The Coast News Group
Carlsbad city councilman Mark Packard was denounced after an online insult. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Packard chided for online post calling resident a ‘twit’

CARLSBAD — A long-time business owner is outraged by the action from councilman Mark Packard stemming from an erratic online post on the website

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.”


Don October 14, 2016 at 11:13 am

Packard’s true colors show through clearly to all. This is how Carlsbad’s elected officials see their constituents, as nothing more than an annoyance, to be ignored and condescended to. We’ve seen this before and we will continue to see it until THEY ARE ALL VOTED OUT OF OFFICE!

Jason Winchester October 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

She does sound like a whiny twit…

Tanya October 14, 2016 at 11:42 am

If you knew Packard’s face, you’d realize that calling it “smug” is in no way insulting. It’s appropriately accurate.

Steve October 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Please. While I’m not a fan of Mr. Packard, this is normal behavior for anyone.

J.true October 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

The article seems to infer that Packard was replying as a businessman not as a councilman and if you can’t separate the two then you probably are a twit

Casandra Tompkins October 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Nextdoor has 2 options for a user in Councilman Packard’s situation. Option A: flag the post. Option B: send a private message to the person who posted the message (as did the other users) or to the Nextdoor lead. Councilman Packard’s post inquiring “Who is the twit ….?” sounds like something from a 3rd grader.

We should expect a more mature response from one of our city leaders or at least a response that falls within the guidelines of the Nextdoor App.

Sonja October 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

The journalism should be accurate. I read all the threads and Councilman Packard did not apologize to Ms. Brown as the subtitle on the photo implies. He said, “apology accepted” referring to accepting Ms. Brown’s apology for the multiple emails. He made a lot of excuses…he was tired, it was annoying, his frustration level was high…. and the list goes on. For certain the day of and in the days following the incident – Packard never said the words, “I am sorry”. Those are the only words that take responsibility for words, actions and outcomes. All the rest is just whining.

Jan Neff-Sinclair October 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Name-calling and bullying are the last refuges of the cowardly.

Nextdoor has support personnel, local Neighborhood Leads, and online help information that all users have access to if they are frustrated by the system or some aspect of it. Each Nextdoor user can also customize their settings to control how much and what type of email that they receive, so that they do not receive unwanted emails.

If Mr. Packard had contacted his local Lead, for example, he could have been taught how to modify his Nextdoor settings. Instead of trying to identify and fix his “spam problem,” he chose to attack a Nextdoor user who had perhaps the same level of knowledge about Nextdoor’s inner workings.

However, her reaction upon learning about what had happened due to a lack of understanding was to immediately apologize and to apologize a few more times on top of it. She did not strike out at her neighbors.

As a representative of Carlsbad, Mr. Packard should do more than count to 1,000 when posting, but should consider how what he says reflects upon the city of Carlsbad and the city Council.

Ryan S October 14, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Looking at her 90’s website I can believe she had no idea how to use Nextdoor…

FYI, an audio file starts playing immediately when you open the site…

Karen October 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Jason, J true, and Ryan more judgmental obnoxious bully sounding males. Typical remarks about women …she dies sound like a whiny…and you sound like someone who has women issues and is as disrespectful as Packard is. So it’s okay for a businessman to to be rude?

As for the unasked for criticism about NextDoor and our 90s website… implying I created it therefore no wonder I don’t know how to use NextDoor. I have been using computers for over 30 years so try again. Have you ever used the Event Calendar on NextDoor? Probably not but will pass a hateful judgment on someone because the Events Calendar procedure is not clear in regards to posting multiple events.

In regards to our website, I guess we have been far too busy working for Google, Medtronic, Kaiser Permanente and many other clients for decades installing very complex high end multimedia systems for boardrooms, school of anesthesia etc. Or perhaps we are too busy recording and editing videos for musicians, artists, politicians, council meetings etc instead of obsessing over a website that …gasp…has an audio file when you open the site.

FYI the website has been in the process of an upgrade but I am sure no matter how it looks there will always be some bitter angry man to voice an unasked for opinion about a woman. Let’s see your website.

Brian McInerny October 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm

The caption under the photo of Dr Packard says he apologized. I do not see his apology in the story Mr. Puterski. In fact he accepted Ms. Brown’s apology but did not himself apologize. I will say that Councilman Packard’s apology is only obvious to those that know how sorry he is.

Steve Puterski October 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

Excuse the confusion. The caption has been updated.

Don October 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Packard will be very sorry…in November 2018.

Mandy Barre October 14, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Karen- you shouldn’t even respond to the Neanderthals on this story- you and all we women have suffered insults and bullying forever…real men don’t resort to that. People with no character resort to name calling like these guys on the thread. Their mom’s would be ashamed of their behavior!
Hold your head high.

Kris Wright October 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm

I am in the same general neighborhood on Nextdoor as Dr. Packard and Karen. I have followed the post completely and have yet to see Dr. Packard post an apology, as he should to Karen, no matter what his experience with prior spams from others. Once Karen realized her error (unintentionally sending out a series of emails), SHE sent out an immediate apology. Dr. Packard posted his “twit” comment AFTER Karen’s apology as the article explains. This is not the first time that Dr. Packard has derided his constituents. The series of unacceptable comments and continual lack of respect for his constituents over a period of time has caused many of us to express wishes to vote him out of office. Whether businessman or councilman, the rules on Nextdoor are clear. No one is allowed to demean or “name-call” another neighbor. As others have stated here, there were many avenues that Dr. Packard could have followed. Being “tired” is not an excuse to break the rules of Nextdoor and humiliate another.

Marty Harper October 15, 2016 at 7:52 am

Mark Packard should take that yoga class. Yoga helps to relieve stress, improve physical strength, stamina, flexibility and mental clarity. These are qualities I would like to see in a public servant. Patience, respect and care for his constituents would be a possible side effect of yoga and mindfulness training. Name calling and public shaming should never be the tools of an elected, public servant. It is time for you to bow out, and get a handle on your stressful life, Mark. We want leaders with integrity.

Hope Nelson October 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Mark Packard, you are a City Councilman, a representative of or city. Do you even know the word A-P-P-O-L-O-G-Y? Or maybe you know B-U-L-L-Y?

craig October 27, 2016 at 6:48 am

Oh please. You’re upset becasue someone called you a twit? When are we going to stop all this faux outrage at everything? By the way if this gets posted 20 times on acccident, feel free to call me a moron.

tappleg8 October 27, 2016 at 6:55 am

Yikes, much ado about nothing. Is this really worthy of the print it has received? Must be a slow news day all around, sorry Ms. Brown you are a bit over sensitive here.

Addie October 27, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Some trolls come late to the party, right Mr Applegate?

Comments are closed.