Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a safe Super Bowl Sunday. We had some excitement over the weekend with a 15-foot white shark spotted at Tamarack beach on Saturday. State lifeguards posted shark warning signs out of an abundance of caution and patrolled the shore on a personal watercraft. Sharks can often be seen along the Southern California coast, but size, proximity to the shore and behavior dictate whether or not to post a warning.
Since my last update we have had six new employee cases of COVID-19, two of which resulted in a potential workplace exposure. Now that the new UK variant is spreading in San Diego County, we need to really double down on all the precautions we’ve been practicing all along:
Work remotely as much as possible
Wear a mask when you leave home
Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face
Don’t gather with people outside your own household
Stay home if you’re experiencing any symptoms or think you could have been exposed
As more data become available, it seems clear that this new variant, officially called B.1.1.7, is much more contagious and potentially more deadly. It’s expected to become the dominant strain in San Diego County by March. I know this is not the news we were hoping for, but more vaccines are coming, and that will eventually help life get back to a more normal routine. I’ll continue to keep you posted on when city employees are eligible for vaccines.
Efforts continue to distribute vaccines through a cooperative effort between the county and North County fire agencies called Operation Collaboration. The Carlsbad Fire Department has been very involved in this effort, including standing up a public vaccination site at the former Farmers insurance building owned by the city at the corner of Faraday and El Camino Real.
Appointments for people in tier 1A (heath care workers) and those 65 and older are being announced as vaccines become available. It’s been an interesting glimpse into the challenges and complexities of getting vaccines administered, and I am very proud of our Fire Department for its role in making this happen.
Last Thursday we completed the first part of the City Council goal setting process, which focused on helping our City Council understand the current work going on in all city departments. We will continue with these overviews this Thursday. I encourage you to review the information compiled by city staff for these presentations. It’s very impressive!
With this background, the City Council will discuss where it would like to see the greatest focus moving forward. We’ve reserved a third day in case that is needed to finalize the City Council’s goals.
I’m looking forward to getting this direction from the City Council and the clarity it will bring to how we prioritize our work.
Staff kudos – Transportation Department
Improving traffic and mobility have been top priorities of the city in recent years. A couple of weeks ago, staff presented an update on its efforts to the City Council. Here’s a snapshot of just some of the Transportation Department’s work over the last six months. From maintaining our streets and storm drains to designing and planning transportation improvement projects, this is fantastic work! Let’s keep Carlsbad moving!
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Last Friday I announced the members of the city’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Thank you to everyone who applied to serve in this unique way. I look forward to the great conversations and programs that will come out of this and know it’ll make us a stronger and better team.
See the full announcement and list of committee members on the Intranet.
Now that we’ve gotten used to using Microsoft Teams, I encourage you to take advantage of the courses below to make sure we are fully utilizing all of its features. On Wednesday we’ll also offer a webinar on healthy eating in the New Year. Technology and wellness were two big themes to come from the employee survey we conducted last fall. I’d like to recognize our HR Department for continually adapting the training it offers to keep our team engaged and growing.
Upcoming webinars include:
MS Teams advanced, Feb. 9
Eating healthy in the new year, Feb. 10
MS Teams breakout rooms, Feb. 16
One Drive for business, Feb. 23
MS Teams intro, Feb. 25
See all your online training opportunities here.
Locally based prAna, purchased recently by Columbia, often invites local organizations to its sale events, held at its Carlsbad headquarters. The next event is going on right now until Feb. 14 and they hold multiple events throughout the year. Here is a link for more information. It’s a great opportunity to patronize a local business and get some great deals on workout wear and more.
Every day I am impressed by the resilience and dedication of our Carlsbad team. Hearing the presentations at Thursday’s goal setting meeting reminded me just how much is getting done every day in service of our mission to enhance the lives of all who live, work and play in our city. That Team Carlsbad is able to deliver this level of service in the midst of a pandemic that has gone on nearly a year, makes it all the more incredible.
Keep up the outstanding work and have a great week.
Miss my last update? Read it here.