Mayor’s View: Del Mar: Facing challenges with the help of citizen volunteers

By Crystal Crawford

Mayor, Del Mar

Del Mar has always had an active citizenry and is better for it. This year the city is facing difficult challenges with the state’s deficit budget and potential impacts to our already strained finances. The current economic recession has resulted in losses in sales tax and transient occupancy tax amounting to approximately $1 million in this current fiscal year.

The city has managed these losses by leaving vacant positions unfilled, by deferring projects and purchases and by relying on unpaid volunteer help on priority projects such as the upcoming Form Based Code program.

Our city has faced difficult times before. But with generous contributions from our citizenry and businesses, we have navigated through these challenges.

The next two fiscal years will test our skills with even greater than anticipated impacts to the city’s finances.

We know, however, that the city’s volunteers will help us make it through.

Just last month, we received support from the Friends of the Powerhouse, whose members are working very hard to transform our dream of a 17th Street Beach Safety Center into a reality.

Just last week, we celebrated the opening of a new Community Room at the Del Mar Library and the start of the library’s reroofing, removing the shake shingles and installing Class A materials - two projects that were made possible with support from the Friends of the Library, the Del Mar Farmers Market and county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price.

We benefit throughout the year from Garden Club members and neighbors who have “Adopted a Spot” and spend hours caring for and providing financial support for outdoor beautification projects.

Thanks to the Friends of the Del Mar Parks and Winston School for their fundraising efforts to help us acquire the Shores Property.

Thanks to the creativity and energy of the Del Mar Village Association, our downtown has a new vitality and new projects underway.

Much appreciation is extended to the Del Mar Foundation for the countless programs and financial support that it has provided since being founded over 25 years ago and for so graciously overseeing the plans for our 50th Anniversary Celebration to be held on July 12, 2009.

Without the dedication and generosity of our many volunteers, our city would be facing a much more serious economic reality.

Thank you, Del Mar!