Coming Back to Lead the City Forward 3

“My favorite things about Carlsbad are the family friendly environment, thoughtful community and service-oriented city,” remarks Carlsbad City Manager Kevin Crawford.

Longtime residents of the city know those words are not spoken by a stranger! Crawford served the Carlsbad and San Diego County communities prior to his current position as City Manager. For 30 years, he was employed by the San Diego County fire service, first serving in Poway and then Carlsbad, where he was Fire Chief for 12 years. During this time, he partnered with neighboring cities and communities to develop regional solutions to problems faced by emergency service agencies.

In addition to his role as Fire Chief, Crawford provided leadership roles in fighting some of the region’s biggest wildfires. He also helped on-site, in command responsibilities, in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks in New York and Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, he served on the City of Carlsbad’s leadership team, working closely with the city manager, city attorney and city department heads to help guide day-to-day operations of the city.

Crawford managed key city priorities and served in an acting capacity when the city manager was unavailable, and, in fact, temporarily served as city manager in late 2013. It was Crawford’s recruitment as President and CEO of United Way of San Diego that took him away from Carlsbad in 2014. While there, he spearheaded the nonprofit’s efforts to team with businesses, governments, other nonprofit organizations and communities to find solutions to the region’s complex problems.

His strong leadership skills and passion for helping others, as well as the extraordinary impact he had made in Carlsbad already, made Crawford the forerunner in the national search for City Manager. Here, his most important role is operations, implementing the Council’s policies, and setting directions for the City’s service levels. His main responsibility is to deliver those service levels and manage the affairs of the City.

These services include areas where people work, live and play. No doubt then, that he counts as one of the most recent accomplishments since he returned to Carlsbad as City Manager, the remodeling of the Georgina Cole and Carlsbad City libraries. “Our renovated libraries make a great space for exploration. We received positive feedback about the projects and the grand openings were wonderful community building events.”

Community coalitions are Crawford’s specialty. Take, for instance, the recent support he extended the La Costa Film Festival, hosting the kick-off party with his wife Jolane at their La Costa home. “The event is a centerpiece for the cultural environment in Carlsbad and North County. It draws the community together,” he says, of the four-day film extravaganza at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.

Crawford strongly believes that if you have the ability to help others, you should. It is this philanthropic spirit that has influenced his commitment with nonprofits and to the community, fuelling a collaborative leadership style, management excellence and strong ethics.

With Kevin Crawford as our new City Manager at the helm, its exciting times in Carlsbad!