Team Carlsbad –
It’s been 319 days since the city issued a declaration of local emergency due to COVID-19. Over the last 11 months, I don’t think any one of us could have predicted us reaching the 365-day, one-year mark, but here we are, nearly seven weeks out from the milestone.
Since my last update we have had five new employee cases of COVID-19, none of which were a workplace exposure. Thank you for actively doing your part to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
The good news is that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
Vaccines for city and public agencies
Last week the Fire Department began hosting a vaccine site for employees of public agencies in North County who are unable to get access to a vaccine through their own health care providers. They are following the same tiered priority system as the county, meaning right now vaccines are available to those 65 and older.
If you fall in this age category, you should have already been contacted by Fire for instructions on how to make an appointment at this site if you are unable to get vaccinated by your own health care provider.
As the county provides further clarity on the phases and the vaccine timeline, we’ll be sure to share more information. The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.
We’ve got a busy week ahead, including the first of up to three City Council meetings focused on goal setting. You might recall that goal setting had been postponed last year because the City Council wanted to wait until all five members were seated. I know our City Council is eager to share their ideas for Carlsbad’s future, and it will be great to have the City Council’s direction on goals to help staff plan our own work for the year ahead.
In the news
As you have likely seen, news coming from the city has been pretty much all COVID, all the time, for the past year, and for good reason. I am going to take it as a good sign that the city has relaunched our weekly e-newsletter. Please check it out to read up on lots of big project milestones and other updates, including:
Monroe Street Pool expansion approved
Veterans Park Master Plan moving forward
I-5 widening headed to Carlsbad soon
City budget update
Traffic and mobility improvements
New records management system launches
Super Bowl spirit
Super Bowl Sunday will be another one of those holidays that looks different this year. Please remember than indoor gatherings are not allowed under the current health order, and with new, more contagious variants spreading rapidly in San Diego County, now is not the time to let our guards down.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the football spirit! (Go Chiefs!)
The big game is Sunday, so let’s show some team spirit (even if your favorites didn’t make it all the way this year) by sharing photos of you and your families in your best superfan attire. Please submit your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them in an upcoming email.
If you missed the news, the City Council decided that, effective today Feb. 1, all management and part time salaries will be increased by 2%, as will the salary ranges for these positions. As you may know, these two groups, which are not represented by employee associations, were the final two groups to be considered for a salary increase.
I think we all recognize that we are in uncertain times, and the city’s continued fiscal health is a top priority. I would like to thank our Human Resources and Finance teams for pulling together the data so that the City Council could make an informed decision.
Most of all, I would like to thank our City Council for approving these increases, especially during a pandemic. I should note that at last week’s meeting the City Council declined to approve a cost-of-living adjustment for their own salaries.
New phones, new features coming soon
When we return to regular work in city offices, we’ll have a new, modern phone system up and running. Before COVID, we had already started a plan to upgrade our 20-year old phone system with a new digital platform that will help us work more efficiently and provide a better experience to the public.
Some of the new features include:
Calls to your landline can be answered from your city issued laptop or smartphone
Voicemail messages will be sent to your email so you can listen to it, save it or forward it to another person
The new system should be up and running in March or April. Many thanks to our IT project team, which has been hard at work on this implementation.
Learn more in this Intranet post.
Don’t forget you have access to a variety of professional development and wellness resources. The HR team is doing a great job of making the slides and/or presentations of any previous webinars available as well, so you can always go back to a session you were interested in but missed.
Upcoming webinars include:
SharePoint basics, Feb. 2
OneDrive for business, Feb. 3
Accelerating performance by transforming your inner critic, Feb. 4
MS Teams advanced, Feb. 9
Eating healthy in the new year, Feb. 10
MS Teams breakout rooms, Feb. 16
Check out the list and carve out time in your calendar to participate in anything that you’re interested in. These free, virtual workshops are a great way to take full advantage of professional development opportunities while reconnecting with your city colleagues.
Whew, this is a lot of good stuff happening here is Carlsbad, and all during a pandemic? Incredible. Thank you for everything you are doing to ensure the work of the city not only continues, but continues to demonstrate why we’re the best run city, period!
Miss my last update? Read it here.