CARLSBAD — Local residents packed Carlsbad’s council chambers Dec. 14 for the official swearing in of the city’s first new mayor in 24 years and four others, as determined by the results of last month’s general election.
Longtime Councilman Matt Hall took his oath to become Carlsbad’s next mayor, succeeding Claude “Bud” Lewis, who has served in the position for more than two decades.
“In my heart, there’s only one mayor in this city and that’s Mayor Bud Lewis; he has truly been an inspiration and a leader beyond words,” Hall said. To council, he said, “It’s now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Hall ran against fellow Councilman Keith Blackburn for the coveted position and ultimately prevailed with 40 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Mark Packard and newcomer Farrah Douglas were sworn in as council members, having collectively won with around 80 percent of the vote. They will serve four-year terms with City Council.
“I appreciate your trust in me,” Douglas said. She campaigned for more than a year to secure her new title. “I am committed to open, responsible and responsive local government.”
Carlsbad’s new city treasurer, Jim Comstock, said he was accepting the position with “great sadness and great jubilation.” He will take over the position most recently held by the late Harold “Mac” McSherry, who passed away in July and was a close friend to council.
On a lighter note, Comstock said, “I’m excited to be your treasurer. Having been in Carlsbad for 28 years, I have come to deeply love and respect this city.”
Incumbent Lorraine M. Wood was sworn in as city clerk once again, having received 100 percent of the vote from Carlsbad voters. She ran unopposed and was nicknamed “Landslide” at the ceremony.
Wood certified the results of the Nov. 2 election at the ceremony and reported that out of Carlsbad’s 61,404 registered voters, more than 44,000 voted at the polls and through vote by mail ballots. “We had a 72 percent turnout, which is amazing,” Wood said.
In his last vote as mayor, Lewis and council unanimously adopted Resolution 2010-272, officially acknowledging the election results.
Before voting, Blackburn jokingly asked, “If I were to vote no, would that give me another crack at this mayor thing?”
Following the vote and swearing in ceremony, Hall took his new seat as mayor for the conclusion of the City Council meeting. At the meeting’s end, the public was invited to join the elected officials and their families for a reception at City Hall.