City Council updates, COVID precautions and staff kudos

Tomorrow night we will hold the first in-person City Council meeting since March 17, 2020, back at the City Council chamber and back to the usual start time of 6 p.m. Check out this screen shot from our very first virtual meeting, compared to a recent meeting. What was so strange the first time has become routine, like so many things during COVID.

Thanks to IT, we have some new technology waiting for us, which will make running the meetings go even more smoothly. This will also be the first time we get to try out our new open courtyard at City Hall for those who want to sit outdoors during the meeting. We reconfigured the space last year while making some earthquake safety updates to the building.

District 1 City Council Vacancy

In case you missed my last email, Council Member Cori Schumacher has resigned from the City Council, effective last Friday, July 9. We wish Council Member Schumacher the very best and appreciate her service to the city.

Here is a link to the city’s statement about this resignation, which has information about options to fill the position and timeframes. I will keep you updated as more is known about next steps.

In the meantime, please just keep doing what you do! I know changes in leadership positions can be stressful and usually cause a fair amount of questions in the community. As always, the role of city staff is to carry out the day to day operations of the city, providing a very high level of professional service. If you get questions from residents or the media, please feel free to refer them to the website, which we will keep updated throughout this process.

Employee COVID-19 cases

Last week, we had our first reported employee COVID-19 case since April. Fortunately, this case did not result in a workplace exposure. However, it is a good reminder that COVID-19 continues to spread in our community. Vaccines have proven to be effective against severe symptoms, but it’s possible to become infected with COVID-19 even after vaccination. According to the county, nearly all new cases are among those who have not been vaccinated, and new variants are spreading more quickly than the earlier versions of the virus. You can find information on where and how to get vaccinated on the city’s website.

I encourage you to go to official public health sources for information about variants, vaccines and other evolving issues. Here are a few good ones:

CDC page on variants

Weekly county COVID watch

Variants in San Diego

Travel recommendations

Workplace safety rules

City employees have done an excellent job throughout the pandemic following health guidelines and keeping themselves and their co-workers safe. Please continue to follow the latest guidelines, including workplace safety rules, which in some cases are stricter than what you might see elsewhere.

Here is a link to the city’s COVID-19 prevention plan, which has been updated based on the latest Cal/OSHA rules. All employees will receive an email from HR later this week and will be required to review the plan and acknowledge receipt.

Vaccination verification reminder

As a reminder, fully vaccinated employees who have verified their vaccination status are no longer required to wear face coverings inside city buildings and vehicles.

If you are fully vaccinated and haven’t completed your “self-attestation” online questionnaire, please do that if you would like to go without a face covering. Approximately 24 hours after you complete your form, go to the self-attestation results portal to get a confirmation and then provide that to your supervisor.

Unvaccinated employees and fully vaccinated employees who have not verified their vaccination status will be required to wear face coverings inside city buildings and vehicles except:

  • When alone in a room or vehicle

  • When eating and drinking

  • When an accommodation is required

  • When job duties make a face covering infeasible or create a hazard

Face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. More information can be found on the intranet here.

Of course, all employees are welcome to continue to wear masks and maintain social distance if they choose to. Your safety and peace of mind remain our top priorities.

“40 Under 40” emerging leaders

I’m excited to share that three City of Carlsbad staff were recognized by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce as “40 Under 40” emerging leaders.

Congrats to Council Member Priya Bhat-Patel, Police Lieutenant Christie Calderwood and Economic Development Manager Matt Sanford!

According to the chamber, these emerging leaders are not just the leaders of the future, they are, in fact, already making a major impact in our community today. I couldn’t agree more! Check out what they had to say below when asked about leadership.

I also want to give a shout out to six employees who received honorable mentions. Congrats to all!

Valerie Airey, Municipal Projects Manager

Cindy Anderson, Senior Management Analyst /Crime Analysis Unit

Chad Kantner, Parks & Recreation Management Analyst

Faviola Medina, City Clerk Services Manager

Bradley Northup, Fleet Superintendent

Andrew Wilson, Utilities Supervisor

View the chamber’s complete “40 Under 40” emerging leaders list here.

Kudos to Parks & Recreation

After a 15-month closure due to COVID-19, the Carlsbad Senior Center reopened its doors last Tuesday to welcome residents back with in-person dining and fun activities, like Zumba, writing class, ping pong, ceramics and more. We celebrated the occasion with a ribbon cutting event. Here’s a short video to give you a glimpse at the excitement.

I am beyond proud of the hard work our city staff and volunteers did to quickly retool the popular lunch program to deliver over 61,000 meals, either through the curbside pick-up or home delivery. Even though the drive through and delivery service offered a regular chance to connect, I know that community members and our staff are excited to get back to in-person activities.

Great job to all involved and thank you for your continued dedication to our mission of public service.

That’s all for today. Take care and see you soon!