CARLSBAD — Local residents flocked to the polls Tuesday to vote in one of Carlsbad’s most highly anticipated elections yet — on the ballot, the first new mayor in more than two decades, two City Council seats and a controversial proposition regarding safety employee pensions.
According to the votes tallied by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, current Councilman Matt Hall will be Carlsbad’s next mayor, having received approximately 46 percent of the vote.
He will fill the seat that has been held by outgoing Mayor Claude “Bud” Lewis, a Hall supporter, for the past 24 years.
Hall’s main competition in the mayoral race — fellow councilmember Keith Blackburn — fell short with around 40 percent of Carlsbad’s votes. Other candidates included retired Marine Glenn R. Bernard, “the most independent candidate in America” and landscape architect Walt Meier, each receiving less than 10 percent of the votes.
Candidates vying for two City Council seats have spent months campaigning, and after Tuesday’s election, Planning Commissioner Farrah Douglas and incumbent Mark Packard took home the open spots.
Douglas, who touted her small business experience and dedication to the city during her campaign, received about 45 percent of the votes. Incumbent Mark Packard, a lifelong Carlsbad resident and councilmember since 2002, secured another four-year term on City Council with around 34 percent of the votes.
Education consultant Jon Wantz, a first time candidate, received approximately 12 percent of the votes, while lending industry employee William Jubb had about 8 percent.
“In the end, the results weren’t what we hoped for, but we need to rally behind our new leaders and give them the support they need to get the job done,” Wantz said early Wednesday morning.
Local charter amendment Proposition G, a ballot measure that would require a public vote for future pension increases for safety personnel, was passed with more than 60 percent of the votes.
Proposition G was a hot issue in this year’s election because Hall and Blackburn were divided on the issue. Hall supported the measure, which closely followed the city’s approval of a two-tiered retirement benefit system that would reduce benefits for employees hired after Oct. 4 of this year.
Blackburn has repeatedly suggested that lesser benefits would attract sub par safety employees to Carlsbad, and that council should have the final say when it comes to pension decisions.
In other election news, Jim Comstock of local financial planning firm Comstock & Associates was elected Carlsbad’s treasurer. City Clerk Lorraine Woods ran unopposed for her current position and received 100 percent of the votes.
In addition to incumbent Lisa Rodman, the Carlsbad Unified School District board of trustees’ newest members include Ann Tanner and Veronica Williams.