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The Mayor’s Corner

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Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 12:15 pm

The morning of Wednesday, July 24, was the first morning I have seen the sun at dawn on the coast in at least over a month and maybe longer. Sunrise is my favorite time of the day and generally I am out and about surfing, swimming, walking or at the gym. And there is nothing better than catching a gorgeous red sky as the sun rises over the mountains to the east. But with pervasive overcast and the worst June Gloom since 2012 according to the National Weather Service, early morning sunshine has been hard to come by. Ocean temperatures have also been much, much cooler than average, with the National Weather Service reporting that Southern California in early July experienced the coolest ocean temperatures since 2010. Meanwhile the ocean temperatures around coastal Alaska are running 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The ocean temperatures in Imperial Beach have been hovering in the low to mid 60s all summer and have just started to climb near 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Mission Beach and north San Diego County. Over the past few summers we all became used to Cabo-like ocean conditions. We’ll see how the rest of the summer plays out.

Students locally started back to school this week. Thankfully the San Diego Small Business Forum (SDSBF) through its IB Artisan Market was on hand to provide much needed school supplies to dozens of local children. SDSBF Director Edel Vernazza has done an incredible job of mobilizing small business owners, many of them home-based, to display their beautiful products at the IB Artisan Market at the People’s Park at the corner of Date and Seacoast each summer weekend. She also does a great job of coordinating outreach events to students and their families with our local Sheriff’s Department so families have valuable safety information at their fingertips. This type of coordinated effort keeps our community safer and provides enhanced shopping opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

As we have cleaned up every corner of the city, our crime rate has plummeted. Our crime rate in 2018 was the second lowest in San Diego County (even lower than neighboring Coronado). This is only possible when residents, civic organizations and the business community work together to keep our streets safe and clean. That means that it is the responsibility of residents to report crime to our Sheriffs and especially notify them about graffiti that pollutes our neighborhoods. Maintaining a safe and family friendly environment in Imperial Beach requires constant vigilance and continued work to improve our streets and neighborhoods and prevent crime from happening. If you see something, say something. Filling our city with new businesses, new fitness and playground equipment, paved alleys, new sidewalks, a new shopping center and library, and empty lots turned to community parklets has created a vibrant environment where crime does not flourish.

On Monday, July 21, I participated in a press conference with our San Diego Congressional Delegation--Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Susan Davis and Rep. Mike Levin--in which they announced a Tijuana River Pollution Solution bill package --that would allocate funding for significant investments for the EPA and the North American Development Bank to build infrastructure to resolve the border sewage crisis (and secure matching funds from Mexico as well). That means we will all have to advocate for this bill package, among a bevy of Senators and Congressional Representatives throughout the U.S. so they support this absolutely necessary measure. Thanks to our Congressional delegation for their leadership, because this is absolutely a team effort.

The “all of the above” clean beach strategy carried out by the City of Imperial Beach to secure funding and fix the sewage crisis means that we will work with and support all initiatives and agencies on both sides of the border who can help. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines at any level. It is also very clear our lawsuit is making a difference in getting agencies on both sides of the border together to resolve this crisis. But we have more to do and all of us need to work together proactively to push for clean beaches 365 days a year in both California and Baja. So thanks to all of your support and that of our entire City Council and city staff and all of our regional partners, who are helping and pushing forward together with our Congressional delegation.

Mahalo everyone!

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