By Pall Gudgeirsson, Assistant City Manager & City Treasurer
“It’s the time of the season”
(Rod Argent and The Zombies)
It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year where we celebrate our annual City Highlights. As revealed below in this year’s list, the best bits covered all seasons in San Clemente…if we had seasons.
This column is dedicated to all of our employees, volunteers and partners who made this year such a resounding success.
So here is a little bit of each of the best bits:
Let the Games Begin: The grand opening of the mega Sports Park and Aquatics Center debuted February 25 with a multitude of athletic venues to promote healthy living in San Clemente. Orange County’s first universal playground, football, lacrosse, walking trails, soccer, baseball and a 50-meter competitive pool and water playground. Wow.
Count ‘Em: Thanks to our talented recreation staff, a total of 40 special events are now offered in our little burg. From the Springtacular to the Holiday Toy Train and a whole bunch of events in between. See them all with photos on the city’s website.
Recycle: How about the new City Christmas tree found and transplanted from our own park to the Community Center. Cheers to the elves that pulled off this fab feat. The lit tree is featured on the city’s webpage.
Light it Up: The installation of lights at Linda Lane is illuminating and also provides for alternative parking options at the beach. And I can run at night without my headlamp on.
Safe and Sound: Amongst a myriad of major capital improvement projects overseen by our Public Works Department, the Max Berg Safe Routes to School project was completed. Keeping our kids safe belongs at the top of our list.
Cherish: The establishment of the North Beach Community Association consisting of residents and the business community. The association should be commended for seeking a unified approach to improving the North Beach area.
Painting My Masterpiece: Thanks to the City and the San Clemente Art Association (SCCA), the painting of utility boxes throughout our village has been a great way to infuse art into the community. Our residents have rightfully raved about this project. Look for more masterpieces in 2013.
Bright Idea: The Community Development Department was awarded the Bright Idea in Government award from Harvard University for the Business Liaison Program. An award from Harvard. Simply brilliant.
Kitty Condo: The Coastal Animal Services Authority and the Pet Project Foundation raised over $500,000 to complete a 1,200 square-foot expansion project of the cat room condo. The kitties are happy in their new digs but you can still stop by and adopt one into a forever home.
The Volunteers: The number of hours put in by our cadre of citywide volunteers continues to impress. Where would we be without our RSVPs with 10,000 hours? Animal Shelter volunteers with 17,400 hours? Here’s to all of our dedicated volunteers who believe in payback instead of a paycheck. I like that.
Lifesavers: Whether they are over a half-mile away, on or off the clock, or collaborating with our Sheriff’s Department, our own city ocean lifeguards were involved in over 2,000 rescues with no lives lost – again.
Sine Qua Non: With the solid financial foresight of our City Council, the City’s AAA bond rating was upheld by Standard & Poor’s. Look it up.
I think all of you would agree that it is the “time of the season” to reflect on all the things that we, as a team, have been able to achieve in 2012.
Happy New Year!