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News from the City of Carlsbad | May 16, 2024

The start of the 2024 TGIF Concerts in the Parks season is just a little over a month away, and today I’ve got the band lineup to share with you, plus the next part of our series about the city budget. Here’s the full run down of stories in this issue: 

  • TGIF bands announced 
  • The draft budget is ready – here’s what’s in it 
  • Brilliant at the basics: behind the scenes with the city’s fleet 
  • Two mystery authors featured Friday at Dove Library 
  • What’s on the agenda for your next City Council meeting 
  • Apply for an open seat on the Planning Commission 
  • Spreading joy in the Village 

TGIF band lineup

This year’s TGIF Concerts in the Parks series will feature classic rock, R&B, swing, disco and more, a lineup we chose based on your input (thanks for the ideas!). 

Bands and dates 

Stagecoach Community Park  – 3420 Camino De Los Coches 

June 21, Pine Mountain Logs (Top 40 dance hits from yesterday and today) 

June 28, Jimmy’s Buffet (Carlsbad-based tribute band) 

July 5, Finnegan Blue (Irish folk and rock) 

July 12, Mad Hat Hucksters (swing and jazz from the 1920s-40s) 

Calavera Hills Community Park  -2997 Glasgow Drive 

July 19, Kimba Light (Afro-Cuban dance music) 

July 26, B.I.G. (90s funk and R&B) 

Aug. 2, Polyester Express (1970s disco) 

Alga Norte Community Park  6565 Alicante Road 

Aug. 9, Back to the Garden (1960s-70s classic rock) 

Aug. 16, Anthony Cullins (blues rock) 

The gates open at 4 p.m. with concerts from 6 to 8 p.m.  

Change in park locations …Some of you have asked why no concerts are scheduled for Poinsettia Park this year. The short answer is because the layout doesn’t work well with some of the additional security precautions being put in place. For example, it would be more difficult to establish a perimeter fence with controlled entrances at Poinsettia Park because of where the parking lots and other park amenities are located. 

New security measures   …Speaking of new security precautions, concert attendees will go through a security screening before entering this year’s concerts. Here’s what that will look like at Stagecoach Park: 

  • There will be multiple entrances to minimize wait times. 
  • Security personnel will do a bag check and use handheld wands to check for weapons and other items not allowed at the concerts, like drones and fireworks. 
  • Bottle openers, utensils and other picnic items are allowed. 
  • We have set up a new website with all the details, including venue maps and some frequently asked questions. Sign up to get email updates about TGIF Concerts in the Parks. 

Preliminary budget now available for review

Last week I shared a new budget website we have launched to help community members learn about the city budget process and the budget itself.  

Today we released the preliminary city budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The City Council will receive a presentation about it on Tuesday, and we will have a community budget workshop on Thursday. The City Council is scheduled to adopt the budget June 18. 

Here are some of the basics when it comes to reviewing the preliminary budget: 

General Fund …People typically focus on the “General Fund operating budget” because that is the fund that pays for most day-to-day city services.  

The main sources of revenue for that fund are property tax, sales tax and transient occupancy tax, which is the tax visitors pay when they stay at a local hotel or short-term vacation rental. 

Revenue trends ,,,,We include recent history and projections for our revenue sources, which can give you a sense of how much money the city has coming in to pay for basic services. This chart from page B-6 shows revenue from transient occupancy taxes, where you can see the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of the slow down and what has become known as “revenge travel,” where people seem to be making up for lost time. 

Department budgets  – Department budgets include details on personnel and categories of spending, as well as previous years’ data to see how things have changed.  

 Departments also describe what they’ve accomplished this year and their goals for the coming year, along with performance measures.  Because this is the preliminary budget, it won’t include some of the background information you see in the final budget, like city demographics.  What’s the bottom line?   Here’s an excerpt from the budget staff report:   “The city’s five-year financial forecast now shows a balanced budget through 2030. Healthy revenues, increased efficiencies, cost reductions, and new budget policies and practices over the past several years have worked together to close the gap. However, economic uncertainty remains as the city transitions from focusing on building and development to maintaining what has been created. As such, the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024-25 continues to focus on finding new cost savings and reducing ongoing spending while continuing to grow city reserves, prioritizing capital project funding and maintaining high quality service levels.”   Read the preliminary budget 

Behind the Scenes: Managing the city’s fleet – One of the key concepts in our City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan is being “brilliant at the basics.” That’s why we were so pleased to hear recently that the City of Carlsbad has been recognized as having the eighth best public fleet in the country (up from 32nd last year). 

What does that mean? The award is presented by the Fleet Management Association and based on criteria evaluating efficiency, innovation, accountability, financial management, turnaround time and a commitment to doing things right the first time. 

Fleet facts 

  • Our city staff manage nearly 500 vehicles, including fire engines, police cars, public works trucks, watercraft and more. 
  • Last year alone they completed 4,600 maintenance and repair jobs.  
  • We are in the process of transitioning our fleet to cleaner, greener vehicles. 

Not only were we recognized by the Fleet Management Association, but the American Public Works Association has named the person who oversees our fleet, Fleet Manager Bradley Northrup, as its Professional Manager of the Year. 

Congrats to Bradley and our whole fleet team and thanks for all you do to keep our city operating at the highest levels of professionalism and efficiency. 

Reminder to check our construction map 

While we’re on the subject of public works, wanted to pass along our weekly construction map which shows where city projects are happening that may impact 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. 

Meet local mystery writers -Two mystery writers from the San Diego area will be featured at our next author talk at the library. 

Encinitas author Christopher Reich was born in Tokyo, raised in L.A. and spent a summer at a camp on Mount Kilimanjaro as a teenager.  

After college, he started a successful watch-making business in Switzerland. But Reich’s biggest adventure was leaving the security of a successful career in his mid-30s to become a mystery writer. Over the past 30 years, he’s written 14 books, including several New York Times bestsellers, along with his latest novel, “Once a Thief.”  

Mystery writer Parker Adams is also no stranger to adventure. Adams is the pen name for San Diego author Joseph Reid, whose first career was as a marine biologist studying great white sharks. He then earned his law degree and for 25 years has been a patent litigator, trying million- and billion-dollar cases for high-tech companies and inventors. Somehow, he’s also found time to write four mystery novels, including his latest, “The Lock Box,” which he wrote under the Parker Adams moniker. 

Christopher Reich & Parker Adams author event -Friday, May 17, noon 

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 21, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. Topics include: 

  • A contract to extend an engineering services agreement for a project to install new motorized valves on water mains
  • A contract to replace the roof on the city-owned building on Las Palmas Drive that MiraCosta College leases for its Technology Career Institute program. 
  • 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. 
  • The annual work plans for the city’s Planning, Historic Preservation and Community Police Engagement commissions 
  • A proposal to purchase a 16-unit apartment building on Chestnut Avenue just west of Interstate 5. The building would then be resold to a developer who would renovate or rebuild the project to continue to provide the units as affordable housing. 
  • The preliminary fiscal year 2024-25 city budget 

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

Apply for an open seat on the planning commission -If you want to help to make a difference in our community, consider applying for a vacancy on the City of Carlsbad Planning Commission. 

  • We have one unscheduled vacancy for a term that runs through December 2024. 
  • The application deadline is June 7 at noon. 
  • Applications are available on the city’s website or in the City Clerk’s Office, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, and must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by noon Friday, June 7. 

Colorful art brings joy (and customers) to the Village  – I wanted to share this recap video of our recent art project in the Village. We partnered with the Carlsbad Village Association for this event, inviting 10 local and regional artists to display spring-themed artwork throughout downtown. In the video you can learn about their inspiration and see their colorful artworks come to life. 

That’s it for this week. I hope you can tune in Tuesday to hear all about our proposed budget and please help us spread the word about next Thursday’s community budget workshop. 

Have a great weekend! 

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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

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