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Mayor Matt Hall during a debate against Councilwoman Cori Schumacher at the North Coast Cavalry Chapel in Carlsbad. Photo by Shana Thompson
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Heated mayoral race comes down to final weeks

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.

Incumbent Mayor Matt Hall and Councilwoman Cori Schumacher are engaged in a highly competitive race. Mail-in ballots will reach voters on Oct. 8 and the general election is Nov. 6.

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.

Photo via Facebook

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.

Cori Schumacher — Full Interview Transcripts

Matt Hall — Full Interview Transcripts


Don Burton October 9, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Just read Hall’s statement in the Voting Guide. I nearly threw up. The lying and hypocrisy just never stop with this guy. How can he possibly say he wants to “expand open spaces” with a straight face? This coming from the guy who never met a developer he didn’t like and never saw a 4-story building he didn’t love. The guy who wanted to build a mall on a lagoon. The guy who wanted to create a distillery district next to the Boys and Girls Club just so he could line his own pockets. The guy who unashamedly take money from developers, hotel owners, corporations, etc and then claims he represents local residents. Finally, and perhaps most egregiously, there’s this gem of a lie…”Respecting those with differing points of view.” HAH? Does he really think those of us who have attempted to speak at council meetings and been thwarted, those who were forced to wait outside in the stifling heat while Caruso’s goons blocked the doors, those who’ve been unmercilessly attacked on social media by his minions, does he think we’re buying this nonsense???

Diana Hearn October 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Carlsbad needs a change at its helm. Matt Hall spent years on the Redevelopment Committee, 10 years on the Planning Committee. 16 years as a city councilman and 8 years as mayor. 34+ years is enough of his Carlsbad for Hall vision. District 4 has no representation on the council so logically in this first district election District 4 should be electing a council person. The mayor and his council cronies in their derelict wisdom decided District 1, Cori’s district, should select a new council person. This makes no sense at all and clearly demonstrates why Matt Hall needs to be voted out of office.

Addie October 5, 2018 at 10:31 pm

It’s a heated race because Matt Hall and his minions are hot under the collar fearing they might lose the stranglehold they’ve had on Carlsbad for the last umpteen years. Cori remains cool, calm, and collected while Hall and his paid consultants keep trying to come up with more lies to scare people into thinking that Cori will turn Carlsbad into a vast wasteland. Ironically she is more fiscally conservative and business-friendly (in a good way) than Hall who has made his bed for so long with developers and hotel owners that he has forgotten whom he is supposed to represent. Don’t believe me? Just have a long, hard, close look at the Financial Disclosures from both campaigns. Facts don’t lie.

Brian McInerny October 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Yes we are a wealthy city. Why is that? Is it because we bend over backwards to allow more development than we can sustain? Is it because we put tourists and transient occupancy ahead of community? Is it because we cater to people like Caruso who tried to push his 400 page “initiative to be submitted directly to the voters” on us by paying people to lie to our citizens? Obviously to some the cities bank account is much more important than the needs of the actual citizens. This explains why we have to beg for improvements in areas that do not have the sparkle of new gated communities that are sprouting up like tomatoes and avocados used to here. Where are the parks trails and bike paths that “wealthy communities” like Carlsbad should have? Where are the entertainment venues or outdoor auditoriums or museums? Where is the culture to go along with the well run cities bragging rights? We have a choice, the status quo will ensure we have all the characteristics of Orange county. 4 stories and up we go til’ Olde Carlsbad is unrecognizable. We need some new blood on the City Council, open minded forward thinking and positive interaction with the citizens who live here. Not continuing to remain steadfast in our ways because that is how we have always done it. Hoping for a positive change in November.

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