Del Mar looks to improve communication

Del Mar City Hall
(Jon Clark)

The Del Mar City Council reviewed ways to improve communication with the community at its Nov. 4 meeting, part of an ongoing effort to use the Del Mar Weekly newsletter, Del Mar TV, social media and other tools to reach local residents.

Goals of the communication plan the city has in place include targeting Del Mar residents, businesses and other organizations to make sure they’re getting the information they need; having more Del Mar residents participate in local government; and promoting a “community feeling of shared responsibility for decisions.”

“It’s an important document that we should make more of a living document,” said Deputy Mayor Ellie Haviland, adding that it should be evaluated on a more regular basis.

In future discussions, the council could consider expanding the city budget for communications, which received $40,000 in the 2019-20 operating budget.

“Putting it in context of cost is really important,” Haviland said. “I think this would be a really important topic to understand what are these different recommendations going to cost, because I think a lot of them are really good and if there’s a way for us to do it I would want to support that.”

According to a city staff report, the communications plan was introduced to the City Council in 2014. City Councilman Dwight Worden said it could be used to reach different segments of the community that want to know about housing, sea level rise and other issues in the community.

“Our whole relationship as elected leaders with our community is dependent upon how well we communicate with them and how we’re able to accept their communication,” he said. “And I think, although it’s probably very difficult to prove, that if we did this and did it well, we would save money even if we spent more money to get it done, because everything would be quicker and smoother.”