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Carlsbad library courtyard named for long-time council member

Entering the Carlsbad’s Dove Library from now on will bring a reminder of someone who helped make the building a reality, Ann Kulchin, a Carlsbad City Council member for 32 years.

The City Council approved a resolution Tuesday naming the library courtyard in Kulchin’s honor. The Dove is the city’s second library, built on Dove Lane to serve the southern half of Carlsbad after the city became too large for just the Georgina Cole location that opened in the 1960s on Carlsbad Village Drive. The Dove complex also includes a museum and auditorium.

Kulchin, a former elementary school teacher, moved to Carlsbad in 1978 with her husband, Dave, and first was elected to the City Council in 1980.

“This was an important time for Carlsbad,” Mayor Matt Hall said at Tuesday’s meeting, attended by Kulchin with family members and friends. “By the mid-1980s, growth had become a very controversial issue, much more even than today. Many people wanted to stop growth altogether.”

Kulchin helped create the city’s first growth management plan, a compromise that set boundaries on development. She also helped get the city its landmark seawall, a popular place with locals and tourists alike. During her years on the council, Carlsbad’s population grew from 35,000 to 107,000.

“But if you ask her what project stands out the most, it would be the Dove Library … a true labor of love,” Hall said. She served on the land selection committee, the architect selection committee and other efforts to complete the structure.

“Thanks to her vision and her hard work, Dove Library is truly a cultural arts center of the city,” Hall said.

Kulchin, who turns 90 this month, took the podium to say thanks and promised to stick to three rules she learned in politics — “Be there … be short … and be gone.”

“I am so pleased with this recognition,” she said. “I really miss my Carlsbad family, and you were my family for 32 and a half years. I loved every moment of it, and I was here for everything.”

Her husband, Dave, also was a local leader and served on a number of boards and commissions. They were married for 66 years and were partners in many community endeavors.

Tuesday marked two years since his death. “He was my best friend for 68 years,” Kulchin said.