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News from the City of Carlsbad | May 9, 2024

Every May you’ll find city staff putting the finishing touches on our proposed budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1. Today I’ll tell you about some new resources we’ve created to help interested residents learn about the budget process. More on that along with this news of the week below:

  • City directs federal funding to reduce homelessness in Carlsbad
  • Creating Safe Routes to School
  • Promoting the arts in Carlsbad
  • Species spotlight: Blue grosbeak stops in Carlsbad
  • City sponsored events this weekend
  • What’s on the agenda for your next City Council meeting

Behind the scenes: City budget -Today I am kicking off a new series to coincide with the review and approval of the annual city budget.

The annual budget affects every single person in Carlsbad, and we want it to be as transparent and easy to understand as possible. The budget contains a complete spending plan for the year, along with information about the city’s overall financial health, the local economy, upcoming projects, long term investments and more.

We are still a couple of weeks out from presenting our preliminary budget to the City Council, so I thought this was a perfect time to launch a new budget portal on the city’s website. It’s meant to be a one-stop-shop to help residents understand the city’s budget process.

We’ll be adding to it in the coming weeks, so please share your ideas on what else would be helpful to know.
How to give input
The city collects input all year long through emails, online surveys, social media, workshops, and comments provided to our City Council, Boards, Commissions and Committees.

  • That feedback, along with the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, is used to prioritize projects and resources.
  • The strategic plan, in turn, is based on the Carlsbad Community Vision, which is a set of nine core values important to achieve our community’s vision for the future.
  • During the presentation of the draft budget and later that week, you have an opportunity to share specific feedback about what is proposed.

Community budget workshop– The public is always welcome to attend and provide input at City Council meetings about the budget, but the City Council has asked staff to also provide an opportunity for residents to learn about the budget and provide input in a more casual setting. 

  • Unlike a City Council meeting, the community budget workshop will have an informal format, including a question-and-answer session with city staff.
  • All the input gathered will be provided to the City Council to consider before approving the final budget, currently scheduled for the June 18 City Council meeting.
  • If you can’t make it, you are welcome to email your budget comments any time.


Community budget workshop

Thursday, May 23 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. City of Carlsbad Faraday Center 1635 Faraday Ave. 92008

The draft budget will be ready for review at the end of next week. You will find it in the materials for the May 21 City Council meeting.

City directs federal funding to reduce homelessness in Carlsbad-The City of Carlsbad’s approach to reducing homelessness and its impacts on our community is to connect and enhance efforts already underway so they can have a greater impact on Carlsbad and bridge any gaps that are specifically affecting our city.

  • One way we do this is by directing federal funding to programs and organizations that support the goals in our Homelessness Action Plan.
  • On Tuesday, the City Council awarded federal funding to four organizations:

Casa de Amparo: $100,000 to improve its facility that provides shelter and services for people ages 12-24

Community Resource Center: $21,765 to prevent and reduce homelessness by providing rental and utility assistance

Interfaith Community Services: $55,967 to prevent and reduce homelessness by providing rental and utility assistance

Legal Aid Society: $25,000 to provide fair housing services

The balance of the more than $500,000 in funding will go toward making more affordable housing available for lower income families in Carlsbad. Learn more

Creating Safe Routes to School 
While we’re talking about federal funding, the city would like to thank Rep. Mike Levin for recommending that our Safe Routes to School program receive federal funding as part of a bill to fund the federal government through the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30.

  • Safe Routes to School refers to programs and infrastructure improvements that focus on helping kids and families feel more comfortable walking and biking to school.
  • We had started to work on a pilot program with Hope Elementary School a few years ago and then expanded our work following our local traffic safety emergency proclamation in 2022.
  • We are now working with Hope and Jefferson elementary schools and Sage Creek High School, with Aviara Oaks elementary and middle schools next up.
  • The $850,000 in federal money means the city can work with even more schools going forward.

You can read the Hope Elementary School plan to learn more about what is involved. The city’s Traffic Safety & Mobility Commission reviewed the plan last Monday, and next it will go to the City Council for approval. Learn more

Supporting local arts programs -Last week, the city approved more than $100,000 in Community Art Grants for 27 schools and nonprofit arts organizations to expand art opportunities and experiences in Carlsbad.

The projects include school theater, music and dance performances; visual art projects; community theater and orchestra performances; and arts training and education programs.

A panel that included representatives from regional arts organizations, nonprofits, education specialists and community members selected the grant recipients. On May 2, the city’s Arts Commission approved the grants.

Encouraging the growth of art in our community through grants and other support is one of the key strategies in our Arts & Culture Master Plan.

Seeking artists for Barrio public art project – Public art is another way the City of Carlsbad prioritizes arts and culture in our community.

We recently released a call for artists requesting proposals from California based artists interested in creating a new public art piece in Carlsbad’s historic Barrio area. If you know any local artists, please help us spread the word. The deadline is June 24.

The art will be placed in the center of a new traffic circle at Pine Avenue and Harding Street. From the earliest planning stages, we’ve been gathering community feedback about how this art can best reflect the Barrio’s neighborhood identity and cultural heritage.

Some of the most common themes were:

  • Barrio pride – not just the history, but the strong sense of community and diversity that exists today
  • People helping people and looking out for one another
  • Authentic, unique beauty that reflects the Barrio’s character and charm
  • Hope and promise, rooted in history – how reminders of the past inspire new opportunities.

A subcommittee of professional artists, members of the Arts Commission and residents with ties to the Barrio community will choose the artist. Once an artist is selected, there will be more opportunities for public input on the artwork’s design. 

This new public art project is one of several recent projects to come out of the city’s Art in Public Places program, which was created in 1985 and was the first public art program in San Diego County. The program lays out the public art development process, with several opportunities for the public to participate before major decisions get made.

If you’d like us to keep you up to date on art projects in Carlsbad you can sign up for email notifications.

Species spotlight: Blue grosbeak stops in Carlsbad -Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day, an annual observance originating in 1993, when the US Fish and Wildlife Servicethe Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology decided they wanted to call more attention to the preservation of migratory birds and their environments.

Here in Carlsbad, we are located along what’s called the “Pacific Flyway,” one of four bird migration routes in North America, spanning from Alaska to the tip of South America.

Among the millions of migratory birds that travel along the Pacific Flyway is the blue grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), which heads north to breed every year after spending the winter in Mexico and Central America. Carlsbad’s more than 6,200 acres of open space habitat make it a popular spot for the blue grosbeak and other migratory birds

As the weather warms up, you may be able to spot a blue grosbeak at Lake Calavera Preserve. They like to nest near water sources and in mostly open fields – those with few trees and shrubs. Finding a blue grosbeak may require a little bit of patience. You’re likely to hear its distinctive song before you see it.

  • Listen for the songbird’s call, a flute-like song with sharp notes.
  • Look for the vibrant blue color of the male blue grosbeak against green foliage. Females have a more discreet cinnamon brown color.

The City of Carlsbad’s ongoing habitat protection efforts are critical to migratory birds like the blue grosbeak, even if they only call Carlsbad home part-time. Birds support a balanced ecosystem, helping to keep our planet healthy – a key goal in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan.

Weekend events -The city’s “community services” staff, which includes our parks, recreation, library and cultural arts teams, are busy all year long planning events and activities designed to make your life in Carlsbad richer, connect you to other community members with similar interests and encourage lifelong learning. Here are three events coming up this weekend:

Author featured in Oprah Book Club selection -Ann Napolitano faced literary rejection for years until she finally broke through with the best-selling coming-of-age novel, “Dear Edward.” But it wasn’t until her recent novel “Hello Beautiful” got selected for Oprah’s book club that she achieved literary stardom.

Now, she’s turning back time by rereleasing her debut novel, “Within Arm’s Reach,” 20 years after it hit the bookshelves. The novel is about four generations of a Catholic family and how they connect through crisis.

You can meet Napolitano and hear more about her journey this Saturday at a special author event at the Dove Library Children’s Garden.

Ann Napolitano Author Event Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m.

Children’s Garden Dove Library, 1775 Dove Lane

Hot Rods & Cool Treats If you’re into classic cars, you’ll want to cruise down to Pine Avenue Community Park Saturday for the city’s Hot Rods & Cool Treats carnival and classic car show. One of the things that makes this event so special is its focus on connecting generations of all ages.

Hot Rods & Cool Treats

Saturday, May 11 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pine Avenue Community Park 3333 Harding St.

Come vote for your favorite classic car (sorry, no more cars can join this year) and:

  • Play vintage carnival games like ring toss and frog hopper 
  • Enjoy oldies music, face-painting, crafts and a fun zone
  • Build your own sundae at the ice cream bar

Admission is free. Carnival tickets, food and drinks are available for purchase.

Grammy-award winning musician comes to Dove Library Three-time Grammy Award winner Jimmy Cuéllar began his mariachi career as a teenager alongside his father, Jaime Cuéllar, as a founding member of the band Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.

Thirty years later, Jimmy Cuéllar and the band have a worldwide following, appearing in videos with pop artist Camila Cabello and collaborating with a Who’s Who of Mexican artists including Aida Cuevas, Pedro Fernandez, Ana Barbara and Angela Aguilar. You may have also spotted them in the series finale of “Dead to Me” on Netflix.

This Saturday, you can see Mariachi Garibaldi right here in Carlsbad at our latest Showtime at the Schulman concert at the Dove Library.

Mariachi Garibaldi

May 11, 7:30 p.m. Schulman Auditorium Dove Library,1775 Dove Lane

What’s on the agenda for your next City Council meeting

The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, May 14, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. Topics include:

  • The monthly update on the city’s investments
  • Approval of a workers’ compensation settlement   
  • A proposal to purchase new printers to replace ones that are at the end of their useful lives, while reducing the overall number of city printers by 27%  
  • Renewal of a permit with State Parks that allows the city to maintain the upper picnic facilities at Tamarack State Beach and the nearby coastal bluff, which the state owns
  • A contract to replace water and sewer mains along Carlsbad Boulevard north and south of Cannon Road as well as on Cannon Road nearby
  • A contract to replace the emergency backup generator at one of the city’s sewer lift stations
  • An agreement to purchase what are known as habitat mitigation credits to offset the impacts of the city’s storm-related emergency work to remove debris from the Buena Vista Creek channel. The credits are then used to pay for restoration efforts at another wetland or habitat area
  • Advertising for bids for the annual street resurfacing project, which includes restriping lanes on parts of El Camino Real, Paseo del Norte, The Crossings Drive, El Fuerte Street and Bressi Ranch Way
  • Continuing the local storm-related emergency proclamation to repair a slope between El Camino Real and Trieste Drive. This proclamation must be renewed at each regular City Council meeting until the emergency is declared over.
  • Appointing two members to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission
  • An update on Carlsbad’s economic and financial conditions in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, January through March 2024
  • A discussion of Proposition H, which in the 1980s created a Carlsbad-specific requirement for certain projects costing over $1 million to be approved by voters. The Carlsbad Tomorrow Growth Management Committee recommended the City Council discuss the potential for increasing the threshold

See the agenda and staff reports.

The City Council encourages your participation. You can get agendas and staff reports emailed to you directly, and if you want to provide input, you can email council@carlsbadca.gov before the meeting or come in person and fill out a request to speak.

If you want to watch from home, we have three options:

  1. Watch the meeting live on the website
  2. Watch a recording of the meeting afterward
  3. Watch live or a replay throughout the week on the city’s cable TV channel, Spectrum channel 24 and AT&T U-verse channel 99

Upcoming construction – Most of our work is in the south next week – be sure to check our construction map for the latest on major projects that could affect traffic. Checking the map allows you to plan ahead and take an alternate route, saving you time and helping to keep traffic flowing safely through construction zones. Remember, the map only shows city projects, not work being done by utilities or private companies.

Before I sign off, I want to wish all our Carlsbad moms a very a Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for all you do for your families and for our community.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back next week with more updates.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008 www.carlsbadca.gov

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