Why did you decide to run for the City Council and what do you feel you offer the residents of Coronado?
Coronado deserves leadership that is forward-thinking, pragmatic, and understands the character of our community.
Since being elected mayor in 2016, I committed to financial reforms to strengthen our city finances, pragmatic environmental policies to improve our air and water quality, pursuing local control wherever possible, and tackling community issues that went previously unaddressed for years. We laid out a clear vision and successfully worked to fulfill those commitments during the past four years.
We implemented a new budget oversight process to ensure our city’s financial situation remains strong during and after the Covid-19 economic downturn. We will continue to maintain a results-oriented and disciplined approach by reinvesting your tax dollars back into our city’s infrastructure, paying down future pension obligations, and enhancing our community’s character.
We successfully lobbied Congress for $300 million to address the Tijuana sewage issue through a bipartisan, regional effort that will reduce the number of transboundary sewage flow from approximately 120 days per year to 20 -- dramatically improving water quality for our region. According to Supervisor Greg Cox, “More has been done to address this issue in the past three years than in the previous thirty years combined.” While others shied away from even speaking about the issue, we helped build a bipartisan coalition and tackled the largest environmental issue in the region head on.
Locally, we made environmental progress as well by moving forward with a pragmatic Climate Action Plan that will improve air quality for our community. An element of the plan will aspire to sequester all carbon emitted from vehicles that begin and end their trip in Coronado by planting thousands of new trees to improve our local air quality.
During the past four years we rigorously evaluated the pros and cons of pursuing local control of State Highways 75 (Orange Ave) and 282 (Third and Fourth Streets), and made the unanimous decision to approve relinquishment. This action, which is now at the cusp of approval from the state, allows decisions to be made locally that will give us greater flexibility on engineering and design improvements along our busiest streets to increase traffic safety, visually enhance our neighborhoods and reimagine the downtown business district.
Another improvement many years in the making is the recently approved the expansion of Vons in the old Coramart building. This approval will remove a significant blight in our community and includes funds to start improving our downtown district with a cohesive theme of landscaping, street furniture, and possibly new lighting.
The City Council also moved forward with a plan to allow residents to underground utility lines in their neighborhoods -- something the city has talked about for years but never made a plan, until now.
We added new beach accessibility mats while setting a new policy that all playgrounds will be universally accessible to better accommodate our entire community. These changes will help everyone enjoy our city’s outdoor areas to the fullest extent possible.
The single biggest action we took during the past four years was restructuring the financial obligations of the former Community Development Agency. This pivotal decision will help the Coronado Unified School District return to a higher funding level ten years earlier than they would have otherwise. It was a massive investment in our schools, our students, and our community.
For all of our progress locally, we are constantly under attack by the state of California and agencies such as SANDAG. Facing these challenges require regional leadership and strategic planning to deliver a successful outcome for Coronado.
I am running for re-election because everyone has a role in making our community a desirable place to live; and I believe the best way I can contribute to our shared efforts is with one final term as mayor to build off of our accomplishments during the past four years.