My Final State of the City Address

September 4, 2022

Happy Labor Day weekend! It’s so nice to have a three-day rest from our labors while acknowledging all the efforts from the labor movement over many years to achieve the hard-won protections we now enjoy. And the movement continues to this day.

A Kook-y Labor Day weekend

Appropriately, our very own Cardiff Kook in Encinitas was dressed up as a labor organizer this weekend. Several real-life labor organizers rose early Saturday morning to install the costume and decorations.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Cardiff Kook is a frequently-decorated sculpture in our surfing town that depicts a novice surfer who looks, from certain angles, to be perfectly positioned to be riding a wave on the Pacific Ocean behind him. Its official name is Magic Carpet Ride.

Dressing up the Kook has been a fun and whimsical tradition in the city for many years. It’s great to see what creative ideas will be on display next!

This three-day weekend is brought to you by the American Labor Movement. (Photo by Janessa Goldbeck.)
One of the earliest and best Kook pranks was this Jaws-inspired scene. For a few days before it went up, an ominous shark fin slowly inched its way westward across the Coast Highway, advancing a bit more each day.
Another previous Kook spectacular was this prehistoric panorama featuring a pterodactyl plucking our gremmie into the sky, as startled dinosaurs watch in amazement.

An upbeat State of the City address

Last Thursday evening, I was honored to deliver the State of the City address for the sixth and final time as Mayor of Encinitas. There was plenty of good news to report, but I have to say that it was sentimental for me. 

Encinitas is poised for the future and ready to lead! Our city has taken, and will continue to take, bold action to address the problems that confront every city — homelessness and mental illness, fighting climate change, drought, wildfire, lack of housing affordability, and aging infrastructure, among others.

During my tenure as mayor, we’ve accomplished amazing things for our residents. We passed common-sense gun laws, started offering 100% renewable energy, became the first city in North County (but not the last) to offer a safe parking program for homeless residents, and made our city one of the safest in California.

Each of these achievements is truly the result of a team effort. It takes a dedicated City Council to pursue and pass a bold vision, a hardworking city staff to implement those goals, and an entire community to support and rally around it.

It was wonderful to share this warm summer evening with over 200 positive and supportive people at the new Alila Marea Resort! Before my address, we sampled a dazzling array of food from several excellent Encinitas restaurants and bakeries.

And of course, it was a special pleasure to discuss the almost-unheard of progress we’ve made on transportation infrastructure projects here in Encinitas. The San Diego Union-Tribune highlighted a few of them in its coverage of the event in today’s paper: 

  • The ongoing, multi-year overhaul of Leucadia’s portion of Coast Highway 101
  • The recent grand opening of the El Portal pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks
  • A new city trail that opened last week in Olivenhain
  • And, the once-in-a-generation Interstate 5 project funded by SANDAG and CALTRANS that added a vehicle lane in each direction, a new bridge over San Elijo Lagoon, a bike bridge under the freeway and pathways connecting Solana Beach to Cardiff

Our city has always been courageous and visionary – that’s what makes me so proud.

My sincere hope is that when my term as mayor expires and the next generation of leaders steps up — including the new mayor, council, and local community volunteers — they will feel as emboldened as we have to set even higher standards for excellence and achievement, and meet the challenges of the moment.

It was exhilarating to deliver my final State of the City address! If you couldn’t make it last Thursday, you can still watch the video here

Keep it cool!

Finally, I hope you stay comfortable for the next few days as this historic heatwave continues to envelop our region.

Please reduce your own personal electricity pull on the grid, especially between 4-9 p.m. when the load is highest.

The vast majority of people with solar panels contribute electricity onto the grid and then pull electricity back off the grid, so it’s important that even people with solar panels reduce their consumption for the benefit of everyone who is struggling throughout the state to stay cool.

The goal is to avoid rolling blackouts that come from too much use, especially after the sun has set.  

There are over a dozen cooling centers within the 38th District to make it easier for folks to beat the heat. You can find the nearest cooling center in San Diego County here, and click here to find the nearest one in Orange County. 

Here’s wishing you and your family a safe and happy rest of the Labor Day weekend!


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