Grateful for you – a Thanksgiving message

Dear Team Carlsbad,

With the holidays upon us, I wanted to share a personal message with you today. This afternoon’s City Manager’s update will have all the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic. We have no new employee cases since last week, so thank you again for your continued vigilance.

It’s hard to imagine that we’re already at the end of November, and we’ve been responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic for more than eight months.

Thank you for the work you do to serve our residents, businesses and greater community. It’s your commitment, creativity and collaboration that have empowered us to serve, protect and inform our community. We have been there for our community when people need us most.

Those in public service don’t always get recognition, which is why messages like the one below serve as a great reminder and encouragement that our work is meaningful.

Especially this Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful for this city and everyone who is a part of our team. I am grateful to our elected officials who have supported our team every step of the way as we have adapted to an ever-changing environment. They have also provided resources so we can continue to serve our community at the highest possible level.

I am grateful to our police and fire departments, out on the front lines during what will surely go down in history as one of the most challenging times for public safety professionals in decades. Of course, our emergency services are well known as the very best in the region, and that solid infrastructure has been put to the test and passed with flying colors.

Our HR and IT departments have been heroes in their own right, as we transitioned more than 500 staff to remote work and, again, continue to provide our community with the highest level of service. The city budget team this year had to practically start from scratch at the last minute to adjust spending based on a near total shutdown of the local economy. They did it, and as a result, our finances are just as strong as they possibly could be.

Our parks, recreation, library and arts staff have transformed their offerings to provide nearly 100 virtual events and programs and resumed limited in-person services in a way that protects our community’s safety and peace of mind. Our parks team could not be more responsive to changing health regulations, closing and opening (and in some cases closing again), often with very little notice.

Public Works has been extra busy too, rearranging projects to take advantage of lighter traffic, and making sure our water, sewer and storm drain systems are well maintained and environmental programs continuing. Big projects are continuing according to schedule. The facilities team literally transformed our office spaces to meet new health guidelines, as well as keeping buildings cleaned and sanitized.

Over in Community Development, the pandemic has not slowed demand for permits and inspections, which have also been adapted to new, contactless formats. The business community, which has never needed the city’s support more than now, has seen processing times accelerated so they could move outdoors to stay open. Our economic development team has been a lifeline to these businesses, helping them understand COVID health restrictions and making sure we’re aware of their needs.

At City Hall, staff have not missed a beat, transitioning our City Council and other public meetings to an online format, responding to public inquiries and making sure our interests are represented in Sacramento and our nation’s capital. The City Attorney’s office has been an incredible partner, helping the city navigate the many complex legal issues surfaced by the events of 2020.

And, supporting all of this, we have our dedicated team from Communication & Engagement, working around the clock to share information, answer questions and seek feedback on the city’s work.

I have so many more examples of how Team Carlsbad has risen to the occasion, but I will end here with this: Carlsbad’s COVID-19 response is second to none, and that’s because of you. We have all been tested this year. It’s been hard. And you have delivered like never before.

Thank you.

I hope you find meaningful and safe ways to connect with family and friends this week. I hope you get to enjoy some downtime. Most of all, I hope you know what a difference you have made in the lives of those we serve.

From my family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!