I return to the council next year with renewed enthusiasm to serve you and to help us to move forward in our neighborhoods as well as downtown. The three-month election period was intense, adding to my duties as Mayor and councilperson, yet I gained a lot by listening to your concerns and also being exposed to things in various neighborhoods that I was not aware of. I learned about the utility polls that threaten Oribia Road residents with potential fire dangers; the loss of “neighbors” on the 100 block of 7th street due to most homes being transformed into full time short-term rentals; the fear of Zika Virus due to standing water in one neighborhood.
Elections get policy-makers out to listen and learn and that is exactly how I used my time. I am better prepared to make some final decisions on the hot topic of short-term rentals. I hope our new council will prioritize the Affordable Housing demands facing Del Mar. I see urgency in getting a crossing along the railroad tracks as well.
I am pleased that residents studied the issue of Measure R, which would have put Del Mar in unnecessary litigation with property owners, developers and state housing requirements. Hopefully we can avoid one lawsuit that was threatened prior to the election.
For years Del Mar has tried to raise funds to accomplish the things that residents want us to do yet without additional revenues, and implementing plans had to be delayed indefinitely. Measure Q will offer us seed money to begin planning for the big needs in our budget (Shore Park building, undergrounding utilities and downtown Streetscape completion). I promised to help council start off right with these dollars. We will create the oversight sub-committee to insure funds are distributed, as you want them to be spent. I will speak out now recommending they prioritize the Streetscape improvements for downtown because Del Mar businesses will experience some positive outcomes of our passing Measure Q plus that investment will payoff for the up-coming Breeder’s Cup.
In closing, I thank you for your votes. I promise to continue to be a reliable, hard-working council member. I pride myself on helping to create a positive working environment with staff and all council. I want to share the opening of our new Civic Center with you all. Just living here is very special. Many of you told me, “We live in Paradise.”