From the Archives: Carlsbad voted to become a city 70 years ago

In June of 1952 residents in the beach community of Carlsbad voted to become a city and approved a slate of officials that included council members Manuel M. Castorena, Raymond C. Ede, George A. Grover, C.D. McClellen and Lena M. Sutton.

McClellan, who polled the largest vote in the June 24 election to incorporate, was named as the city’s first mayor.

The front page of the June 25, 1952 Daily Times-Advocate proclaimed, “Carlsbad Residents Approve New City by 67-Vote Margin. Unofficial returns were 781 votes for forming a new city and 714 against.

Carlsbad officially became a city July 16, 1952, when the county supervisors’ order of its incorporation was filed by the secretary of state at Sacramento.

Carlsbad was the ninth city in San Diego county to incorporate and the first new city in the county since El Cajon incorporated in 1912.

From The San Diego Union, Sunday, June 22, 1952:

Carlsbad to Vote On Incorporation

Residents to Desided Tuesday, Also Name Seven for Offices Under City Status

CARLSBAD—Residents here will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether Carlsbad, with an estimated population of 5200, should incorporate into a city. at the same time they will select five city councilmen, a clerk and treasurer who would take office if the incorporation is approved.

Voting will take place at five consolidated polling places from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are 2600 registered voters.

Two factions have carried opposing views to voters in the election campaign.


Eddie Kentner, of the Committee on Incorporation, stated:

“I have opposed incorporation for years, but now I think it is time to incorporate.” He said water keynotes the fight and claimed “we will get Colorado River water immediately” if corporated. He said having the new San Diego Gas and Electric Co. plant “with a 66-million-dollar investment” within a city “would help lighten the tax load.”

Opposing incorporation, Howard Butler, Rural Citizens Committee treasurer, labeled the plan “premature.” e said, “We figure the government we have now is better that what is being offered” and incorporation would mean “burdensome taxes.”

“The only strong argument for incorporation is the scare of annexation by Oceanside” which is “impossible without the people’s consent.”


Council candidates are Manuel Castorena, Raymond Ede, George Grober, Percy Holmes, John E. Keenan, C.D. McClellan, Dick O’Hanneson, Walter B. Parysch, Frank B. Smith and Mrs. Lena M. Sutton. Unopposed candidates are Edward G. Hagen for city clerk, and W. Roy Pace for treasurer.

Polling places are a residence at 2684 Highland Dr., State Forestry Station at 680 Highway 101, residence at 1341 Oak St., residence at 1039 Chestnut St., and residence at 3461 Garfield St.