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13 candidates vie for Carlsbad City Council appointment

CARLSBAD — Two former Carlsbad City Council members headline a list of 13 residents in District 1 for the open council seat vacated by Cori Schumacher on July 9.

Julianne Nygaard and Mark Packard both submitted applications prior to the Aug. 11 deadline. The other candidates span a variety of professional experiences in the private and public sectors.

All candidates will be interview by the council during its Aug. 24 meeting. Candidates will have just five minutes to speak with the council to answer a set of standardized questions.

The rest of the field includes Daniel Hughes, Gary Nessim, Peder Norby, Allen Manzano, Neal Keith, Karl Schwarm, Caroline Bol, Jan Neff-Sinclair, Kyle Hargrave, Mona Gocan and Ryan Vaughn.

Nygaard, who is now retired, served on the council from 1990-2002 and from 2004-06 after being appointed to fill Noreen Sigafuse’s seat. She also served on the Planning Commission from 2009-12, Tri-City Health District board from 2012-20 and was a Carlsbad Unified School District trustee from 1981-1990.

Packard is a retired dentist who served on the council from 2002-18 and also was elected to the Carlsbad School District board of trustees, serving from 1990-1998. He owns Packard Dental Group in Carlsbad Village.

Hughes is a partner of MantelMount, a local consumer products company and does charitable work for St. Patrick’s and St. Margaret’s Catholic churches and Gen Next San Diego. In his application, Hughes said homelessness is the most pressing issue and would want to serve on the North County Homelessness Action Committee.

Nessim is a local Real Estate Broker and serves on the Carlsbad Village Association’s board, along with two terms on the Beach Erosion Committee. He also founded Imagine Carlsbad to review redevelopment in the Village.

Norby owns Norby Consulting and has previously served on the San Diego County Planning Commission, and was chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee, which drafted the renewable energy master plan for the county. He also served as a special projects coordinator for Carlsbad, along with several other city boards and commissions, and consulted with the City of Encinitas on a number of projects.

Manzano is a former U.S. Navy commander and currently is a financial manager. He is also president of the Educational Resource Associates and is a former Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Health Care Services and Deputy Director of the Department of Industrial Relations.

A current teacher, Keith works for the Vista Unified School District and coaches soccer at Sage Creek High School. He said his issues center on the business impacts from COVID-19, parks, public parking and short-term vacation rentals.

Schwarm spent 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. And 24 years working for the cities of Vista and San Marcos, the latter where he spent 15 years as the Director of Housing and Neighborhood Services.

Bol is a TV news producer who said the most pressing issues are “rapid redevelopment” and homelessness. She said dense infill development is a strain on the infrastructure in the Village, while the homeless are camping at beaches and defecating on bikeways and trails.

Neff-Sinclair is a self-employed interior designer and said affordable housing is one of her top priorities. She said the General Plan conflicts with the state’s unfunded housing mandates, along with homelessness and sea-level rise.

Hargrave is a self-employed attorney and founded People’s Legal Services, a non-profit to assist the under-served populations in the county. He also said homelessness is a top priority, along with the pandemic and protecting small businesses.

Gocan is a civil engineer and owns 77 Electrical Services and was the first woman on the San Diego Association of Governments’ Mid-Coast Rail Project, according to her application. She is the chair of the city’s Traffic and Mobility Commission, served on the advisory council to the state’s 76th Assembly District and aims to bring in more parents to engage with the city.

Vaughn, who earned a doctorate in Urban and Environmental Economics from UCLA, is a technical product manager with Jupiter Intelligence where he applies “economic reasoning to the problems of climate change and how climate-related hazards interact with financial products.”