|May 26, 2022|
|Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a time when focus begins to shift to summer plans. For me, it is exciting for another reason: May is when we present our proposed city budget to the public and the City Council for the first time. More on that plus these updates in today’s edition:|
- Bands announced for TGIF concerts
- Expanding access at La Posada
- E-Bike safety meeting
- Student environmental reports
- Senior Health and Fitness Day
- Get a preview of the 22-23 opera season
- Upcoming city meetings
- Memorial Day city service schedule (trash delayed 1 day)
Balanced budget presented
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the public got its first look at the proposed city operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. City staff presented a balanced city budget that maintains all core city services and continues more than a dozen new programs aimed at improving public safety, maintaining an excellent quality of life and protecting the environment.
I am very proud to say that despite an inflation rate of more than 8%, city departments were able to reduce costs in next year’s operations and maintenance budgets an average of almost 2%. That’s a great example of the culture of continuous improvement that’s so important in our city organization.
Some of the major investments proposed for next year’s budget include:
- Reducing response times for the city’s Fire Department by building a new fire station along the coast and implementing other recommendations from a recent study of fire department operations. The first step is to build a temporary fire station on the site of the old power plant while a permanent site is identified.
- Several new environmental sustainability programs including phasing out more single use plastics in Carlsbad.
- Increasing the number of traffic studies the city can conduct in a year. Traffic studies are often the first step in developing options for reducing speeding in neighborhoods.
- Four new full time lifeguard positions that will enable Monroe Street Pool to be open more hours. The city eliminated enough part time positions to offset the cost of three of the four new lifeguard positions.
On June 7, city staff will present the proposed capital improvement program budget, which covers major city construction projects. Staff will also present details of an annual plan for maintaining and expanding the use of city technology, which over the years has become as critical to city operations as traditional infrastructure. The City Council will consider adopting the entire city budget at a public hearing scheduled for June 14.
Staff report and preliminary budget
Expanding shelter capacity
The city’s homeless response program will continue next fiscal year as our staff carry out a very comprehensive approach to this complex issue. One of the keys to addressing homelessness is the availability of shelters. Carlsbad has one shelter, Catholic Charities’ La Posada de Guadalupe, located near our Police & Fire Headquarters off Faraday.
- This week the City Council approved a grant to enhance clinical services at La Posada.
- This is part of an overall strategy to coordinate with nonprofits, the county and others already working on the issue of homelessness.
- That way we can help fill gaps in service rather than duplicate work already being done.
- The shelter provides services including medical screenings, drug and alcohol counseling, language instruction, money management classes and other tools to help shelter residents find jobs and permanent housing.
Bands announced for TGIF Concerts in the Parks
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, we are bringing back our popular TGIF Concerts in the Parks series for its 35th year this summer. We just finalized the list of bands, and once again have a diverse assortment of musical styles and genres starting with Back Pocket Whiskey Fellas & Bayou Brothers, who blend Irish folk with country-rock, using the guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, accordion and more.
The season kicks off June 24 at Stagecoach Community Park. See the full line up and other details on the TGIF Concerts in the Parks webpage.
E-bike safety meeting
With the school year wrapping up, we will no doubt see kids enjoying their summer vacations by riding their bikes and e-bikes around town. That’s why we partnered with the Carlsbad Unified School District to host more than 100 parents and students this week for a bike safety meeting.
The City of Carlsbad Police Department was on hand to highlight the rules of the road, including new city e-bike rules that target dangerous riding behaviors. Our focus is on education rather than ticketing for first time violators, who have the option of taking a safety course instead of getting a ticket.
Physician Gail Tominaga from Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla also spoke at the meeting, sharing the types of injuries she sees most often associated with bike riding and how to avoid them.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions:
Who has to wear a helmet?
Everyone under 18, although they’re recommended for everyone.
Is it legal to ride with another person on your bike? Passengers are only allowed on bikes and e-bikes specifically made for additional riders. They can’t be on handlebars or storage racks.
Can kids ride on the sidewalk? No. Bikes are not allowed on sidewalks. Ride in the bike lane or, if needed, the regular traffic lanes.
Do bikes need to stop at stop signs and stop lights? Yes, just like a car.
Can riders go against the flow of traffic? No. Always ride with the flow of traffic.
Our police officers will be out enforcing these rules and looking for opportunities to educate riders, with the goal of improving safety for everyone. Learn about more e-bike rules and free resources from the San Diego County Bike Coalition.
Upcoming work at the airport
Palomar-McClellan Airport is located in Carlsbad but is run by the County of San Diego. They let us know they’ll be re-grading the gravel perimeter road on the east side of the airport and other areas nearby starting May 30 and wrapping up by June 10.
Because of its location, you might see activity from El Camino Real, but we don’t anticipate any traffic impacts.
Speaking of the airport, I want to share this link to airport’s local noise office. It’s a great resource for knowing how to make a noise complaint if you ever need to do that. You can also track flights in real time.
Future environmental leaders
Local elementary school students wrapped up a year-long environmental program last week with presentations to city staff about their ideas to reduce trash and prevent storm water pollution.
The students’ projects included slogans (“Be the solution, not the pollution”), phone app ideas and engineering designs to highlight best management practices to protect our environment.
In the spirit of connecting students with current experts in the field of watershed management, staff got to ask questions and provide the students feedback and encouragement about their ideas.
I’m so proud of these future leaders and how they’re taking action now to protect our waterways and keep Carlsbad beautiful. The outreach education program is hosted by BCK Programs and funded by the city’s watershed protection program.
San Diego Opera in concert
The San Diego Opera is next up in the City of Carlsbad’s Showtime @ The Schulman concert series, with a special performance and presentation this Saturday featuring several of the Opera’s talented cast members.
San Diego Opera –Saturday, May 28, 7:30 p.m. Schulman Auditorium at Dove Library -Free admission
Attendees at the Carlsbad event will get a taste of the Opera’s upcoming 2022-23 season, which starts in October. The evening is sponsored by the Carlsbad Library & Arts Foundation.
Senior Health & Fitness Day
Yesterday, May 25, was National Senior Health & Fitness Day. This event is designed to promote the importance of regular physical activity and show what local organizations are doing to improve the health of older adults in their communities. In Carlsbad – where our population has a larger-than-average number of adults over age 50 – we offer a wide array of programs and events:
- North County’s first Age-Friendly Action Plan, a collaboration with AARP and Circulate San Diego, was approved by the Carlsbad City Council in December 2021. It was developed with community input to serve as a roadmap for how Carlsbad can create policies and programs that make life event better for older adults.
- Our busy Senior Center offers special events, activities, classes and programs focused on health and wellness, education, technology, games and hobbies, and more.
- Library and Cultural Arts programs include concerts and movies, exhibitions, Pop Up Art events, book clubs, author discussions and more.
- 67 miles of city trails that give older adults easy and accessible ways to get outside, stay active and explore nature.
- A variety of volunteer opportunities including helping maintain city trails, delivering meals to homebound adults, emergency response teams, helping with special city events and activities and the Carlsbad Police Department’s Senior Volunteer Patrol.
Get involved: Upcoming meetings
The next regular City Council meeting will be Tuesday, June 7, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. A link to the full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website the Friday before the meeting. You can watch the meeting live on the city’s website or cable TV channel.
- June 2, 3 p.m. – Senior Commission
- June 2, 6 p.m. – Arts Commission
What’s open, what’s closed on Memorial Day
City offices in Carlsbad will be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. A full holiday schedule for city services is listed below:
- City offices: Closed
- Emergency services: Regular service
- Trash pickup: Delayed one day all next week
- City pools: Alga Norte, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monroe Street, closed
- Libraries and Cultural Arts facilities: Closed
- Community centers: Closed
- Senior Center: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (no meal service)
- Leo Carrillo Ranch: Regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Transit: For the holiday transit schedule, please visit http://www.gonctd.com or call 5-1-1
I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Next week I will share an update on Veterans Memorial Park, which will be a spectacular new park near the corner of Faraday Avenue and Cannon Road. As the name implies, it will feature several elements designed to honor local veterans. We’d like to run some designs for the main plaza by you to see what you think. We are also looking for local veterans who might be interested in working with our team to give more in depth feedback as the park’s plans come together. More to come.
Scott Chadwick, Carlsbad City Manager
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