Serge Dedina

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 3, I enjoyed the National Night Out gathering at Veteran’s Park. It was so nice to see everyone and recognize our Public Safety personnel, including our Firefighters, Sheriffs and Lifeguards. It has been a tough time to be a public safety professional and I am grateful that our team is out there keeping our streets, neighborhoods and beaches safe for everyone.

Part of the responsibility for keeping safe is practicing safe driving and if you’re like me you’ve probably been dismayed by the speeding that goes on everywhere. I receive more complaints about excessive vehicular speeding in our little beach town from residents than on any other issue. I’ve also been shocked to see the flagrant running of red lights--an unwelcome trend that is shockingly dangerous. This is why we have made a commitment to improving the safety of our roads, especially with the plans to do a safety makeover for 9th Street. Unsafe driving impacts everyone.

With the approval of an updated American Rescue Plan Act budget for Imperial Beach, I am grateful to my colleagues on the City Council who supported the single greatest investment in community and recreational services in the history of Imperial Beach. The dedication to Parks and Recreation and making key investments to provide services and facilities is unprecedented. The key to the approach in Imperial Beach will be providing programs and activities for all in every category.

This historic investment in the health and well being of our residents is the best way to move forward beyond the pandemic. If we have learned anything over the past year it is that our health and welfare are priceless. That also is why getting a COVID-19 vaccine may be the most cost effective and simplest way to stay healthy. It is clear that vaccines are effective deterrents and that they are still the best protector against the increasingly dangerous Delta variant. I recently talked to a friend of mine who teaches at a local school and was reminded of the sacrifice and service of all of our teachers as schools reopened. So thanks to all the teachers and educational support staff in all of our schools as we all make our way in this new and ever changing environment.

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, I met virtually with high level officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other officials from San Diego to learn more about the specific plans to address the U.S.-Mexico border sewage crisis. I was pleased to hear that there is a proposal to address the sewage crisis in a comprehensive way and that high level officials from Mexico and the U.S. recently met to discuss specific plans by Mexico to fix their antiquated and dilapidated sewage system.

First and foremost we must continue making sure that future plans involve zero sewage discharge into our environment. Mexico must stop contaminating our surf zone and beaches once and for all. That is why the EPA’s proposal for diversion basins and support for water reuse programs in Mexico will be key to keeping sewage out of our ocean. I recently spoke with a San Diego City Council committee and urged council members to increase their efforts on this issue because Imperial Beach needs all of the help we can get to fix this never-ending and unacceptable crisis.

Thanks to all the Little League players, officials and supporters who came out to Imperial Beach over the past two weeks for the Southern California 10U All Star tourney. On Monday evening I threw out the ceremonial first pitch (I really need to improve my pitching) at the championship game between El Segundo and Sherman Oaks (El Segundo won 2-1). I enjoyed talking to the visiting parents and coaches who raved about our local hotels, climate, and restaurants. A special thanks to the always positive and professional Imperial Beach Little League Board members and volunteers for sharing our sparkling ball fields with teams from around SoCal. One of the important aspects of sports tournaments and having facilities that can host them, is the positive economic impact these events bring to Imperial Beach. Athletic events and recreational tourneys benefit our community and our businesses and that is a win-win for all.

I am a big fan of the Olympics. So I was elated to see the U.S.’s Carissa Moore shred her way to a Gold Medal win for the inaugural surfing competition at the Tokyo Olympics. It is nice to know that our young surfers in Imperial Beach can aspire to be Olympians one day!

Enjoy the summer!

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