Vista Chamber of Commerce Presents 2023 State of the Community Luncheon at Civic Center
TR Robertson -The annual 2023 State of the Community Luncheon was held Monday at the Vista Civic Center featuring a State of the City Address from newly elected Mayor John Franklin and several presentations by other dignitaries. Rachel Beld, CEO of the Vista Chamber of Commerce, began the event with City Council Member Corinna Contreras leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by an Invocation from Reverend Frank Hallock from the United Methodist Church Vista. Rachel then introduced officials from the city, county, state, Vista School District, Tri-City Medical Center, Sponsors and Chamber Board members.
The first keynote speaker was Vista Mayor John Franklin. Mayor Franklin began his political career in 2012 with the Vista Irrigation District. He was elected a Vista City Council member in 2014. Mayor Franklin pointed out that there are many celebrations that will be taking place this year. This is the 100th anniversary of the Vista Irrigation District, 100th anniversary of the Vista Chamber of Commerce, 60th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Vista, 50th anniversary of the Boys and Girls Club of Vista and 60th anniversary of Tri-City Medical Center. He said 2022 was a remarkable year for the addition of housing in the city and the addition of several parks for the city. He pointed out the success of the newly established Community Improvement Team in helping keep the city clean and especially in getting stolen shopping carts pick-up from those scattered around the city. The Ambassadors are also a newly established programs assisting where needed in the city. He pointed out the continued success the city is having in trying to deal with the homeless problem in the city and thanked CalTrans for their help in removing encampments and cleaning up those areas. The homeless programs the city is establishing has received national recognition in the motel voucher program, rental assistance programs and affordable housing available in the city. The Mayor also thanked Operation Hope for their 25 years of providing shelter programs for those in need. The Mayor introduced a video that highlighted in detail the efforts to deal with the homeless issues and highlighted the Quality Community Services provided, the Improved Infrastructure, the Economic Growth of the city, the Public Safety and Quality of Life provided by the Sheriffs, Fire Department, Code Enforcement Division and City Managers Office and the Financially Security the city has. The video is found in this article and well worth watching to see the detailed listing of what is happening in the city in all of the areas listed.
Rachel Beld, Vista Chamber CEO, detailed many of the programs the chamber has successfully started. She pointed out the COVID Business Relief Grants awarded, the Internship Program started, the Chamber’s Partnership with Vista Schools, the continued Rising Star monthly program and yearly scholarships awarded, the continued collaboration with other chambers and with Tri-City Medical Center, the Velocity Podcasts available, the establishment of the Vista Magazine now available in Spanish and the monthly Government Affairs Committee meetings available to anyone interested.
Rocky Chavez, President of the Tri-City Medical Center Board, introduced Steve Dietlin, CEO of Tri-City Medical Center, the next keynote speaker. Steve has been with Tri-City for 10 years, 7 of those years as the CEO. He will be retiring in March. In a power point presentation, he listed the Mission Statement of Tri-City Medical Center – To advance the health and wellness of the community we serve. The Vision statement – Be recognized as a health care system of choice in our community and the Values – The need of our patients come first. Quality Community Health Care Matters. He pointed out that the medical center provides world class services provided by 1,700 employees and 500 physicians. Tri-City Medical Center opened in 1961. They have won national awards and are recognized for Heart and Stroke Care, Orthopedics and Spine Care, Robotic Surgery and Neonatal Care. The medical Center has 88 community partners and they are involved in the SOCAL program providing student opportunities for research into the medical professions – www.socalworkforce.org . Tri-City Medical Center is now a Kaiser Permanente partner. They are involved in several upcoming and developing programs and constructions. The 3 Tesla MRI is a state-of-the-art imaging service now provided. Opening in 2024 will be a 16 bed Psychiatric Facility and soon to be under construction will be the remodel of the Emergency Room waiting and admitting room.
Speaking next was Dr. Carl Kemnitz, Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs, California State University San Marcos. Dr. Kemnitz pointed to the diverse student population the university has and the percentage of people from different racial, cultural and economic backgrounds that attend the university. Cal State San Marcos has the highest per capita of American Indian and Former Foster Youth attending classes. The Mission Statement is student success. Their Vision is to be a national leader of social mobility. They have award winning Cyber Security and Software Engineering programs. Next on the university’s building agenda is an Integrated and Science Building. In 2022 a new North Commons provided additional housing and an affordable housing building is also in the planning stages. Also opening in 2022 was an Innovation Hub.