Talk Around the Thanksgiving Table

If you’re sticking around town for this week’s holiday, here are four topics your friends and family might be talking about.

Election Results

The Registrar of Voters is making steady progress on the vote count, which for our two open City Council seats remains very close. You can see the daily updates at We are putting the new City Council member orientation sessions together now, so as soon as it’s official, we can start to help our newest City Council members hit the ground running. The official swearing in ceremony will be held at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting. Please come show your appreciation for outgoing City Council members Mark Packard and Michael Schumacher Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. at City Hall, immediately before their last full City Council meeting.

Cold Case Files

The Police Department had a remarkable breakthrough on the 11 year old Valentine’s Day murder case of Jodine Serrin, thanks to recent advancements of DNA matching technology. The department brought in genealogical experts who helped investigators match DNA evidence with that of the suspect, David Mabrito, a transient who committed suicide in 2011. Investigators never gave up, and their aggressive pursuit of every available lead ultimately led to some measure of peace and closure for the family. Impressive work, and another reason why Carlsbad is seen as a leader among law enforcement.

Fire Danger

Last week was a nail biter as we watched tragedy strike our neighbors to the north and quickly extinguished spot fires here in Carlsbad during red flag conditions. Local crews were deployed to the Hill and Woolsey fires in the L.A./Ventura area to provide support. Unfortunately, with drier than normal conditions, we’ll remain at a high risk for fires for some time to come, even after the red flag warnings have passed.

Carlsbad as an Innovation Hotspot

Our new Chief Innovation Officer David Graham was interviewed Friday on KUSI. He’s just back from South Korea, where, among other things, he met leaders of Hyundai Motor Corp. to discuss the future of low emission and self-driving cars. Check it out here. Or, you can meet him yourself when he starts Nov. 26. According to an interview last week with Techwire, David describes Carlsbad’s place in the innovation market like this:

"I think of these one, two, three cities — those that are 100,000 to 300,000 — as having the nature that can allow them to be nimble, they're close to the issues that residents care about and they have the opportunity to do innovative projects that are scalable to other cities around the country," Graham said. "More cities look like the population and makeup of a Carlsbad than they do of a Chicago or Dallas or Miami."

You can get caught up on other city happenings in the latest edition of the Weekly Insider (and be sure to check out the intranet every day when you come in to see what else is new).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I must admit I’m looking forward to introducing baby Caroline to all of our family holiday traditions, although at only four months, she’ll need to wait a year to truly experience a Thanksgiving feast.