Hall, Schumacher outline different visions for Carlsbad in first mayoral forum

Hall, Schumacher outline different visions for Carlsbad in first mayoral forum
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher speaks at the League of Women Voters' mayoral forum Monday, Sept. 24 in Carlsbad. If Schumacher defeats incumbent Matt Hall, the council may need to appoint a replacement or hold a special election. Photo by Shana Thompson

CARLSBAD — The first mayoral forum did not disappoint.

Mayor Matt Hall and challenger Councilwoman Cori Schumacher outlined their visions for the city during a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters in front of a standing-room-only audience at North Coast Calvary Chapel on Sept. 24.

After trading barbs and demonstrating no love lost between the two, one thing is still clear: Measure A is still an issue.

Schumacher railed against Hall for supporting the proposed mall on the north shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and for when he and Assistant City Manager Gary Barberio spoke in favor of the proposal to the California Coastal Commission several months after the measure was defeated in the February 2016 special election.

She used the example as a lack of transparency within the council as a reason she is running for mayor.

Hall was exasperated by the continuous bombardment of Measure A, asking residents to move on toward the future and stop revisiting the past.

“It was an initiative to be sent to the voters, that was the vote,” Schumacher said. “So if I was asked if I were to vote on that vote today … I would vote to submit it to the voters because it’s your quality of life that’s impacted.”

Hall, meanwhile, countered by saying Schumacher lacks business experience and overseeing multi-million dollar budgets. He said the last deficit the city accrued was in 1993 and since then the city has had a surplus every year leading to nearly $100 million in reserves.

Additionally, Hall said since he was first elected mayor in 2010 (he was elected to the council in 1994), the city’s balance sheet has increased by more than $200 million and it has paid down the pension debt liability. He also said he oversees the second most valuable city in San Diego County. Carlsbad has a valuation of $2 billion, only behind San Diego.

Mayor Matt Hall debated issues ranging from Measure A, sanctuary cities and city finances during a mayoral candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters at the North Coast Cavalry Chapel. Photo by Shana Thompson

Schumacher, though, brushed off those assertions saying the mayor and council has little input into the budget, as the work is done by city staff.

“I am the only one … that has the expertise, the experience and the leadership to run a corporation like this,” Hall said. “Our record speaks for itself. In my time as a council member, we’ve always been in the black.”

Another source of contention concerned Assembly Bill 805 legalizing a weighted voting structure for the San Diego Association of Governments board of directors, which includes one representative from each of the county’s 18 cities. Hall and Schumacher kept going back to the issue regardless of the question asked much to the dissatisfaction of the audience at times.

The bill was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) and shifts power to larger cities such as San Diego and Chula Vista based on population, rather than the traditional tally vote in all circumstances.

Hall said Schumacher supported the bill, acting as Fletcher’s voice at one SANDAG meeting. However, Schumacher said she did not support the weighted voting system and was instead supporting the greater funding opportunities for the North County Transit District, which she called underfunded, and increase transparency and accountability.

“It was the first time in 30 years we had a council member break ranks and go down to SANDAG and speak against the majority of the council,” he added.

One vision for Schumacher, which she discussed several times, was the inclusion of Community Choice Energy (CCE), energy storage and continuing the momentum of solar panel installations in the city. She said it will help speed up the cities requirement for clean energy goals by 2035 as mandated by the state, add good paying jobs and add a new tax base to the city.

Perhaps more importantly, Schumacher said, is the savings for ratepayers using CCE, citing statistics from Northern California. She said ratepayers save 7 percent compared to Pacific Gas & Electric customers.

Hall, meanwhile, championed the city’s Climate Action Plan, conducting studies and said a cautious approach is needed to ensure 100 percent green energy.

“Zero emission energy … we can get there with Community Choice Energy,” Schumacher said. “We can get our investment back in two years, rooftop solar, utility scale energy, storage, piping it into the desalination plant for the world’s first 100 percent renewable energy.”

Sanctuary cities and the council’s 4-1 decision was another topic. Hall doubled down on his stance saying it is a matter of public safety. Schumacher, meanwhile, railed against the decision, especially since the deadline to file an amicus brief joining the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit had passed and was subsequently dismissed by a federal judge in July. There are some provisions of the suit moving forward in court.

The two also engaged in a debate on Sept. 26 on Real Talk Carlsbad on Facebook.

Hall and Schumacher will participate in two other public forums before the Nov. 6 election. The first is on Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. hosted by the Carlsbad Police Officers Association (the union) at the Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St. The final one is at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Pacific Ridge School, 6269 El Fuerte Street.

36 Comments
  1. Tricia 3 months ago

    The quote about breaking ranks and heading down to SAndag was actually by Matt not by Cori.

    • Author
      Steve Puterski 3 months ago

      Tricia,
      I was informed of that correction and have since made the necessary correction in the story. Thanks for reaching out.

      Steve Puterski
      Reporter

    • Commish 3 months ago

      Cori did, however, correct Mayor Hall by stating that as Carlsbad’s alternate with SANDAG it is her responsibility to attend SANDAG meetings yet she does NOT get to vote; therefore, she was NOT “breaking rank” as he had stated.

  2. Don Burton 3 months ago

    All I needed to know about Matt Hall I learned from the single brief conversation I had with him while he was actively campaigning to get people to support Caruso’s mall. He admitted to me that he had not read the plan. He also implied that certain people within Carlsbad who are more actively involved in local politics were in a better position to decide what is right for Carlsbad. That brief conversation (as well as one or two interactions with other supporters of Measure A) convinced me that this man has no business being the mayor of Carlsbad. He may be a wonderful person. I’m sure he has many friends who will tell you so. However, he hasn’t the slightest idea about what it takes to be a real leader. On the other hand, I have spoken with Cori just one time as well. I found her refreshingly honest and open-minded. She takes the time to educate herself about issues and discusses them intelligently. She is also willing to listen to others, a quality I find lacking in some other council members based on my observations of council meetings. I urge people to take the time to review Cori’s website, her explanations of why she has voted the way she has, and even to go visit her in person during her office hours or at an event. Then make up your own mind.

  3. Addie 3 months ago

    Matt Hall knows nothing about true leadership.

  4. Don 3 months ago

    I’ve had one conversation with each person. Based on those conversations I wholeheartedly support Cori. Matt Hall admitted to me that he had never read the plan for the mall. He also implied that certain people were more important when it comes to making decisions that affect all of us. Cori, on the other hand, is open-minded and willing to listen to other viewpoints. She takes the time to educate herself on the issues and also explains why she votes the way she does. I encourage others to take the time to educate themselves about her and even meet her in person. Then make your choice.

  5. Lowell 3 months ago

    Cori takes the time to educate herself on the issues and keeps an open mind; Hall doesn’t.
    Cori is willing to listen to others who don’t agree with her; Hall isn’t.
    Cori explains why she has voted as she has; Hall doesn’t.
    Hall lies or has others try to smear his opponents; Cori doesn’t.
    Hall takes money from developers; Cori doesn’t.

    • Mary Ann Gilligan 3 months ago

      I never comment on these stories. But here goes.

      The idea that Hall is the person solely responsible for toxic politics in Carlsbad is ridiculous. A lie actually. There has been an effective online campaign of character assassination against the four non-Cori members of the Council for years. That caused others to resort to some of the same tactics in their defense. Two wrongs do not create a right, but it has always been Cori’s side that has been more the aggressors. We all saw first hand what went down during Measure A, and though I’m glad Caruso lost, I never felt comfortable with some of the tactics the No side used.

      The idea that Cori “keeps an open mind” is not the experience of people I know who have disagreed with her. She is more rigid than not. A lot of us have compassion for the prejudice she apparently encountered in her surfing career, But Cori’s online friends are waging a campaign one of constant slander against Matt Hall. It is all over our local social media. I still disagree with the Mayor and many of his policies. We’ve heard too much of the ranting about Hall for years. I really do not think I’m the only one who is burned out on it by now. I do not even like the Mayor much, but I’m starting to feel sorry for him.

      • Kristine Wright 3 months ago

        Mary Ann Gilligan,
        I am glad that you are glad Caruso lost. However I am concerned as to the tactics you say that the No side used. When the Mall project was approved by the Mayor and city council on Aug. 25, 2015 (after having the choice of allowing a vote of the people), the only choice citizens had were to collect signatures for a referendum to actually allow the residents and voters of Carlsbad a vote. I think that was fair.

        During the signature gathering process (BTW, the folks who signed the Caruso 85/15 Citizens Initiative were promised a vote), many of those signature gatherers were harassed, chased, and followed to their homes. Caruso hired bullies to step in front of citizens who wanted to sign the referendum. It was the most shocking disregard for our freedom in America that I have ever seen.

        Equally shocking to me was the mailer I received stating that our Mayor and council were urging citizens NOT to sign the petition-that we were “out of towners” and “agitators” which the Mayor is still using today to describe supporters of Cori Schumacher. Last I heard it was a two party system in America. We have been respectful and were able to submit signatures for a referendum. And we got the vote that was promised.

        After the Mall failed in a Special Election, costing the City of Carlsbad in excess of $650,000 only 2 months later, the Mayor and staff went to the Coastal Commission in Newport Beach, on May 11, 2016. While there, the Mayor spoke to the commission endorsing a Land Use change on the South Shore Agua Hedionda to ALLOW A MALL!

        The Mayor completely disregarded the vote of the people. I was there along with Cori Schumacher who led a small citizen group to speak against the Mayor.

        The Coastal Commission sided with Cori Schumacher and those of us who were honoring the vote called Measure A,. We have always been respectful of the Government processes but it is the propaganda that is still being used against us and Cori, by a group who are still resentful that people want their elected officials to, um, represent us.

        In the meantime Cori was elected that November to City Council, fairly. She has a newsletter which explains why and how she voted. She has office hours every week for people to drop by. None of the other elected officials do this. Cori does not accept developer money and we can see what a 4-1 vote has done for this town.

        I am all in for Cori Schumacher as Mayor. The current mayor is a career politician having been in office for 24 years. It is time for him to go.

      • Brian McInerny 3 months ago

        M A G I agree that attacking people on social media is heinous. Unfortunately you cannot blame the candidate as they have no control over what others say whether they are supporters or not. Best to lay off the social media and talk to people in person. The tactics I saw on measure A were 14 million to 100 thousand and Caruso paying people to lie to Carlsbad citizens of which I have 400 pages of hard evidence. We were being robbed no wonder we fought hard.

  6. Don Burton 3 months ago

    In my one and only conversation with Matt Hall he admitted to me that he had never read the Caruso plan. He also implied that he and his “friends” were better able to decide what is right for Carlsbad than anyone else was. That was enough to convince me that he is unsuited to lead Carlsbad.
    In my one and only conversation with Cori Schumacher she impressed me with her intelligence, willingness to listen, and desire to work for ALL of Carlsbad.

  7. Aunt Emma 3 months ago

    I spoke with Matt Hall once. He admitted to me that he had never read the Caruso plan. That told me everything I needed to know about him.

  8. Gerry 3 months ago

    Matt Hall, and the rest of Carlsbad’s council members (except Cori) need to go. When we have council members who put their own belief systems and agendas ahead of the wishes of the people who’s vote was overwhelmingly for cannabis legalization in the city then these dead weight council members are not serving the people of Carlsbad – they wanna keep their titles while keeping the status quo – no more; get ‘em out, vote Cori for Mayor and let’s take Carlsbad to the next level!

  9. Addie 3 months ago

    Mary Ann,
    Are you comfortable with being lied to? Having people hire others to dig up phony dirt and then plant those stories or send them out in glossy mailers? Then by all means support Hall but don’t feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for us for having to put up with him all these years. We’re sick of him and what he represents. Time for him to enjoy his retirement and let someone who has the time, intelligence, and fortitude be our mayor. Cori has endured ongoing slander that you wouldn’t believe and through it all has stayed above the muck. That takes courage.

  10. Lowell 3 months ago

    Mary Ann,
    Speaking the truth and citing facts is neither slander nor libel. It’s free speech.

  11. Addie 3 months ago

    Is it just a coincidence that all the same developers and hotel people donate large sums of money to the campaigns run by Hall, Carmichael, and Busta? Just wondering. Also noticed good old Jimmy U donating…except he tries to cover by using his real Japanese first name of Hiroshi. Gee, I thought he was going out of business without the mall!

  12. Marva 3 months ago

    In response to Lowell.

    You have made a serious allegation about Mayor Hall. You need to show proof of him taking money from developers. This is not free speech it is a statement to be backed by facts.

    There has never been smear tactics in Carlsbad until Cori and her backers.

    It is amazing that everyone enjoys the life in Carlsbad and that it has become so desirable if
    Mayor Hall has not been a professional leader. There is still no valid experience been shown by Cori to qualify her for this position. Being an advocate for gender rights and surfers does not meet the criteria. Maybe a few more years on the council would help to see her abilities. This is a serious problem.

    As a proud property owner in Carlsbad I want to thank the past leadership for a job well done!!!

    • Brian McInerny 3 months ago

      I do not know why someone would go after Cori Schumacher if it is some of her over zealous supporters who are among those attacking Matt Hall on social media. Go after them. Every time I have seen the two involved in a candidates forum the Mayor subjects her to partisan attacks and Cori ignores his baiting. Carlsbad was a really great place to grow up. Now with the decades of open arms to developers it is a lot less appealing. Matt Hall has had plenty of chances to prove he is in touch with the community. He failed woefully in the Measure A debacle. Ignoring his constituents while bowing down to Mr. Caruso. Now he is exhibiting the exact same behavior as the partisan fearmongers on the right side of the political spectrum. This is not looking for common ground or reasons to bring us together. Not everyone who lives in Carlsbad is a land lord or property owner. As far as smear tactics in Carlsbad you must have missed the Lincoln Club flier smearing Cori when she ran for city council. That is a statement backed by facts.

  13. Lowell 3 months ago

    Marva,
    go to the city’s website and look over all of Hall’s campaign financial disclosures. Then I’ll accept your apology. I never said he took bribes. I did point out the FACT that he has in the past and continues to this day to accept campaign money from developers (as do others). The ONLY one who absolutely does not accept such money is Cori. In fact she RETURNED money to a developer (Evan Gerber).

  14. Addie 3 months ago

    Marva,
    In her short stint on council Cori has demonstrated more sagacity than all the other supposedly experienced members combined. Heck, even Lorraine Wood backs her and who would know better than she what has been going on all these years! That speaks volumes about Cori’s fitness to be our next Mayor and Hall’s lack thereof.

  15. Atsuko 3 months ago

    Why is it always the Rotary folks who jump to Hall’s defense? Why do they think they are the only ones whose opinion matters when it comes to local politics? I think they should stick with their mission statement and allow other people to have a say in how we govern OUR city.

  16. Auntie Em 3 months ago

    Smear tactics? How about what the Lincoln Club tried to pull when Cori ran for City council the first time? They found a completely different person whose name just happened to be Cori Schumacher and tried to smear our Cori with info they dug up on the other, wrong person. That’s just one example. Please spare us. When people point out verifiable FACTS about Matt Hall, how is that smearing him?

  17. Don Burton 3 months ago

    Just one question for both Mary Ann and Marva,
    have you ever met with or spoken to Cori? She has open hours on Thursday afternoons.

  18. KC Krause 3 months ago

    As most of coastal Southern California, Carlsbad is blessed with a great location with miles of Pacific coastline and great year round weather attracting great citizens. We can either enhance these assets for our 100,000+ citizens or we can play politics. We feel Hall – after too many decades as a career politician – too often plays politics rather than solving problems such as housing affordability, congestion, homelessness, sustainable development, usable open/green space, pension shortfall, building infrastructure BEFORE development etc. He loves spending time with developers and talking about “his business” community – what about the silent majority – the rest of us average CBad citizens…He has not been listening to us since he took over from our beloved Mayor Bud Lewis, attend one city council meeting and you will know what I mean…

  19. Marva 3 months ago

    This is all well and good but back to what EXPERIENCE does Cori have.to run the city. This is very scary. For those who do not own any property in Carlsbad, as Cori does not, what do you have to lose when things go bad????

    We will vote for and support Matt Hall as he has been committed to Carlsbad and the quality and financial stability in this great city reflect his efforts.

    • Brian McInerny 3 months ago

      Marva, that is a lovely name. I own property in Carlsbad. I am sorry you are so scared. The competence to ruin the city has already been displayed. I will vote for the person I feel is most competent to run the city. The financially prudent Mayor who spent $600,000 on a vote to prove he was not listening to his constituents is not my idea of good leadership or financial responsibility. Apparently you are a we. You, as in whoever you, are can vote for any one you choose. Let us hope the best person wins.

  20. Lowell 3 months ago

    Marva,
    I have two suggestions (but I doubt you will take them):
    1. Thoroughly review Hall’s financial disclosures
    2. Meet and talk to Cori

    At least if you do #2 it might put you more at ease when you welcome our new Mayor. #1 might make you feel better knowing your pal Matt is all set for retirement.

  21. Auntie Em 3 months ago

    Marva Dear,
    Those voices telling you that Cori will ruin our city are the same ones that told you Obama would ruin the country. don’t worry. Just turn off the TV. Everything will be just fine. Your property values won’t be affected.

  22. Addie 3 months ago

    Hall is trying to scare people by lying about Cori. I think we know where he is borrowing his tactics from.

  23. Addie 2 months ago

    Why is Hall getting a $5000 donation to his campaign from Prosperity Broadcasting of Las Vegas, NV???

  24. Addie 2 months ago

    And we have our answer…Marshall Sylver (a hypnotist and notorious BS artist who made millions from taking advantage of gullible people) now owns the old theater downtown through his business. Anyone care to guess what he plans to do with it and why he might want to grease Hall’s palms first? This is like a mini-Caruso.

  25. Addie 2 months ago

    My mistake. Sylver only leases the building, but it still seems fishy to me. In any case all the money in the world isn’t going to help Matt Hall at this point. You can’t buy votes.

  26. Mdunn 2 months ago

    Thanks to North Coast Calvary for hosting the event.

  27. Mdunn 2 months ago

    Thank you North Coast Calvary for hosting this community event.

  28. Commish 2 months ago

    If you go back and watch the debates (especially a 2nd time), you will notice that Matt Hall picks up on some of Cori’s original points and tries to make them his own in the 2nd & 3rd debate. This is proof that time spent as a mayor or on the council is not what makes someone intelligent enough to do the job.

  29. Marva 2 months ago

    To KC I would suggest you get your facts straight. Mayor Hall has been the leader in pension reform since 2010. He follows open space guidelines and has been instrumental in bringing business to Carlsbad.

    I would suggest that you contact Mayor Hall and clarify your concerns and questions. He publishes his personal cell number and is open to being contacted.

    STILL NO BUSINESS OR WORK EXPERIENCE FOR CORI?????????? Can someone please fill in the blank space of her past employment.

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