Happy New Year to everyone. We hope that you are having a wonderful Christmas holiday with your families and friends.
As we near the end of 2021, we’re very optimistic about the upcoming year. We also believe a great deal of good was accomplished locally in 2021, though we certainly have a lot of work left.
We began a very difficult recovery from the 2020 pandemic and shutdown, but at the same time many of the health and social issues associated with COVID-19 continued to be an issue. In a similar fashion, our small businesses were certainly glad to be back open for business – but they are still battling issues related to the supply chain and staffing shortages.
One of the highlights this year was our annual Independence Day celebration. We devoted the entire weekend to the celebration, which included two hall of fame inductions, a special ceremony to honor our World War II veterans, numerous local concerts and an outstanding fireworks show. We were proud to continue a celebration throughout the summer with our outdoor concert series. It was also wonderful to have the Carlsbad Water Park back open for business. We’ve continued to see multiple improvements along the beach area, including the addition of volleyball and pickleball courts.
In the fall, we held our annual energy summit. We were especially proud of our special guest list this year, which included Tony Dorsett and Oxy CEO Vicki Hollub. We were also happy to see so many winter events return, such as Christmas on the Pecos and Night of Lights.
One of the biggest developments for Carlsbad this year was the successful passage of legislation allowing the college here to go independent. The development of Southeast New Mexico College was a grassroots effort supported by our local legislative delegation. It was the first time in several decades that a college has gone independent, and we’re very excited about the future of our college. .
Carlsbad also had an election this year. We now have two new City Council members, three new members of school board and a brand new college board. We look forward to working with all of these individuals and thank the outgoing men and women for their service.
Speaking of service, Carlsbad sadly lost one of its biggest community supporters this year- Janell Whitlock. We were, however, honored to rename our municipal annex the “Janell Whitlock Municipal Complex” in memory of Janell.
2021 was an unusual year for sports in Carlsbad, as many athletes held one season in the spring and then participated in the same sport again in the fall. Our Carlsbad Cavegirl soccer team has had an incredible run over the past few years. Of course, former Carlsbad standout Trevor Rogers has also had an amazing year- Trevor made the All Star game and was a finalist for rookie of the year.
There’s no doubt that many of the challenges of 2020 and 2021 will remain with us in the new year, but we’re thankful that we have such an incredible community that will continue to move Carlsbad forward.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway