EDITOR’S NOTE: For a complete transcript of both candidates responses, please find links to documents at the end of the article.
CARLSBAD — It is the main event.
It is also one of the most charged races in the city’s history and could change the direction and vision of the city for years.
The two traded shots during a forum on Sept. 24 and a live debate on Sept. 26 on Facebook hosted by Real Talk Carlsbad. Next up is a forum hosted by the Carlsbad Police Officers Association at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Harding Community Center.
Hall, who was first elected to the council in 1994 and then mayor in 2010, said dramatically altering the city’s revenue sources would have a negative impact with the budget and surplus. He has criticized Schumacher for her lack of experience in business and leading a city.
Schumacher, meanwhile, is championing less reliance on developer fees and looking to green and clean industries to fill those differences in revenue. She is also in favor of developing objective standards, at least for architectural designs, for any future Village development or redevelopment.
“The type of development we are shifting into … is infill development,” she said. “The idea here moving forward really is to ensure we have a good source of funding coming into the city to sustain our city over time. We can bring in an additional source of revenue that’s closely tied with an energy revolution going on in California.”
They also differ in how the city operates, Hall noting staff is doing more with less bodies after the 2008 recession led to 35 less employees. Schumacher says the city needs more employees to ensure staff is not overwhelmed and work can be done in a timely manner.
Perhaps their biggest difference, though, is the approach to operating a city. Hall has continuously called into question Schumacher’s abilities and lack of business experience in overseeing multi-million dollar budgets.
During the Sept. 24 forum at North Coast Calvary Chapel, Hall explained how the city has maintained a positive budget and surplus since 1994. The last time the city operated in the negative was 1993.
He said those efforts have led to the city building a $90 million-plus reserve account and made Carlsbad the second most valuable city in the county, at $2 billion, behind San Diego.
“I listen to people, I work with people and try to bring all points of view together to make a greater tomorrow,” Hall said on Real Talk Carlsbad. “Over the last 20 years, we have proven … we have financial stability. Our standards and performance is much higher.”
Schumacher, meanwhile, has shaken off those criticisms and has countered the city must be more transparent with residents. One example, she noted, is the city’s lack of action on easy safety solutions in the Barrio.