View Blog Posts About: San Diego in the Top Rankings

San Diego County #1 in Digital Technology

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Congratulations go out to the County of San Diego for developing the most useful and consumer friendly web site of any county in the United States. In a survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties, San Diego ranked #1 for counties with a population of at least 500,000.

Visit the County of San Diego web site and learn more about our county and all of the services it provides. While you are at it, sign up your cell phone or VoIP number to receive reverse 911 calls in case of emergencies such as wildfires in your neighborhood.

Congratulations to the 2009 Five Diamond Award Winners in San Diego

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San Diego finally has its first Five Diamond Restaurant – The Addison in the Grand Del Mar Resort. Serving French Cuisine, the Addison offers four course meals starting at $98.  Only four restaurants in North America were added to this year’s Five Diamond Award List issued by AAA.  Congratulations to the Addison.  We are lucky to have you here in San Diego.

Four Season Resort Aviara in Carlsbad and The Lodge at Torrey Pines once again were named to AAA’s list of Five Diamond Award Winning Hotels. Only 103 establishments in North America earned that distinction this year.  The San Diego area offers more Five Diamond hotels than such cities as Boston and Seattle.

What better place could you live to enjoy a Five Diamond Staycation! San Diego has it all – fine dining, luxurious resorts, and great year-round weather.  (It’s the middle of November and as I write this it is a balmy 90 degrees outside.)

San Diego Cheese Company Places 2nd in the World

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A few months ago I shared with you how, surprisingly to me, San Diego County leads the way in farming.  Well, here’s another surprise from our fellow food-making San Diegans.  We are also home to a cheese company that consistently wins top honors at the World Cheese Competition.

This year, the competition for the World Cheese Awards took place in Dublin, Ireland.  Our own Cantare Foods, based in Otay Mesa, won 2nd place for best Mozzarella Cheese. Cantare Foods has won several awards in recent years for their Mozzarella and Mascarpone cheeses.

If you love cheese, the Cantare Foods web site provides a number of recipies using their award-winning cheese.

You can find Cantare cheese at grocery stores all over the country. So, go out and support a local company producing some of the finest cheeses in the world.

Balboa Park 13th Best Park in The World

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The Project for Public Places is a New York based non-profit that works with communities around the world to develop quality parks and public squares.  Since their beginning in 1975, they have worked with over 2,000 communities in 26 countries.

With that said, it is quite impressive they ranked our own Balboa Park, the 13th Best Park in the World and 4th Best Park in the United States.  If you haven’t been to Balboa Park lately, it’s time to learn more about the park in your backyard that is the envy of communities around the globe.

Take advantage of this unique gem.  And, if you hear someone complaining San Diego doesn’t have the amenities of a world-class city, send them this link and tell them stop looking in someone else’s backyard and to appreciate that we are living in a special place.

The Project for Public Spaces put together lists in 2004 of both the Best Parks and the Worst Parks in the World. These parks are used as examples on what should and should not be done to create a wonderful park to be enjoyed by local residents. Although there is always room for improvement (like making Balboa Park #1), we do have something to hang our hat on.

Wall Street Journal Names Carmel Valley Company Top Small Workplace

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Congratulations go out to ATA Engineering in Carmel Valley.  They made this year’s Wall Street Journal list for Top Small Workplaces.  Only 10 companies nationwide earned the honor.

ATA Engineering, founded in 2000 and now employing 84 personnel, solves complex mechanical and aerospace engineering challenges.  Their work includes help in the development of the International Space Station to assistance on the design of amusement park rides.

So, what does ATA Engineering do that makes it a Top Workplace? The Wall Street Journal cited 100% Employee Ownership, managers and executives being paid on the same payscale as engineering staff, all employees earning the same percentage of their salary for bonuses, and allowing many employees at all levels to be a part of company decisions from hiring new employees to determining where the offices should be located.

So, congratulations go out to ATA Engineering for setting an example for small companies across the country.  Visit the ATA Engineering web site to learn more about the company and view their engineering opportunities. Maybe you can become a member of one of the Top Workplaces in America.

Are San Diegans Too Modest?

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The results for America’s Favorite Cities survey are in!  If you recall, I encouraged my readers back in March to make San Diego #1 on the Travel & Leisure magazine survey. I’m not sure what to think after reviewing the results.

San Diego failed to receive any top rankings out of 45 categories.  We were only competing against 25 other cities. However, we did finish #2 for Ideal Weather, Attractive People, and Perfect Place for a Family Vacation.  My more compelling concern is that it was the scores given by San Diegans that contributed to our poor rankings.

To be fair, San Diegans did score our city better than non-San Diegans…barely.  Out of 45 survey questions, we gave ourselves a cumulative 2 extra points.  (Each question had the potential for 5 points.) Unfortunately, other cities thought much more highly of themselves, helping to propel their cities to higher rankings.

If you were to compare the city rankings based only on what residents gave to their own city, San Diego gave up a whopping 15 cumulative spots in the rankings in comparison to what outsiders thought about San Diego.

That begs the question, ‘Is this a good thing because San Diegans are too modest to gloat about ‘America’s Finest City’ or is it a bad thing because we lack self-esteem about our own city?’.

Here are the categories where we gave up the most in rankings – Public Parks and Outdoor Access, Classical Music, Farmers’ Markets, Stylish People, Public Transportation and Pedestrian Friendliness, and Christmas Destination.   (Hmmm … Stylish People … maybe we are so caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones’s that we don’t take the time to appreciate what we do have.  Maybe this is indicative of us losing sight on what a great place we live in and it takes outsiders to point it out to us.)

Here are the categories where we flat-out scored ourselves worse than outsiders – Historical Sites and Monuments, Late Night / Club Scene, Traffic, and Affordability, not to mention some crossover categories from the previous section, including once again Stylish People, Classical Music, and Public Transportation.

I’m hoping we are a bit too modest but part of me thinks we are so caught up in ‘keeping up with others’ that we forget to appreciate what we do have.  Hopefully, I can help improve our perception of San Diego with this blog.  I’m also working on a special project that I will introduce in the coming weeks to improve our city’s image.

I’d be curious in hearing your thoughts on why we may have scored ourselves so low in comparison to how other cities thought about themselves.