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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  January 6, 2022  /  No Comments

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arlsbad, CA — Jan. 6, 2022 I wasn’t surprised when I read yesterday that San Diego is poised to tie a record set six years ago for the highest number of days in a row below 70 degrees. But seeing what the East Coast has faced weather wise these past few days, it’s probably best to just move on to this week’s news, including:C

  • COVID-19 update
  • Input needed on new City Council district maps
  • New ways to share feedback on city issues, projects and services
  • What the organics recycling law means for Carlsbad
  • Village and Barrio residents needed for design input
  • Christmas tree recycling reminder
  • Happy trails
  • Upcoming public meetings

COVID-19 update It’s only been two weeks since my last update, but so much has changed. I’ll try to break it down as best I can and, as always, provide you with links to official documents and websites for more information.

 Case numbers Case numbers are hitting new highs, but that might not be as big of a concern as it has been in the past. Health officials point to the high rate of vaccination and the nature of the Omicron variant as reasons why the current strategy is more about masking and testing rather than shut downs and closures. 

During previous surges, hospitalizations tended to increase about two weeks after cases increased. A certain percentage of those hospitalized would require intensive care and, sadly, a certain percentage would likely lose their battle with the disease. That doesn’t seem to be the case now, but health officials are very concerned about hospital capacity for a different reason. 

Hospital capacity Based on the metrics the county has been using all along, hospitals should have enough capacity to care for COVID-19 cases. However, because Omicron is so much more contagious, hospitals (and many other workplaces) are seeing significant staffing shortages due to unplanned illnesses. 

Continuity of operations This is probably a good time to address city services. Some public agencies in our region have had to shut down or scale back services due to staffing. So far, all essential services at the City of Carlsbad are fully operational. 

Isolation and quarantine You might have read about changes in the recommended amount of time someone should be isolated from others when infected with COVID-19. (Isolation refers to separating people with COVID-19; quarantine refers to separating people who have been exposed.) The CDC first announced changes to its recommendations, citing three main reasons to shorten the number of days someone needs to remain separated from others:

  1. With widespread vaccine availability, the risk of serious illness and death is much lower than it was before
  2. More is known now about when someone is most contagious
  3. Weighing the risks with the societal benefit of keeping the economy, schools and essential services running

 The rules for our region are spelled out in two new health orders released by the County of San Diego yesterday, one for quarantine procedures and one for isolation procedures. 

Cases Keeping in mind my earlier caveats about case numbers and hospital capacity metrics, here is the latest data from the county:

A you can see by the map below, our entire region is now in the red or “high” transmission category, except for Camp Pendleton. This category starts at a seven-day average of 14.3 cases per 100,000 in population.

  • The county is at 67.
  • Carlsbad is lower than the county average at 56.
  • Our four ZIP codes, which at one time had Carlsbad in three different levels of transmission, from yellow to red, are now seeing a smaller spread, and all in red.

 Here is where you can see city and ZIP code case rates.

Carlsbad’s active cases chart mirrors overall case rates in the county and the state – huge increases the past two weeks.

County health officer requestsI want to pass along three important updates the County of San Diego shared yesterday afternoon: 

Testing

Do not go to local emergency departments for COVID-19 testing. The county recommends that people worried about COVID-19 infection and others seeking COVID-19 testing only go to a hospital to be tested if they have severe symptoms.

Local hospitals are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as staff shortages due to the coronavirus and are preserving their resources for patients who are seriously ill.

The region’s healthcare providers offer testing to members who meet each systems’ criteria. Many neighborhood pharmacies offer same day testing as do other locations on this list. The County, which has about 10 percent of the region’s testing capacity, has a network of no-cost testing public sites that are both walk-up and can take appointments. 

Testing scams The county is also warning San Diegans about potential scams from “pop up” sites that are offering “free” COVID-19 testing.

All legitimate COVID-19 testing sites should be able to show you their medical credentials upon request. They should also be able to tell you what laboratory test is being used, where the test is being run and how the results will be reported.

A testing site could be fake if: They ask for social security numbers or other non-medical information.

Materials do not have a logo

Site is on a sidewalk and not affiliated with a medical provider 

COVID-19 vaccines widely available The region has plenty of COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, which remain the best long-term protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

There are more than 400 vaccination sites that include pharmacies, medical providers, clinics and county locations; the region has the capacity to meet demand. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling 833-422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or coronavirus-sd.com websites.

Vaccine eligibility On Wednesday, the CDC decided to “recommend” booster shots for those 12 to 17, following a discussion about using the word “should” instead of “may.” They went with should. The timing was also updated from six months following the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to five months. 

If you are confused about who should get a booster shot and when, the CDC has a chart that simplifies eligibility and recommendations (as of this writing, it hasn’t been updated with yesterday’s change). 

Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for kids so far in the U.S. The CDC recommends everyone 5 and older be vaccinated. As always, check with your own health care provider if you have questions about COVID-19 vaccination. 

Masks Also yesterday, the state extended its indoor mask mandate to Feb. 15. It originally was to be in place at least through Jan. 15. Here is yesterday’s weekly COVID-19 update from the county.

Give input on draft City Council district mapsThe city’s Independent Redistricting Commission will hold its next public hearing on Jan. 13, where draft City Council district maps will be presented for feedback. This is a key step in what has been a months-long process to create new City Council district boundaries.

  • The city needs to update the boundaries of its four City Council districts based on the latest Census, so each district has about the same number of people.
  • An independent redistricting commission will choose the new district map without involvement from the City Council.
  • The deadline to have an approved new City Council district map is April 17, 2022.

Some of the maps that will be presented at the Jan. 13 public hearing were created by community members, and some were created by the city’s professional demographer. Among the options received so far, we have maps that:

  • Make small changes to existing City Council boundaries.
  • Have part of the city’s coastline in each district.
  • Have the coastline all in one district.
  • Divide the city into quadrants, using El Camino Real and Palomar Airport Road as the main dividing lines, although the boundaries stray away from those main roads where needed to balance out the populations.

 Additional maps will be presented on the 13th, and it’s not too late to submit a draft map if you have ideas. Learn more

New ways to share feedback on city issues, projects and servicesSpeaking of providing input, it just got a little easier to share your thoughts on city projects, issues and services, thanks to a new online public engagement portal that includes links to surveys, virtual idea walls, interactive maps and more. The City of Carlsbad has a long track record of community engagement, and during the pandemic, much of that needed to move to a virtual format. The new web portal is designed to create a one-stop-shop for community members interested in participating in city decision-making. Once in person meetings resume, it will also include information about public meetings, workshops, tours and other events. Some of the current opportunities include: 

  • We’re recruiting members for a new advisory committee that will help ensure we maintain an excellent quality of life and remain financially healthy as the city grows in the future.
  • We’re looking for input on the increase in outdoor dining in the Village and Barrio.
  • We’re kicking off the public input process for the City Council’s five-year strategic plan.

 See the new site and try out the digital engagement tools at carlsbadca.gov/input.

State’s new organic recycling law takes effectStarting July 1, Carlsbad residents and businesses will start recycling food scraps, yard clippings and other “organic” materials in one bin as part of a new state law that just went into effect. The July 1 timing coincides with when the city’s new waste hauling contractor, Republic Services, takes over from Waste Management. Why organics recycling is important

  • Organic waste makes up about half of everything currently sent to landfills.
  • As it decomposes, organic waste produces methane gas, which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide and very harmful to the environment.
  • Organic waste in landfills contributes to 20% of the methane generated in California.

 The Carlsbad City Council has identified environmental sustainability as a top goal. In September 2020, the City Council declared a climate emergency, which is part of a worldwide effort to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and instill a greater sense of urgency to address it. Keep your eye out for more information about organics recycling and other environmental initiatives in the coming months. Read more

Help strengthen design standards in Village and Barrio The city could use your help. We are looking for residents who live in the Village and Barrio who would be interested in serving on a citizens committee that will help turn existing design standards for multifamily and mixed-use projects in the Village and Barrio into “objective design standards.”  

Under new state housing laws, creating objective design standards is one way cities can retain influence over new development. 

If you or someone you know might be interested, please check out the details in the link below. Learn more

Still time to recycle your Christmas treeIf you still need to get rid of your Christmas tree, curbside pickup and recycling drop off locations are open through Jan. 15:

  • Calavera Hills Community Park, 2997 Glasgow Drive
  • Stagecoach Community Park, 3420 Camino de los Coches
  • Poinsettia Community Park, 6600 Hidden Valley Road
  • Fire Station 1, 1275 Carlsbad Village Drive
  • Waste Management, 5960 El Camino Real

 Details about how to prep your tree and other guidelines are on our website 

Happy Trails in 2022The winter/spring issue of our Happy Trails newsletter is now available, celebrating the important role volunteers play in supporting the city’s trails program. Volunteering is a great way to have fun, keep fit and learn about our natural environment, all while making a lasting contribution that benefits the community for generations. Trail volunteer events scheduled so far this year include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 29 — Agua Hedionda Kelly Trail
  • Saturday, Feb. 26 — Rancho Carrillo East
  • Saturday, March 26 — Village H North
  • Saturday, April 30 — Arbor Day, location TBD
  • Wednesday, May 18 — Robertson Ranch

Learn more

Get Involved —

Get involved: Upcoming meetingsOur first City Council meeting of the New Year is next Tuesday, Jan. 11. Topics scheduled to be discussed include:

  • An update on city investments
  • Revisions to the city’s part-time salary schedule, management salary schedule, and management compensation and benefits plan
  • Agreement with the Carlsbad Police Management Association on compensation and benefits 
  • A developer’s request to buy credits to be used to provide two affordable apartments
  • Amendments to update terms of a loan for an affordable housing project
  • A contract with the Community Resource Center for services to reduce homelessness
  • An SDG&E program that will help pay for a charging station for the city’s electric vehicles
  • Transferring credits that the water district gets for generating hydroelectric power to the new Clean Energy Alliance
  • An ordinance that will ban overnight parking on Armada Drive 
  • Considering a rate increase for water, recycled water and wastewater to keep up with the costs of providing the services 
  • Whether to continue holding virtual public meetings or resume in-person meetings
  • An update on the City of Oceanside’s beach sand retention project 
  • The city’s 2022 platform for state legislation and funding benefitting Carlsbad
  • Appointing one member to the Community Development Block Grant Citizen Advisory Committee
  • The City Council committee assignments for 2022

 The meeting will be virtual and starts at 3 p.m. The agenda and staff reports will be posted Friday on this page. Learn more about how to watch and participate in the meetings on city’s website. These city meetings are also coming up:

  • Jan. 6, 3 p.m. – Senior Commission
  • Jan. 6, 6 p.m. – Arts Commission
  • Jan. 10, 4 p.m. – Economic Development Subcommittee
  • Jan. 10, 6 p.m. – Historic Preservation Committee
  • Jan. 13, 6 p.m. – Independent Redistricting Commission
Today’s update was a long one. Thanks for sticking with it until the end. I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season. One behalf of the entire City of Carlsbad organization, we are looking forward to serving you in 2022.

City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008

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