City Council Candidate John Duncan

Coronado City Council Candidate Question #8:

“You’ve successfully served your term(s) as a member of the Coronado City Council, it’s time to move on to the next venture. Your words to the (incoming) next group of council candidates … what achievement are you the proudest of.”

Serving as Councilmember is an honor and an obligation to put the community before self and make the best possible decisions. I am proud that we have made significant strides on solving the contamination of our ocean water. I am proud that we have obtained relinquishment and control of our local main street from Caltrans. I am also proud that we have made progress in working with our neighboring cities across the bridge on many issues, including the housing allocation problem. Separate from the accomplishments, there are some important concepts to think about as a Candidate for Council and when serving as Councilmember.

First, I strongly recommend that you conduct yourself with civility and positivity during your campaign and time in office. When running for office, avoid mentioning the other candidates in a negative light, or even at all, other than to mention that you believe you will be happy to work with whoever is elected; and when you say that, mean it.

Unfortunately, some now believe that the ends justify the means in politics; meaning it is ok to lie, tell partial truths and bully candidates to attempt to draw them into a no win argument or present them as representing a certain viewpoint they do not actually maintain. Do not succumb to attempts to draw you into this type of negativity. I truly believe that the vast majority of Coronado does not approve of these tactics and that Coronado does not reward them. Principles and values matter. To paraphrase Mark Twain, do not let negative people drag you into the gutter to fight, as they will beat you with experience. Of course, it is fine to disagree with someone. In fact, civil disagreement and honest, vibrant discussion is one of the greatest things about our country and our community.

I have strived to conduct myself in a civil manner on Council at all times. Councilmembers may, at times, lose track of the goal of achieving the best result for the community and instead fall into a trap of defending their initial position on an issue, with the discussion turning into teams of Councilmembers on opposing sides. As a Councilmember, be open to learning new information on issues. Having an open mind is essential. Admitting an initial position you held on an issue is wrong when new information comes to light is not a weakness. In fact, it is a sign of confidence, strength and your dedication to the community.

While on Council, I have focused on problem solving and communicating with the public. It is essential to meet with the public face to face and be involved in the community. This is especially true after a difficult issue or vote comes before Council. One of the complaints of the community is that after an election, the candidates disappear. While running for office can be exhausting and time consuming, ensure you live up to your promises to communicate and be available.

A final and maybe my most important piece of advice: Please do your best to remember the leaders in town you respect the most and why you respect them. Seek to emulate them and their best qualities and characteristics. Often, those will be the leaders who do not seek personal glorification but instead quietly do the work over long periods of time to contribute to the community. Frequently, those people do not run for office for various reasons, some mentioned above, but they are the true leaders to emulate. I have sought to do this during my time in office.

John Duncan

VOL. 112, NO. 44 - Nov. 2, 2022

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