CARLSBAD — The City of Carlsbad acknowledged one of its employees, park development manager, Mark Steyaert. During the Oct. 2 city council meeting, Mayor Matt Hall presented Steyaert with a proclamation for 29 years of dedicated service to Carlsbad.
Hall began the presentation by saying how it seemed like only a day or two ago that Steyaert had started working for the city, and now, it’s already 29 years later. Hall and Steyaert have known each other for a long time, and for Hall, the retirement was bittersweet.
“It’s interesting, when you look around this community and you think, ‘Well, what mark have I ever left in this community?” said Hall. “And Mr. Steyaert has left many.”
Hall described Steyaert as a dedicated, productive, trusted, creative and valued employee.
As Hall read the proclamation, the depth of Steyaert’s work for nearly three decades was punctuated with creations and successes.
Steyaert began his city career as a park planner in 1983, was promoted to park development coordinator in 1989, and then climbed the ranks to park development manager in 2001.
“The city of Carlsbad, its residents and visitors have benefited greatly from Mark’s accomplishments as they have enjoyed the use of over 47 miles of trails, over 300 acres of developed park land, including Calavera, Poinsettia, Carrillo, Aviara, Hidden Canyon, Pine, Carlsbad Skate Park and L’Heureaux Dog Park, The Crossings Golf Course and currently under construction, Alga Norte Community Park,” said Hall. “Mark’s efforts significantly contributed to Carlsbad’s unparalleled quality of life and positive impacts.”
Hall then said it was his pleasure to offer thanks and appreciation for both the city and its residents for a job well done.
After shaking hands with Hall, Steyaert approached the podium. He thanked the city council for the great honor of a proclamation.
“It wasn’t all me; we had a great team throughout the city who developed all these projects,” he said. “On the other hand, I guess if you’ve been here for almost 30 years you better have some stuff to show for it.”
While thanking his associates in the Parks and Recreation Department, he told the council members that he could not have picked a better profession to be in to provide amenities for the residents. He went on to thank the city council for all their support over the years.
“I’ve loved this job for so long,” Steyaert said. “We’ve had such interesting projects.”
Over the years, Steyaert said he believed what set Carlsbad apart from other cities was its high level of care toward its residents.
While other cities do workshops and get public input, Carlsbad’s strong point has always been adding customer service to this and going out of its way to make it happen, he added.
Chris Hazeltine, director of parks of recreation, described Steyaert as a valued employee for many years that would be missed tremendously.
“I think most importantly, as a park development manager, Mark’s impacts will be felt long after he’s gone,” Hazeltine said. “This generation and future generations will benefit from his great work.”