CARLSBAD — The future, planning and financial responsibility were just three themes during the State of the City address exemplifying why Carlsbad is healthy, vibrant and an example to others throughout San Diego County.
Each city council member gave a short speech and the audience was treated to a short video about what the city has accomplished over the past year.
Mayor Matt Hall began the evening by paying tribute to the past elected officials, city staffers and residents whose foresight has led the city to where it is today. He said it is the responsibility of the current and future councils to plan for the next 40 to 50 years to ensure the quality of life, deliver efficient city services and provide the amenities residents expect.
He also crowed about the growth cap and Growth Management Plan, devices put in place with a combined effort of residents and local government.
“What does the future look like?” Hall asked. “Don’t think through your eyes, but think through what it will look like for your kids and grandkids in 2050.”
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher said the future of the city is the responsibility of her colleagues and residents who need to cultivate and adjust as time changes. She said speaking with residents, they are excited to charge into new directions, and hold dear the same values and traditions as those who built the city years ago.
“I hear about the values and traditions we value,” Schumacher said.
The city’s video gave a snapshot into some of the biggest projects and issues over the past year. Included were upgrades to Leo Rancho Carrillo, the opening of Pine Avenue Park Community Center, the Village and Barrio and McClellan-Palomar Airport master plans and the completion of several beach access points in the Village.
But the main theme of the video was how the city created a place for generations to raise families. The city showcased several high school students whose goal after college is to return to the city to work, live and play.
“Carlsbad is a multi-generational city,” Councilman Mark Packard said. “I’m a dentist and when I get a new patient … I ask them why they moved to here, they say Carlsbad was the best place they could find.”
As such, it’s one reason why the council members touted the city’s tradition of long-term planning.
For example, Councilman Michael Schumacher explained how in 1988 the city began planning for the Orion Center (formerly the Maintenance and Operations Center) and its expansion. It was an action item on the agenda earlier on Aug. 21 to include police evidence storage, a centralized materials yard and allowing the city to repurpose three other buildings.
“I thank the leaders from decades ago for thinking through the finances,” Michael Schumacher said. “This is a very exciting time.”
Councilman Keith Blackburn, meanwhile, said he’s one of the city’s top cheerleaders and has to hold back from bragging. He also championed how the city has invested and saved money for infrastructure, public safety and how the city has “the best of everything.”