Carlsbad City Attorney Celia Brewer to retire

Carlsbad City Attorney Celia Brewer announced this week she will retire at the end of July after 29 years in public service, following a 2019 diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Brewer has held the Carlsbad post more than nine years. Among her noteworthy achievements was a favorable agreement with NRG Energy and SDG&E to remove the old Encina power plant and its 400-foot smokestack from the city’s coast, considered by many to be an eyesore.

Among other benefits from the deal, it guaranteed the city and its residents will have a say in what is built next on the property. She also oversaw a lawsuit settlement that required a developer to pay for the city’s new Buena Vista Reservoir Park and to complete a missing segment of Poinsettia Lane.

“Celia’s contributions to the city of Carlsbad go far beyond her legal work,” Mayor Matt Hall said in a statement on the city’s website. “She has a unique talent in bringing disparate sides together to find common ground for the common good. Her accomplishments here and throughout the region have been transformative and will be enjoyed by residents for generations to come.”

Brewer began her career as deputy city attorney and later city attorney in Solana Beach. In 2007 she joined the San Diego County Water Authority as assistant general counsel, and in 2010 she became assistant port attorney and later interim port attorney at the San Diego Unified Port District.

“Celia is an excellent attorney, but more than that, she is truly a strategic partner,” said Carlsbad City Manager Scott Chadwick. “Where others see conflict, she sees opportunities for creative solutions.”

Brewer served as president of the California League of Cities City Attorney Department and twice was president of the City Attorneys Association of San Diego County. She has three children, the youngest of whom is graduating from college this spring.

“I am passionate about public service and have loved every one of my public agency jobs, with the city of Carlsbad being the capstone of my career,” Brewer said. “But the time has come for me to focus on my own well-being, joining the thousands of other people with Parkinson’s who lead active, healthy lives every day.”

The city attorney is one of two positions, along with the city manager, appointed by the Carlsbad City Council. The council will decide in the next few weeks how to fill the position.