Let me first wish Del Mar a Happy New Year.
I have the honor of serving as Del Mar’s Mayor for the next 12 months. This is a ceremonial role that is traditionally rotated each year between Councilmembers. The Mayor is asked to plan agendas, chair Council meetings and sign resolutions, but that is about it.
But the role does allow me to comment on City issues and what you can expect from our Council efforts in the months ahead. In 2012, we saw the completion of the new Beach Safety Center, the renovation of the Shores temporary community building, and some progress in our efforts to improve the governance of the Fairgrounds. Work on the Torrey Pines Bridge is moving ahead smoothly. But we also experienced the intense community debate on the proposed Village Specific Plan (VSP), which was defeated at the polls.
We have decided as a community that the VSP will not be implemented. But the residual fallout leaves our City with the problem of how to move forward. We have two camps in Del Mar that are very strong in their positions. One camp does not want to move forward with any aspect of revitalization. Another camp argues that we should move forward with those aspects of revitalization that were not controversial. This leaves the City Council with the difficult job of interpreting the community’s will, reaching consensus and setting priorities for the coming year.
We have a new Council with new perspectives and energy to tackle these choices. Al Corti and Sherryl Parks have joined the Council as new representatives of the community. Don Mosier returns for a second term, which will add knowledge and experience to our deliberations. All three will be a big help to Deputy Mayor Lee Haydu and myself as the Council sets goals and budgets for 2013 and 2014.
I will encourage the Council to focus on basic issues facing the City; that we concentrate on creating some “small wins” for the community that will gain wide-spread support and enthusiasm for improving our City. I would also encourage our residents to talk to the members of the City Council and express your desires on how we can move forward as a City …. to tackle the problems we face. On Feb. 25, and again on May 13 and 14, the Council will be meeting to set new priorities and establish budgets for the coming two years. Those decisions will be of higher quality if we have received constructive suggestions from as many members of the public as possible.
We also have a very talented, hardworking staff, led by City Manager Scott Huth. They are ready and responsive to work on those projects that are high on the community’s priority list. That is why setting a clear set of goals and priorities will be critical in early 2013.
So we have our work set out before us in 2013. I am confident that Del Mar will be creative and constructive in moving forward in the coming year. Happy New Year!