If anyone doubts the difficulty of managing local government, we suggest you take a look at the process and results of the recent two-day “goals and priorities” workshop of the Del Mar City Council. Working with all of the department managers and taking in numerous comments from the public, our five Council Members developed a “priority” list of 147 significant work items!
The goals are varied, some big and complicated, some visionary, some quite mundane, some new, some old and familiar, some quite controversial and difficult, some ordinary but necessary. The list paints a clear picture of an ambitious group of leaders and talented staff members working on a city that is determined to accomplish many important objectives.
Check out the list on our website. The list takes you from a long term effort to relocate bluff top rail tracks, to creating a pothole portal, from climate action strategies to roadway maintenance, from pension finance issues to redflex camera enforcement, from consideration of a new police department to rezoning our commercial areas, from finishing construction of our new city hall to solving our touchy short term rental business dilemma, from implementing the new state marijuana law to updating our critical design review quality controls, and well over 100 other worthwhile endeavors. This is small town democracy at its best. And it is what makes Del Mar so special.
As noble as these undertakings may be, the stark reality is that too many priorities can be as frustrating as no priorities. Recognizing that, the Council is looking to our very talented city staff to help calibrate how best to use our limited staff and financial resources to find the sweet spot for realistic implementation within short and long term time frames.
The bar is high for our government in a community that has so many accomplished citizens who want to be involved and want to see results. The leadership challenge is how to mobilize all the paid and volunteer talent to focus on achieving the vision laid out in our constitution, the Community Plan.
We encourage all citizens to pay attention to this smart priority setting process and find ways they can engage and contribute to our community. Del Mar can only retain its unique character if we continue to care, give, and share our time, energy, and talents.