- Dwight Worden | Del Mar Mayor
In this update of last month’s Sandpiper article, I will highlight some of our key priorities for the coming year that have bubbled to the top. Council has yet to finalize its priority list, so recognize things may change, but I feel pretty confident the following will remain at or near the top of the pile. Also, remember there are some 60 “special projects” ranging from relocating the railroad line off the bluff, to better management of late night noise downtown, a public art policy, to Kaaboo, and much more. I am only touching on a few. For details on all the priorities and goals visit: www.delmar.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/2624/ .
City Hall Completion. Successful completion of our town’s new civic center remains a top priority. I’m pleased to report that the project is on schedule and on budget, and we are looking for a move in and ribbon cutting in June, 2018. Building a new city hall has been a priority for decades, and we are pleased to open one, paid for with no new taxes. To learn more about the new civic center visit: www.delmar.ca.us/353/City-HallTown-Hall/ .
Important Capital Improvements. This category is scheduled to receive major attention. It covers street repairs/repaving, sewer and water work, library repairs, storm drain improvements, landscaping, street and sidewalk improvements, downtown streetscape, and more. You can expect to see a lot of improvements in the coming year to make our town safer, more beautiful, and more efficient.
Design Review Update and Sea Level Rise Planning. Completion of our Design Review Process update and moving forward with our Sea Level Rise Planning effort are high priorities. Both of these projects are well underway. For more on the DRB Process update visit: www.delmar .ca.us/507/Ad-Hoc-Development-Review-Process-Adviso. For more on the Sea Level Rise Planning effort visit: www.delmar.ca.us/498/Sea-Level-Rise-Local-Coastal-Program-Ame/ .
Affordable Housing. Del Mar is required, as are all cities in California, to meet affordable housing goals. Del Mar has a state certified Housing Element with more than 50 programs to meet these goals. Council has committed to a 22 in 5 program to provide 22 affordable units within 5 years. Fulfilling the city’s obligations to provide affordable housing remains a top priority. For more on our housing programs visit: www.delmar.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/257/ .
Short Term Rentals. Completion of Del Mar’s regulatory program for short term rentals is among our high priorities. This program, underway for about 2 years, is nearing completion. For more information on this topic visit: www.delmar.ca.us/563/Short-Term-Rentals/ .
Measure Q Implementation. Measure Q was the voter approved local 1% sales tax measure that passed on the November 2016 ballot. It remains a priority for the city to implement Measure Q to fund projects like citywide undergrounding of utility lines and poles, the Shores Park project, and streetscape improvements for the business district.
Completion of the ongoing master planning process for our new Shores Park remains a high priority. This effort is well underway guided by our Shores Park Advisory Committee. Upon adoption of a final Master Plan, implementing the Plan will take life.
Law Enforcement Options. With extensive studies already completed we have good analyses covering operational and financial issues for the available law enforcement options of (1) forming our own police department, (2) sticking with the existing contract for Sheriff Services, and (3) augmenting the Sheriff’s current services. It remains a priority to bring this issue to final decision.
Community Relations. As your new mayor starting December 2017, it is a personal priority for me to do what I can to improve communications between the council, the manager, and the community. We’ve had some trying times over the past year, with Short Term Rentals, the Ad Hoc DRB Review Process Update, the termination of our long-time lifeguard captain, and other issues that have split the community. I want to address the way we do business, so that everyone feels heard and valued, and so that your city government is as responsive and transparent as possible. I know we can do better on that front, and commit myself to that effort.