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New Carlsbad council members sworn in

CARLSBAD —A new class was sworn in on Dec. 11 to take their seats on the dais of the Carlsbad City Council.

Barbara Hamilton and Priya Bhat-Patel took their oaths during the City Council meeting marking a new sign, and possibly, new direction for the governing body. In addition, Mayor Matt Hall, City Clerk Barbara Engleson and Treasurer Craig Lindholm were also sworn in.

Hamilton and Bhat-Patel won the first-ever district elections for the council, representing District 1 and 3, respectively. Both trailed their Nov. 6 races after the first ballots were reported, but steadily made up ground as outstanding ballots were released for the next several weeks.

Both were engaged in tight races, with Hamilton, who earned 38 percent of the vote, getting past Tracy Carmichael (36 percent), Linda Breen (15 percent) and Dave McGee (11 percent). Bhat-Patel defeated Corrine Busta, 51-49.

Hall, meanwhile, scored a convincing 56-44 victory over Councilwoman Cori Schumacher. It will be Hall’s third term as mayor.

In her first address as a councilwoman, Hamilton said the turnout in District 1, which was 76 percent, along with 65 percent voting against the status quo, are signs that times are changing.

She said the election was also a clear indication the districting system works and allows those representatives to stay in touch with their district constituents, along with following citywide issues.

“This is not about me. I did not win this seat, we won this seat,” Hamilton said. “I will be the one with my ear to ground in District 1. I will openly and appreciatively have open conversation with you.”

She said during her campaign, residents approached her about a host of issues in District 1 and throughout the city. Those included sober-living facilities, homelessness, traffic, short-term vacation rentals, the airport, development at Ponto and trenching the railroad tracks, to name a few.

Bhat-Patel, meanwhile, took a more reserved approach, saying she was excited to be elected, thanking her friends, family and volunteers.

“I’m truly thrilled that this process got me to be able meet people who are extremely passionate about what they do,” she said. “Everyone here is part of that change and part of that vision.”

Hamilton and Bhat-Patel replace longtime Councilman Mark Packard and Michael Schumacher, respectively. Both men opted against running for re-election, each saying they wanted more time with their families.

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4 comments

jessica December 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Dr. Bhat-Patel will be a fine addition to the City Council. She was graceful in her remarks Tuesday Night. It seems that Ms. Hamilton opted to begin her tenure on a discordant note. In her first address, Hamilton began what promises to be a depressingly combative tenure by some unique math. stating 65 percent of those voting in District One were voting “against the status quo’. Actually, the correct analysis would be that 62% of the voters opted to not support a divisive agenda of NIMBY-ism and servitude to Cori. No matter how much creative accounting is applied, the fact remains that Mayor Hall won re-election by a significant margin (a landslide actually) in the sole City-Wide race. Of the three members of the apparent “Democratic Slate” presented by Ms. Schumacher this year, the only one that can plausibly claim a mandate was Dr. Bhat-Patel. Who (not coincidentally) ran a campaign that was somewhat removed from the negativity of the other two.

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Addie December 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Any way Hall’s minions care to spin this (and I must assume Jessica is one of those), Hall actually lost because he will not have two guaranteed votes behind him for whatever he cares to do. Anyone could see clearly that Carmichael and Busta were nothing more than Hall toadies. We will now have honest, transparent government with genuine leadership who will listen to and respond to their constituents rather than a select few donors, developers, and people who are part of the “in crowd”. Hall’s smile in this picture is not going to last very long. And the negative campaigning was exclusively the work of Hall under the guidance of his highly paid political consultant Tom Shepard.

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Brian McInerny December 14, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Apparently “jessica is upset because her party lost to what she calls a democratic slate. Since Carlsbad has been in the exclusive hands of non democrats for 66 years maybe a little bit of democracy wouldn’t hurt. Of course attacking people who you do not support is just the usual blabber we can expect from jessica and all her other aliases. I am looking forward to attending council meetings at which the citizens have a voice. See you there j.

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Julie December 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm

One district 1 candidate consistently campaigned side by side with Matt Hall like a rubber stamp. The other 3 did not. District 1 voters rejected the status quo just as Hamilton stated – her math was not creative. People in parts of town less personally affected by bad decisions made over the last 4 years voted differently. I look forward to Hamilton representing me.I hope that the other three District 1 candidates continue to speak up when they have something worthwhile to say, because each one does Different times ,fresh points of view..Don’t understand why some people insist on seeing Cori as an evil puppetmaster because neither Hamilton or Bhat-Patel are tied to strings by their personalities, professions, or backgrounds.I’m happy that we have a new council with the time, energy,point-of-view and intellect that Carlsbad deserves. This isn’t Stepford .

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