CARLSBAD — It was an emotional evening at City Hall on Dec. 9 as the current council welcomed back longtime councilwoman and current Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin, and officially welcomed newly retired police officer Keith Blackburn.
After being thanked by the council for her service, Councilwoman Julie Nygaard stepped down after finishing out a two-year term.
An overflowing crowd watched from outside as the ceremony took place inside the council chambers.
Mayor Bud Lewis and current council members first certified the Nov. 4 election results before Kuchin was sworn in for her eighth council term.
“I want to thank my family … friends … and my council family,” Kulchin said. “We’ve been together longer than people have been married.”
Kulchin said she was also proud of the citizens of Carlsbad.
“We talk about being the jewel of North County,” she said. “You are all the wonderful, wonderful, master designers.”
Former police Sgt. Keith Blackburn took the Oath of Office and was also sworn in to serve his first term.
“First I want to thank the council for making this city the beautiful city that it is,” he said.
Blackburn said he listened to the residents and has made his top priorities the completion of Alga Norte park, addressing traffic congestion and preserving the high quality of police and fire service.
He said he is looking forward to learning from the “longtime council” where by the end of their terms, Mayor Bud Lewis and Kulchin will each have served for more than three decades.
Both have said their current terms will be their last.
In one of the largest voter turnouts, 91 percent of the registered voters in the city voted this year.
Kulchin received the most votes with 26 percent voting for her to return, followed by Blackburn with 24 percent.
Councilmember’s are up for re-election every four years. In 2010, Mayor Bud Lewis as well as Councilmen Matt Hall and Mark Packard will finish serving their four-year terms.