|June 16, 2022|
|This week the City Council adopted a balanced budget that focuses on five key community priorities. More on that plus these updates to follow:|
- Organics composting reminder
- Housing and homeless programs
- City Clerk election results
- Police summer safety tips
- Pop-up art event
- Upcoming meetings
- Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in Carlsbad
City budget approved
Carlsbad will continue to invest in priorities like public safety, protecting the environment and maintaining the community’s excellent quality of life during the fiscal year that starts July 1. These new investments are possible in part because city staff have successfully reduced general fund maintenance and operations costs by 2% at a time when inflation is over 8%.
I know that might sound a little boastful, but I am very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with this latest budget, which goes into effect July 1. Let’s face it – these have been a tough past couple of years, with wild swings in the economy and a lot of uncertainty. Carlsbad has always been known for its financial health, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to work at it. In fact, we are where we are today because of the rigor we apply to managing city finances.
- On Tuesday, the City Council approved a $198.3 million general fund operating budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year that maintains all core city services and continues more than a dozen new programs focused on five key community priorities outlined in a new strategic plan in the works.
- The City Council also approved a $43.4 million capital improvement program budget that covers major city construction projects planned in the next fiscal year, along with a $3.9 million budget for the city’s Strategic Digital Transformation Investment Program that maintains and expands the city’s use of technology, which over the years has become as critical to city operations as traditional infrastructure.
Major areas of new investment in the fiscal year 2022-23 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.
- A new park planner and a new engineer to help expedite planned projects over the next five years. Both positions are temporary.
- Increasing efforts to reduce speeding and improve safety on neighborhood streets.
- Four new full-time lifeguard positions that will enable Monroe Street Pool to be open more hours.
Organics composting starts July 1
If you’ve received your new trash containers, you may have noticed the green one has information about organics composting. This is a new state requirement that will be implemented in Carlsbad starting July 1.
“Organics” generally refers to things that grow, like food and yard trimmings. Paper products with food on them will also go in the green bin (unsoiled paper still goes in your blue recycling bin).
Why does this matter?
As organic waste breaks down in landfills, it generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By diverting organic waste to a special processing facility, it can be turned into compost and reused for gardening and landscaping.
Compost will eventually be available to residents for free to use in their gardens and yards during annual compost giveaway events.
To make food-waste recycling easier, our new trash contractor, Republic Services, will be giving away kitchen caddies starting the last week of June. Look for information about pickup locations and dates next week on the city’s website and via email.
In case you missed it, here is general information about the change in trash service provider starting July 1. More information
Housing and homeless solutions
The Carlsbad City Council approved two agreements this week aimed at creating opportunities for lower-income residents and people experiencing homelessness.
- The City Council approved spending $230,000 to purchase an affordable housing condominium in the Mulberry community in Bressi Ranch so it can be resold to another eligible lower-income buyer.
- The purchase is part of the city’s Affordable Housing Resale Program, which preserves affordable housing in Carlsbad and aims to put home ownership within reach for low-income households.
- The homes in the program were originally built by a private developer to meet the city’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requirements and were sold to qualified lower-income buyers at an affordable restricted price.
When homeowners who purchased an income-restricted property decide to sell, the city can use city and federal funds to purchase the units, thus extending the homes’ long-term affordability. When the city announced the program last year, we received thousands of applications. The city has since closed the application list and is working to get the units sold to eligible low-income buyers. More information
Job placement help – The other item approved Tuesday is an agreement with the nonprofit Community Resource Center for a full-time employment and benefits specialist who will help people experiencing homelessness get training and find jobs.
The specialist will:
- Assist people participating in the program with resume building, interview prep, counseling and job coaching, as well as connecting them with recruiters seeking to fill available positions
- Create partnerships with local employers for job placement opportunities
- Refer people to community-based programs and services, such as the San Diego Workforce Partnership
- Link participants to aid programs that can provide food and other resources.
The City Council has identified homelessness as a top priority, dedicating more than $5 million in new spending in the current city budget to make measurable progress by addressing gaps in county and state programs. More information
City Clerk’s position likely to remain elected
At last count, 51.4% of Carlsbad residents who cast ballots in the primary election voted against changing the City Clerk position from an elected official to a member of the city’s staff. About 48.6% supported the change.
An estimated 5,000 ballots countywide are yet to be counted, but it’s unlikely those would change the outcome of this measure.
The elected City Clerk position is currently vacant, following the resignation of City Clerk Barbara Engleson. The City Clerk is elected to four-year terms with the next election scheduled for November 2022. Learn more
Help us keep crime in check this summer
Summer is a popular time to travel and spend time outdoors. Unfortunately, it can also be a busy season for thieves. The Carlsbad Police Department would like to remind residents to keep their property secure, whether at home or on the road.
- Increase your home security by always keeping your windows and doors locked and putting your lights on a timer at night so your house looks occupied. Watch these helpful city videos on how to prevent burglaries.
- Whether you’re at the beach, running errands, or still at home, keep your vehicle secure by making sure it’s locked and never leaving personal property inside. Don’t hide a key in your car.
- Prevent bicycle theft by locking your bike with two high-quality locks and parking it where you can keep an eye on it.
- If you’re heading out of town, the city’s Senior Patrol provides free vacation security consultations. Call them at 442-339-2214 at least two weeks before you leave. Find more vacation security tips on the city’s website.
Carlsbad invests a lot in public safety, but we need your help. Many crimes in Carlsbad are considered “crimes of opportunity.” This refers to leaving garage doors open, keeping valuables in plain sight when parked, not locking bikes and other things that create easy opportunities for crime.
Find our full list of security tips on the city’s crime prevention webpage.
If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, stop by the Pop-Up Art event at the Cannon Art Gallery (located at the Dove Library complex in south Carlsbad). You can see the new exhibition highlighting original pieces by MiraCosta College art faculty and students, then get a chance to create your own triptych.
What’s a triptych? It’s an artwork made up of three sections. You’ll use different art materials in each of those sections.
Saturday, June 18, 2022 -11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dove Library, 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
- Visit the new exhibition, Artists Together: Today and Tomorrow, in the Cannon Art Gallery
- Get inspired by the wide array of mediums: painting, printmaking, photography, installation, furniture and ceramics
- Learn and get to know the elements of art: color, line, shape, texture, value, space and form.
The event is free, and all materials are provided on the day of the event. Learn more
Get involved: Upcoming meetings
The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, June 21, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. Topics scheduled to be discussed include:
- Purchasing property insurance and excess liability insurance
- Amending an agreement with a company that checks building plans
- Accepting a $25,000 donation from the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts to support the city’s cultural arts programs
- An agreement with Interfaith Community Services to run the City of Carlsbad Hiring Center, which helps day laborers find work
- The Carlsbad Municipal Water District’s annual assessment of water supply and demand
- Authorizing bids for the replacement of water mains in the Village and Terramar areas, and at the county’s McLellan-Palomar Airport
- An agreement that would allow the city to use a portion of the former Encina Power Plant property as the temporary home for a new Fire Station 7
- Awarding a contract for maintaining Carlsbad’s streetscapes, medians, parkways, undeveloped parks, urban forests, trailheads and planters
- Levying the annual fees to be collected by the Carlsbad Tourism Business Improvement District and the Carlsbad Golf Lodging Business Improvement District
- Calling a general municipal election for Nov. 8, 2022, and considering whether to place a measure on the ballot asking voters to approve spending more than $1 million to refurbish the Monroe Street Pool
- Appointing one member to the Library Board and two members to the Beach Preservation Commission
These city meetings are also planned for next week:
- June 22, 4 p.m. – Library Board of Trustees
- June 23, 5 p.m. – Carlsbad Tomorrow Growth Management Citizens Committee
|Finally, this week the City Council marked two important recognitions aimed at ensuring Carlsbad is a welcoming and inclusive community.|
The first was a proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. The second was a recognition of Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. I’d like to thank all the city employees who serve on our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee, which is part of a larger focus citywide on considering issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do. The committee helps raise awareness of and make recommendations to improve and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization.
I’ll be back next week with more updates.
Scott Chadwick, Carlsbad City Manager
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