CARLSBAD — During a Jan. 12 Carlsbad City Council meeting, the city reorganized members for its regional and municipal committees, including prominent board seats on the San Diego Association of Governments and Clean Energy Alliance.
Mayor Matt Hall will return to the SANDAG board of directors, while Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel will join the Clean Energy Alliance board while remaining with North County Transit District.
Previously, Councilwoman Cori Schumacher represented the city with those agencies, but the council voted 5-0 for Hall to join SANDAG’s board and 3-2 for Bhat-Patel to join Clean Energy Alliance, replacing Schumacher on both committees.
Both SANDAG and Clean Energy Alliance boards appear to have the biggest spotlights, largely due to the county’s estimated $177 billion transit makeover and ongoing push toward achieving 100% renewable energy.
Schumacher helped lay the groundwork for the Clean Energy Alliance, a joint powers agreement between the cities of Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Del Mar, and served as a board member since the partnership was established in November 2019.
“I fought for (the Clean Energy Alliance) the last four years,” Schumacher said. “This is the one regional board that I’m interested in and have invested political capital. I would say (remain as) the primary position and have been serving on this board since its inception.”
Freshman Councilwoman Teresa Acosta, after some clunky procedural issues, was selected as the alternate committee member for the Clean Energy Alliance committee.
“I’d like to reiterate my interest,” Acosta said. “I have a lot of passion for these issues and have done a lot of research as well.”
Clean Energy Alliance is set to propose its rates in February, making the board of high interest.
At SANDAG, the transportation agency is currently in the midst of repositioning the county’s infrastructure to become much more transit-friendly. The controversial 5 Big Moves has rattled cities in North and East county with its cost and proposal to bypass previously promised highway improvements, including improvements to Interstate 15 and state Route 78 interchange.
Additionally, SANDAG is also partnering with the Board of Supervisors and cities across the county to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
Hall also remains on the San Diego County Water Authority board after a 4-1 vote (Acosta against), while he and Bhat-Patel will continue their work together on the city’s economic revitalization subcommittee.
Councilman Keith Blackburn remains as Mayor Pro Tempore and will continue his role with Schumacher on the municipal code subcommittee, while Acosta will join Hall on the city’s legislative subcommittee. Bhat-Patel was also approved for the SANDAG Shoreline Preservation Committee.
Schumacher will return to the California League of Cities San Diego Division. She will remain on the North County Homeless Action Plan subcommittee with Hall after Bhat-Patel stepped down.