CARLSBAD — The newest face to the City Council was sworn in Tuesday.
Cori Schumacher, who upended former Councilwoman Lorraine Wood in the general election, thanked Wood for her 18 years of service to the city.
Incumbent Keith Blackburn was easily re-elected and also sworn in Tuesday at City Hall.
A packed house of Schumacher supporters, including Councilwomen Olga Diaz (Escondido) and Esther Sanchez (Oceanside), watched on as Schumacher took the oath and her spot on the dais.
“I’m feeling like it hasn’t sunk it, but it did,” Schumacher said.
Keeping in tune with her campaign, Schumacher delivered a heartfelt speech about reconnecting the council with residents and bringing back trust to the city.
She was one of the public faces of the “No on A” campaign, which defeated an attempt to build a luxury mall on the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon and spring boarded her campaign.
Schumacher’s speech also stressed community first and a two-way dialogue between residents and the council.
“I work to change the perspective of the dais,” Schumacher said. “There is a gulf between those who make decisions … and the electorate. It’s really about the change the local government back into a trust with the community.”
The council, though, will not meet again this year and reconvenes Jan. 10.
As the council rookie, though, Schumacher said she will be pouring over “a box full” of city documents over the next several weeks to become familiar with numerous issues.
Her priority, though, are any land use issues and the Village and Barrios Master Plan. In addition, she is also building a website to update residents on projects being considered or in the works from the city, as she promised during her campaign.
“I’ve had a lot of great conversations with staff,” Schumacher added. “I’ve been tearing through the documents. A lot of reading.”
Wood, meanwhile, said the past 18 years has been a special time in her life coming to city service as a temp. She was then elected city clerk three times before landing on the council.
Councilmen Michael Schumacher (no relation to Cori Schumacher), Mark Packard, Blackburn and Hall all gave touching tributes to Wood.
Blackburn said Wood’s efforts on committees and boards such as the California League of Cities, the San Diego Area of Governments and efforts to pass retail sales bans of dogs and cats from puppy and kitty mills, will leave a lasting impression on the city.
Hall, meanwhile, highlighted Wood’s efforts in creating the Student Leadership Academy this year.
“This is going to be a national program in a few years,” he said. “She cared for kids and students.”
Wood also received several rounds of applause and a standing ovation for her work as she left the council bench for the final time.
And in a tribute to favorite actor, the late Leonard Nimoy, said she “Carlsbad, live long and prosper.”
“I want to thank everyone for their support,” she added. “These are some of the finest people I’ve ever worked with.”
She had a lead of more than 800 votes on Election Night last month, but with so many outstanding ballots the race wasn’t over.
Schumacher made up the difference rather quickly, but held slim leads over Wood until the count reached 135 votes 10 days after the election. Schumacher finally pulled away for good, winning by 700 votes.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.