Posted on Nov 01, 2018
Carlsbad City Manager Scott Chadwick opened the program by recalling lessons learned from his great aunt, San Diego native Florence Chadwick, who became globally renowned as the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions in 1950-51. Scott is the former San Diego City Manager and COO, and a city government wonk, telling us, “I love city government, municipal codes, administrative policies, everything about how government works – and finding better ways to run it more effectively.”
Scott’s program was exceptional, both his planned talk and the lively, engaging Q&A with members that followed. Many highlights, including:
• He reviewed the City Council-City Manager form of governance, saying, “I have five bosses — the five City Council members. They’re each equally my boss. My top priority is whatever the City Council tells me it is.”
• He described Carlsbad’s streets in glowing terms, citing an Overall Condition Index of 82 (100 is perfect)— compared to 54 in San Diego in 2011, before they made improvements. He explained that an OCI of 82 is nearly ideal. He then praised Carlsbad’s reputation among municipalities as a well-run organization.
• He described at length the hiring of and job description of new Chief Innovation Officer David Graham, who comes to Carlsbad after a nationwide search. Graham helped kick off the Harvard Accelerated Innovations Program, among other things. He spoke of the need to be nimble, to move quickly as technology does, and Carlsbad’s favorable position in doing so, because of our available resources. He touched upon smart cities, license plate readers, the Internet of Things and other features we’re already seeing, then addressed a looming problem: how to adjust to connected cars as they come online, especially given the presence of Car Country as a major dealer. “If we can take technology, turn it around and spin it into resources at your fingertips, giving you full value for your tax dollar, that’s what we want to do,” he said. “We’re investing to provide cool services to the residents.”
• He also discussed the increasing traffic congestion problem, and how the City is looking at steps beyond merely expanding I-5 to six lanes. Along with that, he addressed the latest status on the roundabout issue on Cassia and Kelly, the Terramar-to-Tamarack road repairs and whether to use lights or roundabouts (it will be on the City Council docket Nov. 27), and active improvements to roads and staircases along the beachfront. Members lauded the beautiful new staircases.
• He talked about the difficulty with the McLellan Palomar Airport Expansion, approved by the County Board of Supervisors in October, reiterating that it is a County decision, and the City had no part in it. He stressed and reiterated that the City is battling to make sure residents’ concerns are heard and honored, and the City’s efforts to get a voice and a vote in the final expansion plans.
• He brought up a feasibility study being conducted by Carlsbad and other municipalities on future purchasing of power. Once the study is complete, it will be up to the City Council on how to purchase power and act on the study, he said.
• Scott stressed he operates with an Open Door policy — “make an appointment and we’ll meet” — and that one of his pressing goals is to make sure that Carlsbad City Officials, city departments and residents don’t build silos and stay within them. “I always want to see a much more collaborative appeal. Visitors and residents want high quality services; they don’t care what department those services come from,” he said.