San Diego – Taking the podium for his final State of the City Address last Wednesday evening, Mayor Jerry Sanders shared an optimistic outlook for the region’s future. Embracing crucial opportunities was a prominent theme as he encouraged efforts to enhance quality of life for the community. Gratitude was in no short supply as he recognized key leaders committed to the region’s progress. Particularly of note were three projects highlighted for their innovative solutions as well as their fiscal effectiveness.
The proposed footbridge connecting Otay Mesa to Rodriguez Field in Tijuana was praised for reducing vehicle congestion at the border region’s two major ports of entry. Connecting an estimated 2 million air travelers directly to the airport via a secured passageway, parking is planned on the US side and shops and retail within the facility. The Mayor commended Tijuana’s Mayor, Carlos Bustamante, for his efforts in advancing this project, which is approved by the US Department of State and owned by a bi-national private sector consortium.
In San Diego’s Balboa Park, reclaiming the Plaza de Panama to its originally intended pedestrian use was extolled as an “elegant solution” to “fixing a decades-old mistake, letting the historic Plaza de Panama become an ugly, oil-stained parking lot,” said Sanders. At no cost to the taxpayers, cars will be removed from the pedestrian core, replaced with 6 acres of plazas, gardens and public spaces. Joan and Irwin Jacobs were lauded for their leadership role in this “investment in civic treasure.”
The fate of the San Diego Chargers was sealed as Mayor Sanders confirmed the commitment of Dean Spanos and the organization’s leadership to keep the team local. Moving forward, a new regional sports complex is planned at the site of the MTS bus maintenance yard at 15th and Imperial Avenue. This live entertainment district completes the proposed revitalization of East Village in downtown San Diego. Pledging “no new taxes” the Mayor reported efforts to keep the project affordable through collaboration and discussions with the County of San Diego, the NFL and ultimately the voters themselves.
To download a transcript of the Mayor’s address, click on the following: http://www.sandiego.gov/mayor/pdf/sotc2012.pdf
To download a synopsis of all topics outlined in the State of the City Address:
Photo courtesy of The City of San Diego, Office of the Mayor