Why did you decide to run for the City Council and what do you feel you offer the residents of Imperial Beach?
I’m Mark West and for the last four years as an elected member of the Imperial Beach City Council, I’ve worked every day to listen, understand, and address the critical issues and concerns of the residents of our community. We’ve made a lot of progress, fought some big fights, but have much more to accomplish as a community to protect our quality of life. That’s why I’m running for re-election in the newly formed City Council District 2.
My wife Megan and I fell in love with this community the moment we moved here in 2007. At the time, I was an active duty Naval Officer. And after 24 years of military service, we were thrilled to make IB our home. We love seeing you all out in IB’s neighborhoods, whether we’re organizing community cleanups, painting our town’s murals, shopping and eating at the local businesses and restaurants, or just walking our dogs. So many of you are familiar faces at the beach and in the surf. IB is truly in our hearts.
But passion isn’t enough to ask to lead a community. So I want you to know that I combine that passion with the right experience and education - and tested leadership - so that on issues as small as filling potholes, to issues as big as cleaning up the Tijuana River Valley, you can be confident that I’ll deliver results.
As I mentioned, I’m a retired Naval Officer. I earned both my Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Colorado. As an IB councilmember, I’m also appointed to the board of directors for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority where we recently secured the largest deal to benefit workers in San Diego county history. I am appointed to the board of directors for San Diego Community Power - the regional agency tasked with delivering 100% clean, renewable energy to all residents in San Diego. And having been asked to join a regional delegation to Washington D.C., I helped secure $300 million to clean up and preserve the Tijuana River Valley and protect our coastal water and beaches. Imperial Beach might be a small town, but we’re making a big impact.
Locally, COVID has hit us as hard as anywhere. We’re working to help our businesses, while keeping residents safe. Those efforts have included administering small business grants totaling $150,000 to help our local community meet its payroll, and making it easier to move businesses outdoors where it’s safer for people to continue eating and shopping. We’re reviewing our City budget - in particular our contract with the San Diego County Sheriff’s department - to address costs to the city and areas that might be better suited to non-uniformed professionals, while acknowledging the work they’ve done to keep our community one of the safest. And we’re working to address economic inequality by making sure there is high-quality, affordable housing in every neighborhood.
I want you to know that even though there are big problems that we face together, I haven’t lost sight of the everyday issues that need to be addressed across IB. From making our roads safer, to cleaning up our community, and protecting our kids at the park, I will not let an issue you care about pass without giving it serious, thoughtful consideration and attention, even when we disagree. And that’s the key to our future success: even when we disagree, we are still a community of families that will work for one another to see that our best days are ahead. I will always work for you, because IB is our home.
This is the first election in Imperial Beach history that we’ll elect councilmembers by district. Ballots will begin arriving by mail during the week of Oct. 5 and the final date to return them is election day on Nov. 3. I’m running for Council District 2, and I hope to earn your vote.