By Todd Gloria, Interim Mayor, City of San DiegoThank you to all who joined me last month when I presented the annual State of the City Address. When I walked on stage and looked out to the audience assembled in the historic Balboa Theatre, I was again humbled by the support shown by San Diegans.
As I shared in my remarks, San Diego will always be America’s Finest City. But we shouldn’t be content with just being fine. We must dare to be great. A great San Diego future means developing a comprehensive infrastructure funding strategy and a bond for voters’ approval in 2016; it means better utilizing available resources to truly address the challenges of homelessness; it means implementation of a progressive Climate Action Plan; and it means investment into Balboa Park for the 2015 Centennial Celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The 2014 State of the City Address is available for reading and viewing at www.sandiego.gov.
San Diego’s future is dependent on your continued participation as we work together for a great city. I’ve heard from many of you that a highlight of the State of the City evening was the video asking, “When you think about San Diego’s future, what do you see?” This is meant as a conversation starter, and I would love to hear and see how more San Diegans answer that question. Snap a picture of your vision or describe it and post it on Instagram or Twitter with #SDFuture.
On the topic of infrastructure, please know we aren’t waiting until 2016 to address this challenge. Late last month, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved $120 million of bond funding for neighborhood infrastructure projects. San Diegans deserve neighborhoods with smooth roads, sound facilities, and water and sewer pipes that don’t break. This bond will help us achieve that goal. More than $43 million from the bond will fund street resurfacing. The project list also includes $4.3 million for accessibility improvements city-wide.
Also last month, Councilman Mark Kersey, chair of the city’s Infrastructure Committee, and I kicked off the first ever city-wide sidewalk assessment. This assessment, funded in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget for up to $1 million, is expected to take approximately one year to complete and will provide an unprecedented evaluation of the conditions of sidewalks throughout San Diego. The city of San Diego has approximately 5,000 miles of public sidewalks and the bulk of the assessment work is being completed by 24 student engineering interns. Remember, if you tweet, you can follow the city’s infrastructure conversation on Twitter at #RebuildSD.
As I said in my State of the City Address, I know more great ideas and big dreams are out there; let’s work together to make them happen. You can email me your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve.