Today, I am excited and proud to officially announce my candidacy for IB City Council in the upcoming November Election. I truly believe Imperial Beach needs strong leaders who come to the table with ideas, not ideology. As a 20+ year resident of Imperial Beach, I have been acutely aware of the historical as well as current issues which face our community and its citizens. I care deeply and passionately about my hometown. I consider serving on the council not as politics, but as public service. I want to do all I can to contribute to preserving all that’s great about I.B. and to making it an even better place to live, work and raise our families.
Unlike the typical candidate, I have not served as an appointed insider on one of the city’s board or commissions. I have no affiliation to any special interest groups that are active in city politics. I look forward to being an unbiased independent voice on the council and will represent our entire city, including our youth, our seniors and our diverse ethnic community.
My platform will focus on specific goals and improvements such as Smart City Growth, improving communication regarding our community, restoring and improving core city services such as street and park maintenance, increasing participation in city government by residents and pursuing more transparency – particularly with fiscal obligations.
Imperial Beach needs Councilmembers with experience in handling development pressure and proposals. I.B. does not need to accept every project as it comes in the door. We have leverage; let’s use it. I support managed growth not solely focused on increased density.
• Champion for small businesses to have access to affordable small retail in new commercial development projects that have been approved.
• Permitting for small businesses needs to be less impactful.
• Prioritize updating the Transport and Land Use Elements of the General Plan to better reconcile the impact of unanticipated development and State-initiated changes to housing density.
• For potential new development, reinforce compliance with regulation to provide all parking on site.
• Make Imperial Beach a Technology Smart City. Provide and partner with local companies to provide free-WiFi.
• For mixed-used project classifies as transit-oriented or incorporating density-bonus increase, do not reduce parking further. Do not permit shared parking between the residential and the commercial/retail uses.
Residents and businesses must have the opportunity to work with the City on Master Plan and Area plans that substantive alter the existing area. The City must be proactive in communications all proposed changes, City (initiated) and or developer – initiated projects. A legal requirement for newspaper publication is not sufficient. A city cannot thrive without its citizens having access to information.
• Enact e-notifications for Public Hearings, Environmental Notices and City Actions
• Sign-up for e-notifications of City Council and Commission meetings.
• Embrace social media for publishing all meeting notices and agendas.
• Continue to improve I.B. website. Allow residents to take care of needs online.
Community Engagement and Participation
In my many attended City Council meetings my observation has been that they are usually sparsely attended and good government groups for years have talked about ways to increase public involvement. Despite those efforts, though, such involvement often includes either a few die-hard attendees who are allotted three minutes of speaking time on any given item or when something controversial pops up on the agenda. The current process today leaves the residents frustrated by a process that makes the word “participation” seem like cruel irony. Citizens need to be heard and respected. They need to be able to tell their story and feel heard.
• Develop a culture that values public engagement by making city government more accessible to the people who do not work in City Hall.
• Take City Council meetings to the public.
Core City Services
Deteriorating infrastructure plagues every city and community. We must continue to invest wisely on this matter. While major improvements along Palm Avenue, Seacoast Drive and Elm Street have recently completed or are underway, we must also not forget our city does not end there. Some of our residents in the most eastern part of I.B. are asking when they can expect to see projects like this in their area. I commit to having roads repaved, sidewalks fixed, proper lighting at night and additional patrols in our community.
I grew up in the South Bay but Imperial Beach prepared me for the journey of my life. I joined the NJROTC program which allowed me to attend Mar Vista High (‘90); to serving in the United States Marines Corps (’94); to earning my Network Engineering degree from Kaplan (’01); to now being one of the most Senior Managers at COX Communications. Today I am a father of two, my youngest Breanna who attends Imperial Beach Charter and heavily involved in our community, my eldest Isaac who recently graduated from Mar Vista and is on his way to a local college and husband of Fran Camacho who was born and raised in Imperial Beach. This is our city, our community and where we call home. This is why I am running for City Council and together we will change the status quo.
With your help and support you will have a voice on the City Council that will be heard this November.