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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager Update

Carlsbad City Manager Update

By   /  February 15, 2024  /  No Comments


News from the City of Carlsbad | Feb. 15, 2024

This week the City Council made decisions focused on protecting Carlsbad’s quality of life. I’ll fill you in on that plus other news of the week as we head into the holiday weekend:

  • New pickleball courts coming to Carlsbad
  • Finding solutions to airport noise
  • Police chief retiring
  • Focus on economic vitality
  • Time for an emergency preparedness checkup
  • New program creates social connections
  • Meet two authors Saturday at Dove Library
  • City holiday services schedule 

New pickleball courts coming to two city parks -Just three months after approving an updated Parks & Recreation Department master plan that showed the increasing popularity of pickleball in Carlsbad, the City Council has approved locations for eight new outdoor courts.

  • The four new courts at Calavera Hills Community Park and four at Stagecoach Community Park will bring the total number of city-operated courts in Carlsbad to 14, spread among north, central and south Carlsbad.
  • Six courts were built in 2019 at Poinsettia Community Park as a result of the last Parks & Recreation Master Plan.

The new courts will include lights for night play and special fencing designed to reduce noise. Courts will be open the same hours as the parks and locked overnight.

Pickleball, which sports industry sources cite as the fastest growing sport in the United States for the past five years in a row, has been described as a combination of tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton. 

When approving the master plan last September, the City Council considered how to best meet the growing demand for pickleball courts, ultimately deciding against converting existing tennis courts or creating shared courts, even though those options could be completed more quickly. Feedback from tennis players and pickleball players alike led the City Council to opt for new, dedicated pickleball courts. New courts will take about two years to complete.

If you’d like to give pickleball a try, the city offers pickleball lessons for adults. Sign up online

Finding solutions to airport noise -The City Council continues to explore ways to reduce noise resulting from planes flying in and out of Palomar Airport. The challenge is that the County of San Diego operates the airport and the FAA controls flight paths.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted to pursue the formation of a community roundtable to address residents’ noise concerns.

  • Community roundtables are convened by the FAA to address community concerns over a sustained period of time.
  • The city cannot request the FAA form a roundtable directly, only the airport operator – in this case the County of San Diego – can make this request.
  • The action Tuesday will allow city staff to approach the county with the idea and ask county officials to make the request of the FAA.

In another airport related item Tuesday, the City Council voted to submit several requested changes to the membership composition and selection process for the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee, a county-led committee that serves as a forum to address community concerns about the airport.

In addition to the changes included in the staff report, the City Council asked staff to add three additional points:

  • A request that county supervisors honor the city’s recommendations regarding the nomination of Carlsbad residents
  • Adherence to term limits on the committee
  • To convey community concerns about potential committee member conflicts of interest.

The county is scheduled to discuss potential changes to the committee membership and selection process at its Feb. 28 board meeting.

Police chief retiring – This afternoon, I announced an important change coming up in the leadership of our Police Department. Police Chief Mickey Williams has let me know of his plans to retire, effective April 15, and I will be appointing Assistant Police Chief Christie Calderwood to be his successor.

Chief Williams has led the Carlsbad Police Department into the era of modern law enforcement, prioritizing trust, transparency and the responsible use of technology, while creating a culture focused on continuous improvement and community engagement. He also set up a solid succession plan to ensure there was a well-prepared team in place once he retired.

You can read more about Chief Williams’ many contributions to the City of Carlsbad over the past 29 years and learn about the equally impressive track record of incoming chief Christie Calderwood in the announcement posted to our website.

Appointing the leader of a city department is something I take very seriously, especially in the area of public safety. I am so appreciative of everything Chief Williams has accomplished during his time as chief and could not have hoped for a better candidate to take the reins than Assistant Chief Calderwood.

As Assistant Chief Calderwood prepares to take on this new role, we will be hosting a series of “Meet the Chief” meetings in the community. I’ll share the dates and locations as soon as we have those plans confirmed.

City Council goal spotlight: Economic Vitality -Last week I shared the first annual progress report on the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. Today and over the next several weeks, I’ll dive into the details of each goal, starting with economic vitality.

Carlsbad is known as a wonderful place to live, but we also have created a healthy and diverse economy by leveraging our excellent quality of life, prime coastal location, proximity to major universities and easy access to freeways, rail corridors and airports.

Below are some stats about our business community:

The vision for economic vitality in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan focuses on fostering “a strong and diverse economy that combines a thriving small business community with leading industries of the future. Smart, talented professionals want to work here, and entrepreneurial leaders want to invest in their own startup ventures. Those looking to grow their skills will find opportunities for workforce development in Carlsbad. Carlsbad has excellent relationships with key industries, business organizations, other cities in the region and academic institutions. By achieving this goal, the city as a whole is financially stable, and more residents have the jobs they want right in their own backyards.”

To achieve this vision, the city follows an Economic Development Strategic Plan with the following goals:

  • Support small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs
  • Develop the local workforce and attract talent to Carlsbad
  • Grow and support key industries
  • Encourage placemaking and engagement

You can find out more about Carlsbad’s economy and programs to support it on the city’s Life in Action website. Next week I’ll tell you more about the goal of environmental sustainability and the natural environment.

Time for an emergency preparedness checkup -Recent flooding in the region plus Monday’s earthquake in El Centro serve as good reminders to check your own emergency preparedness plans. Here are three easy things you can do this weekend:

  1. Sign up for emergency alerts. Register your cell phone numbers and email addresses with AlertSanDiego, a mass notification system that will alert you if a flood, fire or other disaster is threatening your home or business. You can also sign up by texting “HELP” to 98266.
  2. Download the county’s SDEmergency App. The app gives you important information in an emergency, including evacuation routes and shelter locations.
  3. Make a plan. The city’s website has tips and resources to help you create a simple emergency plan for your family, plus other information to help you be prepared.

New program creates social connections – Senior center volunteer Kim Shea saw a need in our community to help older residents connect and form new friendships, something that can be harder to do as you get older. The result is a new program called Community Friendship Builders. The group meets twice a month at the Carlsbad Senior Center.

Over coffee, Kim helps get the conversation going with a few ice-breaker questions, followed by informal conversations and sharing. Some participants have opened up about the loss of friends or spouses and how grateful they are to have a new way to make meaningful connections within their community. Others might be new to the area or recently retired with more time on their hands. However people find themselves seeking more social connections, Kim’s idea is taking off and changing lives.

Please help us spread the word about this new program or stop by yourself:

Community Friendship Builders

Second and fourth Fridays, 11 a.m. to noon Carlsbad Senior Center- 799 Pine Ave.

Register online or just drop in Sign up for emails to learn more about the group and other city programs for adults 50+.

Meet two authors Saturday at Dove Library – As Black History Month continues, Carlsbad City Library on Dove Lane is featuring two renowned writers who will share stories about their work and the Black experience in America.

  • NBC News anchor Jeffrey Blount will discuss his new novel “Mr. Jimmy from Around the Way,” about a disgraced man’s journey of self-discovery.
  • Piper Huguley will talk about her new historical novel, “By Her Own Design,” about the Black dress designer, Ann Lowe who created Jackie Onassis’ wedding dress.

Author Event – Saturday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. Schulman Auditorium, Dove Library-1775 Dove Lane

Seating is first come, first served. An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the discussion.

Learn more about this event and other upcoming author events on our website. 

Combating residential burglaries -I know our community is concerned about a recent uptick in residential burglaries, which appear to be part of an organized ring targeting high value items that are easy to turn around and sell.

Unlike much of the property crime in Carlsbad, which is opportunistic (doors and windows left unlocked, open garage doors and valuables left in plain sight in cars), these recent thefts are targeting homes where people are on vacation or out for the night, with thieves often gaining access by breaking a window.

Our Police Department has an active investigation underway, and here is how you can help:

  • Report all suspicious activity to our non-emergency police line, 442-339-2197, or call 9-1-1 to report a potential crime in progress.
  • Install visible video cameras and lights around your home.
  • Talk to your neighbors if you are going to be away from home and ask them to help keep an eye on your property.
  • Lock away valuables within your home.

Here is a link to more information about how you can protect your home and belongings.

City holiday services schedule -City offices, libraries and recreational facilities will be closed on Monday, Feb. 19, in observance of Presidents Day. There will be no delay in trash pickup.

See the full holiday schedule on our website.

Also, there is no City Council meeting next week, though the Planning Commission meets Wednesday. You can see the meeting schedule on our city calendar and watch board and commission meetings livestreamed on the city’s website and on-demand afterward.

After all the recent rain, I expect we will see lots of people out enjoying some blue skies over the long weekend. Please remember to slow down and watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Keeping Carlsbad’s streets safe is a responsibility we all share, so thanks for doing your part.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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CarlsbadConnects app is an easy way to report things that need repair or attention around town, like potholes, sidewalk cracks, traffic light outages, graffiti and code enforcement issues.

Carlsbad Connects

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


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