Hall highlights Carlsbad’s successes in annual address

Hall highlights Carlsbad’s successes in annual address
Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall delivers his seventh annual State of the City address on Aug. 18 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. Hall attributed the city’s successes to “vision, leadership and community involvement.” Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

CARLSBAD — Transparency and community involvement are what make Carlsbad Carlsbad, Mayor Matt Hall said during his Aug. 18 State of the City speech.

“You see it in all we do,” he added.

Delivering his seventh annual address to nearly 500 people gathered at Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, Hall highlighted his top 10 reasons for the city’s successes, noting that vision, leadership and community involvement are traits that permeate each one.

The list included planning, which started with the growth management plan approved in 1986 and implemented in 1994.

Used to measure development against 11 major criteria, it requires that about 40 percent of the city remains open space in perpetuity and caps housing to maintain a maximum population of approximately 135,000 people.

He also noted Carlsbad’s habitat management plan that protects endangered species, flora and fauna. The city maintains a bird sanctuary on Batiquitos Lagoon and protected fishery in Agua Hedionda Lagoon. 

Vision and leadership for businesses were also on the list. Hall credited council members past and present for having “the vision to build out our industrial complex with key regional business clusters of global importance” in the areas of action sports, life sciences, information and communication technology, clean technology and hospitality and tourism.

To name a few, he noted Carlsbad is home to GoPro, Upper Deck, ViaSat, Legoland, two luxury resorts and an airport.

“Our strong economic prosperity did not come about by happenstance,” Hall said, reiterating that it “came about by vision, leadership and community involvement.”

With TaylorMade, Calloway and Titleist, as well as three world-class courses and one public one, golf also made Hall’s list.

“For the last 24 years, Carlsbad has been in the black with its financial reserves,” he said, highlighting the city’s fiscal responsibility. 

Additionally, Hall credited urban design, with parks, libraries, bike paths and walking trails strategically located in neighborhoods, citizen engagement, volunteerism and philanthropy and proximity to high-quality health care and education as reasons for Carlsbad’s continued success.

Rounding out the list were safety and an annual survey to gauge resident satisfaction.

Hall said the police and fire departments have multiple resources to provide high-level service, such as the safety training center for first responders, advanced technology and the recently purchased automated license plate reader that lets law enforcement know when wanted criminals are in the city.

“Our message is clear,” he said. “Don’t come to Carlsbad to practice your trade. Three weeks ago, Business Insider, an online business publication, named Carlsbad the seventh safest city in the country and the third safest in the state.”

Another new addition for public safety is an advanced communications and command vehicle that allows seamless emergency services coordination in the field for events such as the 2014 Poinsettia Fire. 

Hall said Carlsbad is one of the few cities that surveys residents annually, and it has done so for the past 20 years.

According to last year’s poll, 97 percent of respondents rated the quality of life excellent or good and 88 percent were satisfied with city services.

“Three out of every four residents have confidence in city government to positively impact our quality of life,” he said. “But as a city, we’re not resting on our laurels. Some scores have dropped in recent years.”

One area was traffic and roads, Hall said.

Most complaints were tied to work being done simultaneously to install pipes for the desalination plant and repair El Camino Real between Cannon Road and Chestnut Avenue.

Hall said that work has been completed and city engineers are working on ways to better coordinate those types of situations in the future.

The State of the City luncheon is hosted by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce “to bring people together to let them know what’s happening in the city,” Toni Padron, the organization’s chief operation officer, said.

“We do it for the city to show the partnership between the city and the chamber,” she said.

Also during the event, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa received the Spirit of Enterprise Award for voting 70 percent of the time in support of business legislation and issues.

“Before coming to Congress I was an entrepreneur and understand the challenges companies face in building their dream,” he said. “That’s why I’ve always worked hard to advance policies that allow small businesses, startups and other innovative new companies to expand and create jobs.”

Issa thanked the chamber for recognizing his efforts “to expand economic opportunity for all.”

“We must take advantage of this historic opportunity to deliver on tax reform so we can increase wages, spur investment, grow our economy and allow Americans to keep more of what they earn,” he added.

La Costa Glen received the Commitment to Emergency Preparedness Award from the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance.

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