Push for increased public health enforcement in Carlsbad fails


CARLSBAD, Calif. – A request to increase enforcement of public health rules in Carlsbad has failed.

Dozens of callers weighed in on the measure in a lengthy Carlsbad City Council meeting Tuesday. No action was taken on the measure proposed by Councilwoman Cori Schumacher, which would have imposed new citations and fines for businesses violating state and local public health orders.

“The city will continue current enforcement efforts, working with the county,” the city said in a tweet.

The body now will pursue a different approach toward increasing compliance, including potentially offering incentives, excluding non-compliant businesses from COVID-19 assistance programs and collaboration with other municipalities.

A date has not yet been set for a vote, according to the city.

Schumacher called for Tuesday’s meeting in a Dec. 22 letter to the city’s mayor after a recent spike in cease and desist letters were handed down to establishments in her district. If the proposal had passed, additional enforcement would fall under city municipal code with fines ranging up to $500.

She brought the idea to the table twice last year, both times ending in a 2-2 split with council’s fifth seat previously vacated.

In response to Tuesday’s meeting, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said he’s “glad to see common sense prevail in Carlsbad.”

“Tonight, Cori Schumacher’s motion for heavy-handed enforcement with fines did not get a second and failed,” Desmond said in a tweet. “We should not be punishing businesses, we should allow them to be part of the solution in our fight against COVID.”

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