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Letters: Quid pro quo on the Carlsbad City Council?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the resident’s professional status in the community, they have insisted on remaining anonymous. The Coast News has confirmed this individual is a resident of District 3 in Carlsbad. 

Dear editor,

As a concerned resident who is watching the Carlsbad City Council election unfold, I am worried campaign contribution reform has not gone far enough after the appearance of quid pro quo behaviors of a certain council member running for re-election.

The council awarded a new contract for trash, organics and recycling services during its April 6 meeting. Republic Services, the second-largest waste removal company in the country, won the bid following a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Matt Hall and Councilman Keith Blackburn voting no, citing concerns of fewer environmental incentives and rate savings, and a higher contract bid.

The other City Council members, including Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel, voted yes on this higher bidder.

The 10-year contract, one of the city’s biggest, was awarded to Republic Services for a bid of $27.7 million (per year) compared to EDCO’s bid of $27.5 million.

Now, four managers employed by Republic Services, have given a total of $800.00 in legal contributions to Bhat-Patel, who is running for re-election. Two of these managers live in another state, and the other two, I believe, do NOT reside in Carlsbad.

Why would they be contributing to Priya’s campaign? Is this quid pro quo? Is this ethical? I hope the voters figure it out.

Learning about this information after issues with Republic Services from the get-go does not settle well for me. I know others I have spoken to are quite concerned as well.


A concerned resident in District 3