel for the open District 3 seat.
Busta’s top priorities are public safety, careful development to ensure community character remains intact, protecting beaches and tax revenue along with supporting the business community.
As for Bhat-Patel, her focus is on community, health and transparency of local government. She is gearing up for the stretch run, saying she is campaigning as an advocate for residents.
Of course, development is one of the biggest subjects in the city and for voters. With the city close to build-out, each candidate said they want to provide an open discussion with residents on projects.
Bhat-Patel said smart growth is key and said one development in District 3, Kensington at the Square, adjacent to Bressi Ranch, has some problems, citing infrastructure and traffic concerns.
“If we are going to have any other development coming into our city, making sure it is going to be able to support the infrastructure around it,” Bhat-Patel said. “But also making sure that when we continue to build that it will support whatever individuals or commercial will come in.”
Busta, meanwhile, said housing projects must protect community character in every neighborhood. She said community involvement is critical in every new development and pledges to host town halls to engage residents and address any concerns.
And though California law requires Carlsbad to build more housing, Busta said the city must comply, but do so in a way protecting the community.
“All projects must demonstrate their impact on schools and address any stresses put on our local school systems,” she added. “Also, traffic impacts must be mitigated so that Carlsbad residents don’t suffer more traffic.”
Corrine Busta’s full statement:
“Nearly 10 years ago, I was pulled over for driving under the influence. I am as embarrassed about it today as I was when it happened. However, I hope that it is not something that prevents me from serving our community.
I have not had drink in nearly 10 years, been proud to serve our region in local government, and I’m a wife and mother who loves her family and cares about our community. While I made a mistake earlier in my life, I continue to hope that I can use the experience to affect good and will continue to do so.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.