Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Councilmember Lorie Zapf's 2013: Year-End Review

It’s that time again. December is here, and we are getting ready to turn the page on 2013. It has been an interesting and rather tumultuous year at City Hall, as many of you are aware. We had a mayor, then we didn’t, and now we are in the middle of electing a replacement for a final election in February. Even with all that going on, the City Council accomplished a lot for our neighborhoods.

2013 was the first time that Clairemont was represented by two City Councilmembers, both myself and Councilman Kevin Faulconer. While our community wasn’t excited about that change, I think it has turned out for the best, and our community now has the focus of two elected representatives instead of just one. Our work at City Hall has helped to cut red tape that was hindering our neighborhood businesses, including expanding outdoor dining options for restaurants. We are seeing new life and construction in our shopping centers, and I have been a proud supporter of revitalizing our neighborhood and filling those empty storefronts.

As the Vice-Chair of the City’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services committee, I was proud to support a plan that would help stop our trained police officers from leaving for other police departments, and help make San Diego a more competitive employer to attract the top applicants. Our police department has become as lean as possible under the budget cuts of the past decade, but crime rates have increased, and it is time we focus on restoring the personnel and equipment needed for these public servants to do their jobs.
Additionally, as the Chair of the city’s committee on land use and smart growth, I was proud to kick-off a workshop that would focus on improving the areas surrounding the future Mid-Coast Trolley transit stations. While that trolley is still a few years away from being built, we need to plan now to ensure that we have the right infrastructure and development so that the trolley is a positive addition to our neighborhood. At the workshop we focused on mixed-use housing, affordable housing, attracting more businesses, but also better bicycle and pedestrian access, and traffic calming.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Councilmember.  Best wishes for many blessings in the year ahead.

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