CARLSBAD — Every year, the Carlsbad City Council selects who will represent the city on various committees and boards. This year, the council had few changes when it came to the most prominent board seats.
After being appointed by the council during its Jan. 11 meeting, Mayor Matt Hall returns as the city’s primary representative on the boards of SANDAG and San Diego County Water Authority, two of the highest-profile agencies in the county,
Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel will return to serve on North County Transit District’s board, while Councilwoman Teresa Acosta will represent the city for Clean Energy Alliance.
Bhat-Patel will serve as the alternate to the CEA board, where she retained her position as vice chairwoman earlier this year. Acosta, meanwhile, will also be an alternate to NCTD.
The battle for SANDAG has been a priority for both parties to control the agency’s direction for future transportation after the metropolitan planning agency adopted its controversial $162.5 billion regional transit in December. Acosta nominated herself to serve on SANDAG, but there was not a second and the motion died. Bhat-Patel also nominated herself, but fell short of the votes, 3-2, with Acosta and herself both voting yes.
Hall won the SANDAG seat with a 4-1 vote, with Acosta voting against. Acosta was also the lone dissenting and unsuccessful vote for Hall’s nomination for the county water board.
SANDAG has long been a priority for the San Diego Democratic Party. Chairman Will Rodriguez Kennedy laid out the “SANDAG Strategy” last year, claiming SANDAG as the highest priority for the party to address housing and climate crises along with commitments to social, economic and environmental justice.
However, Hall reassumed the position when former Councilwoman Cori Schumacher was ousted from her board seat in a 3-2 vote. Bhat-Patel voted for Hall after a “misunderstanding,” despite pressure from Rodriguez-Kennedy to change her vote. At the time, Bhat-Patel also faced threats of censure from San Diego Democrats for Equality for her role in the committee shakeup.
Councilman Peder Norby will take the lead on the Buena Vista Lagoon JPA and North County Dispatch JPA and alternate with the Encina Wastewater Authority.
Councilman Keith Blackburn retains his positions as mayor pro tempore and on the Buena Vista Lagoon Joint Powers Committee, Encina Joint Powers JAC and Encina Wastewater Authority board. Blackburn is also the second alternate to SANDAG, while Bhat-Patel is the first alternate.
Bhat-Patel will serve on the city’s Economic Development Subcommittee and as primary for the SANDAG Shoreline Preservation Working Group, among others. Acosta remains the lead for the League of California Cities and the City Council Legislative Subcommittee.