2013 has passed very quickly. It is easy to miss the progress that the City of Del Mar has made since January. But as Mayor (for 12 months), it is my obligation to list out some of our accomplishments for our residents. This is our “report card” for 2013.
Our Council has worked effectively as a team for the betterment of Del Mar. We all have different views, but we eventually come to agreement. Here are some of the Council accomplishments for 2013:
•Del Mar successfully responded to an unsatisfactory proposal by the Fairgrounds board to form a joint powers governing board with the County of San Diego. The initial proposal in April did not have any representation from Del Mar on the governing board. A revised proposal being worked on now strives to provide Del Mar and local stakeholders with better representation on the governance body.
•We did partner with the Fairgrounds in three constructive areas. We are working with them to explore the construction of affordable housing at the Fairgrounds; and we are conducting a joint cost of services study and a traffic control study.
•The Council held four extra workshops this year, resulting in a balanced two-year Operating Budget, a Capital Improvement Budget, a clear set of priorities for the City and a better focus on the community’s expectations for a new City Hall.
•We reviewed the progress of the Tourism Business Improvement District for Del Mar. This is the group that uses hotel tax money to promote Del Mar as a destination for visitors. We asked for more rapid progress and better measurement of results for the next reporting period.
•The Council gave its support of the expanded Fall horse racing days.
•We reviewed the development of a City Facilities Plan with an emphasis on taking steps to replace our aging City Hall. This plan will involve a great deal of community input as the feasible alternatives are reviewed and ultimately narrowed down to the cost effective options that best serve the community.
•The Council adopted a sidewalk improvement plan that will see new sidewalks along Camino Del Mar downtown and in the Beach Colony, and a new sidewalk along Jimmy Durante Boulevard from downtown to San Dieguito Drive.
Our City employees achieved some important milestones during the year. Under the leadership of our new City Manager, Scott Huth, we saw major progress in 2013:
•The City completed an updated Housing Element for our Community Plan and had it certified by the State of California. This makes the City eligible for more grant opportunities in the future.
•We quickly responded to a new emerging business, food trucks. A new mobile vending ordinance was adopted that allows these entrepreneurs to safely do business in Del Mar.
•A great deal of effort was spent hammering out an agreement with the 22nd District Agricultural Association to settle our lawsuit over their Master Plan. The agreement specifies how the impacts of noise, traffic and special events will be mitigated in the future.