OCEANSIDE — The end of June will signal the last day on the job for 10-year Neighborhood Services Management Analyst John Lundblad. His position will not be filled.
Due to the drop in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funding there will not be sufficient funds to pay the salary of a management analyst, or to support nonprofit community service programs.
Over the past 10 years the city has received $20 million in federal HUD CDBG funds.
Funds dropped from $2.5 million annually to $1.6 million this year. Next year the city expects to receive $1.2 million.
Ten years ago, Lundblad was working as a city grant writer when he was promoted to the position of management analyst.
“The previous person went on vacation and never came back,” Lundblad said.
The quick reassignment to the new position challenged him to take on a lot of on-the-job-training, and networking with other cities to learn how they handled community development issues.
Lundblad said it took about three years to catch up on back record keeping.
There were also the job demands of developing and overseeing annual reports, 5-year plans, and 15-year action plans.
CDBG funds have enabled the city to improve the quality of life in the low-income neighborhoods of Calle Montecito, Crown Heights and Eastside by renovating the neighborhoods and funding community service programs.
Funds also allowed $100,000 a year in home improvement grants to be awarded to low-income and very low-income mobile home owners. Low interest loans were available to low-income homeowners.
“You don’t have to move to live in a better neighborhood,” Lundblad said.
He added that significant neighborhood changes take 5 to 10 years.
Some of the solutions are quite basic, such as adding brighter streetlights, cleaning up blight and painting over graffiti.
“It’s a sense of saying I can have the same services other people can have,” Lundblad said. “It changes your outlook and attitude.”
Other changes are bigger. CDBG granted $200,000 to the Vista Community Clinic to buy its clinic building on Horne Street, and $100,000 to North County Lifeline to buy its operations building on Oceanside Boulevard.
“CDBG funds do good things that help agencies put more money into programs,” Lundblad said. “I’ve seen how we can use federal funds and city resources to help nonprofits in the community and make a difference in neighborhoods.”
Next year’s CDBG funds will go to four city-run senior programs and two youth programs. Funds will also support current efforts to fulfill the 5-year plan to improve the Crown Heights neighborhood. Plans include upgrading 60 streetlights and making streets more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Lundblad said the job taught him the importance of establishing partnerships to make significant changes.
“He’s just incredible the way he connects with people,” Brandon Mangan, Neighborhood Services management analyst in charge of city resource centers, said. “He’s really good at putting people together. I know he’ll stay involved in some of the groups. He’s always involved the community. He’s definitely going to be missed.”
“He was certainly knowledgeable in all nonprofits throughout the region,” Mayor Jim Wood said. “He had his finger on the pulse of the community and was well liked.”
Lundblad’s future plans are to continue to work with North County Community Services, North County Food Policy Council, and Alliance for Regional Solutions.
Lundblad said that he does not consider the end of his career as a city management analyst a retirement. He calls his next venture “moving on.”
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