CARLSBAD — An unprecedented 508 people attended the annual Carlsbad State of the City luncheon Aug. 28 to learn about the current and future environmental, economic and social plans for the city.
The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual event at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara to share a 20-minute video detailing the city’s efforts to remain stable in times of economic uncertainty.
The video featured Mayor Claude “Bud” Lewis and other city representatives discussing topics ranging from the effects of the economy on the city to the admirable efforts of residents helping to maintain the city’s quality of life.
According to the video, the city managed to trim $9 million from the budget with minimal impact on city services. City Council has remained very conservative with its budget spending, which has resulted in more monetary security than other cities are experiencing in such hard economic times.
“There’s a reason why Carlsbad is considered one of the best places to live in California,” Peter MacLaggan of Poseidon Resources Corp said.
Along with plans to break ground on a desalinization plant to produce water for the city, there are also plans to utilize the natural power of the Earth by implementing solar power and hydroelectric methods to generate energy for the area.
“We need to invest in the things that we have here,” City Manager Lisa Hildabrand said in the video. “There’s a lot of ways that we can improve.”
While those efforts are still in the beginning stages, the city has already harnessed the energy of its residents. Volunteers have donated more than 82,000 hours to the city to help maintain the quality of life Carlsbad has come to be known for. Residents have also become active in Envision Carlsbad, a city-sponsored program that presents residents with a venue to share their ideas for the city’s future.
“Carlsbad is what it is because of teamwork,” Lewis said.
In addition to the video, Lou Storrow, chairman of the Carlsbad Chamber board of directors, was on hand to deliver updates on other programs and events the chamber has sponsored throughout the year. Before and after hour networking events, committee meetings and social media workshops have all been offered to help the community adapt to the changing world of business.
“This economy has meant cutting back but we have not cut back on programs,” Storrow said. “We’re doing more.”
The hard work of the city’s council members and the chamber has not gone unnoticed by local businesses. Michael Doerr, president of Air2Air Corporation based in Carlsbad, appreciates the “excellent airport community” and how they have been treated as a business by the city.
“The video gave an excellent overview on the current status of the city, how and why they spend their money,” Doerr said. “The presentation today is indicative of how great the city is.”
Residents interested in seeing the presentation will have access to the video on the official city Web site, www.carsbadca.gov, and can now view it on the city cable channel, Time Warner channel 24.