City Council sets goals for the year
January 23, 2012
The Carlsbad City Council held its annual goal-setting workshop Jan. 17, the first step in creating the city’s action plan and budget for the coming year. The day-long discussion focused on 12 key trends affecting the city in the areas of the economy, changing demographics and technology.
The City Council began the day’s session by reviewing the Carlsbad Community Vision
, a set of core values for the future developed through a comprehensive two-year public involvement program called Envision Carlsbad. Council members also heard an update on the city budget, which is currently on track with projections for the year.
With the economy top of mind, first on the City Council’s list of priorities was creating quality jobs and a thriving business climate. The city has been increasing its focus on helping local businesses and attracting new businesses to the city. These efforts will continue with a focus on supporting local companies, attracting talent and innovators to Carlsbad, and partnering with universities and research institutions to become a hub for higher education. The City Council also emphasized the importance of continuing to streamline city processes for companies considering relocating to Carlsbad.
Another high priority identified by the City Council was ensuring the city is an adaptable, responsive and efficient organization that delivers cost effective, high quality services. This priority includes evaluating city services to ensure they are being delivered in the most efficient and effective manner.
The City Council also felt it was important to update its land use policies to address population and demographic trends. The city is currently updating its General Plan, and will be seeking public input on a number of land use issues over the coming year. Maintaining the city’s high standards and balancing a thriving community with the need for tranquil, natural open spaces will be a key focus of this work.
A City Council priority driven largely by the city’s changing demographics is making sure the city continues to meet the current and future parks and recreation needs of the community, especially the growing senior population. The City Council also asked city staff to explore opportunities for providing parks and recreation services through partnerships.
Adapting Carlsbad streets to accommodate and encourage all modes of transportation, not just cars, will also be a key area of focus. Called “complete streets,” this new approach uses street design to create a sense of place and community through green spaces, medians and signage, while encouraging a healthier, less-vehicle dependent lifestyle. Completing traffic signal technology upgrades to improve traffic flow was also identified as a high priority for the coming year.
One final area of significance identified during the workshop was helping to foster the next generation of community leaders. This includes finding ways to encourage younger people to participate in community leadership and governance.
During the workshop, the City Council also recognized several other issues affecting the city’s future that city staff will address in their upcoming work:
• How to address changing community needs due to an aging population
• How to increase public involvement through technology
• Exploring new approaches to generating revenue
• Transitioning the role of libraries in the digital age
• Increasing access to government services through technology
• Helping aging neighborhoods stay vibrant and thriving
Based on this direction, city staff will incorporate these priorities into their planning and budgeting for fiscal year 2012/12 and present their proposed plans to the City Council during public hearings in May and June.