About Phil

Why I’m running for District 4 seat on the Carlsbad City Council

By Philip Urbina


The citizens of District 4 have a great opportunity in 2020 to elect someone to the Carlsbad City Council who understands the uniqueness of our area and can truly represent their needs. I’m running for the Carlsbad City Council because I believe I have the unique combination of proven leadership in Carlsbad and an understanding of South Carlsbad to represent the needs and interests of my South Carlsbad neighbors.

I’ve lived in Carlsbad for 40 years and in the Rancho Ponderosa neighborhood since 1996. My wife, Kathy and I, raised our two children here. They went to El Camino Creek Elementary in Carlsbad, and then Oak Crest Middle School and San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, all while we lived in our Carlsbad home. So many in Carlsbad don’t understand how our community is pulled in different directions, but approximately 40% of the kids in Carlsbad don’t attend Carlsbad Unified School District Schools. Most students in District 4 attend schools that are part of the San Marcos Unified School District, Encinitas Elementary School District, and/or San Dieguito High School District.

I have decades of service in Carlsbad and the La Costa Area. I’ve spent thousands of hours volunteering to serve youth, the less fortunate, and many other community needs. I have received many honors for my service, including being named a Carlsbad Citizen of the Year in 2015.

Carlsbad is my home and there is no place on earth I’d rather live. We have our beaches, perfect weather, great schools to raise your children, a thriving business environment, and a city that has provided services such as top-quality libraries, sports fields, and libraries second to none.

I spent 10 years on the board of directors of the La Costa Youth Organization, four as president. I’ve coached 25-30 baseball, softball and soccer teams, recreational, all-star and club levels for LCYO and Carlsbad Lightning (now Galaxy).

Professional Experience – My careers have given me a unique perspective of Carlsbad. I spent a number of years as a reporter and editor, including three years as managing editor of the Carlsbad Journal. I spent 13 years in community and government affairs, negotiating cable TV franchises with city and county governments. I spent nine years as the owner of a small business in Carlsbad, Cousin’s Signs. Today, I’m a contract trainer, facilitator, high school baseball umpire and soccer referee.

What will I bring to the City Council.

  • I’m a listener and a consensus builder. I work to bring people together to solve problems. I’m an innovator and always asking how we can do something better.

  • I’m a problem solver. When in difficult situations I try and focus on solving the problem and not getting emotional. I’d tell my kids, I’d yell if it would help.

  • Team Player.

  • Servant Leader

  • I can be a leader, but I’m also comfortable as a follower.

  • I’m a big picture person. And free thinker. I’m not bound by doing things the way we’ve always done them.

  • When I’ve made a mistake, I’m not afraid to admit it and make a change.

  • When I make a mistake,I try and figure out why, so I don’t make the same mistake again. As a sports official, it might be making a call to quickly, or being in the wrong position. Once I’ve figured it out, I can improve.

  • Not afraid to ask for help.



  • Great hiking and biking trails throughout the city, with a great emphasis put on safety of bike trails.

  • Maintain our great library services as we move toward more technology services and less brick and mortar.


Community Service

  • Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club – Member, 1985-present. Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest, Committee Member, 1986-present, Co-Chairman, 2013-present.

  • Knights of Columbus – Council 9022, Member, 2014-present, Grand Knight.

  • St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church – Eucharistic Minister, 2012-present.

  • La Costa Youth Organization – President 2009-2013; Board Member 2003-2013, Manager of approximately 20 softball, baseball, travel and all-star teams, 2001-2012.

  • Carlsbad Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family Project – President, 1995-2014, Board Member 1994-2014.

  • Chamber University – Helped design curriculum and taught group facilitation in 36-hour Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce business training program that graduated 125 people from member businesses, 2001-2008.

  • Carlsbad Lightning Soccer Club – Coach of recreation and all-star teams, 2002-2007.

  • Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce – Chairman of Board 1994; Board of Directors 1989-1996.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad – President, 1992-1993; Board of Directors, 1986-1995, Capital Campaign Marketing Chair, 2004-2008.

  • City of Carlsbad Sister City Committee – Board of Directors 1988-1992; chairman, 1991.



  • Carlsbad Citizen of the Year, 2015

  • Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club, Rotarian of the Year, 2015 and 1988, Rookie of the Year, 1987.

  • Community Impact Award, La Costa Youth Organization, 2015.

  • Starfish Community Leadership Award, 2012.

  • Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award, 2007


"IMAGINE a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to. Not out of a sense of debt. Or because they want something in return. No ulterior motives. No guilt feelings. Just the desire to give for the sake of giving. Now, instead of imagining this kind of world, do your part in making it happen. Make a charitable donation. Volunteer your time to improve your community. Give back to the world that gives so much to you. And if it happens to make you feel good to give, that’s all right. Feeling good is the one ulterior motive that’s acceptable."  - Bill Daniels, 1920-2000

© 2019 by Phil Urbina for Council 2020. Paid for by Phil Urbina for Council 2020, FPPC #1418164.