Monday, November 25, 2013

Guest Column from Interim Mayor Gloria

Dear Friends,

This time last year, I had just been elected Council President for 2013 by my Council colleagues. It was a tremendous honor, and I was looking forward to advancing policies that would strengthen our neighborhoods and our economy. We began the year with a new mayor who accomplished little, disrupted much, and ultimately became a liability for our City. What occurred in those first nine months, well it’s nothing I could ever have imagined.

When I became Interim Mayor on August 30, it was my intention to accomplish as much as I possibly could in a short period of time. This time of year we all make our holiday lists. Here is a list of my Favorite Things we’ve done since I became Interim Mayor.
  1.  Our new Downtown library, the San Diego Library @ Joan ^ Irwin Jacobs Common, opened after 30 years of planning and dreaming and reflects San Diego’s value of knowledge, technology, literacy, and education. 
  2. The Convention Center expansion was approved which will create 7,000 permanent jobs and have an estimated economic impact of $700 million a year. 
  3. The Workforce Housing Offset was updated increasing the funding stream for affordable housing options.
  4.  I brought forth a project list for a $120 million infrastructure bond that includes $43,460,000 for street resurfacing and additional improvements made to libraries, fire stations, and storm drains. This infrastructure bond will be considered by my Council colleagues next month.
  5. Border relations were strengthened by regularly scheduled meetings with elected officials from the Baja region as well as City department leaders meeting with their Tijuana counterparts to make our shared region greater.
  6.  The Prevailing Wage Ordinance was approved which is expected to result in safer and better monitored work sites, on-time completion, properly trained apprentices, and fewer construction defects, change orders, and cost overruns. 
  7.  A reorganization of City government was approved which will make our City’s operations run more smoothly and efficiently, save time and money, and invest in the development of our employees.
  8. We unveiled a ground-breaking Climate Action Plan that positions San Diego as a national leader in clean energy and a clean tech economy.
  9.  The City Council approved dispersing $6 million of collected assessments to the San Diego Tourism Marketing District to re-launch marketing efforts to draw visitors to San Diego and create jobs.
  10. Our City’s lobbyists were re-hired ending a nine-month period where we had no one in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. vying for resources or funding for our City. 
I know these accomplishments happened because of the cooperative spirit of my Council colleagues, our City leadership team, the City Attorney, City employees, and all San Diegans. Together we helped our City get back on its feet and moving in the right direction again. There is more work to be done between now and March when a new mayor takes office, and I promise you I won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Finally, I hope you’ll be able to join me at the State of the City Address on January 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre to celebrate our progress and envision our future.

The year started out naughty and ended up nice. I wish you all a joyful and safe holiday season. As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Todd Gloria
Interim Mayor

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