By Barbara Zaragoza
The politics of cross-border sewage flows have gotten so bad, the issue necessitated its own article today.
In the rest of the South Bay — here is a roundup of April 1st through April 7th:
The State Sanctuary Bill, Amicus Brief and Welcoming America Network
Chula Vista City Council Chambers saw a full-house as about 50 speakers gave public testimony on whether Chula Vista should be designated a “sanctuary city.” The Council decided to support a state sanctuary bill and sign on to a legal brief challenging President Trump’s executive order to strip funding form sanctuary jurisdictions. The vote was 3-2 with Councilmembers McCann and Diaz opposed.
The council also agreed to join the “Welcoming America” network.
Reporter Allison Sampite-Montecalvo gave a roundup of the issue, writing: “Last year, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina retracted a welcoming cities proclamation after opposition from the City Council and public. In February, National City voted down 3-2 a welcoming cities resolution.”
In addition, the article says that several school districts have signed on to the legal brief, including Sweetwater Union High School District, Southwestern College, San Diego Community College District and San Diego Unified School District. (San Diego Union Tribune)
Two side notes about the vote:
In February, Councilmember Mike Diaz told a Chula Vista Star News reporter, “In the United States about 47,000 citizens die from illegal aliens driving while intoxicated under alcohol and other kind of drugs.” Councilmember Diaz continued, “If you look at that there is a problem with people who are here illegally who are felons, creating crimes.” Adding, “If you can convince me that a sanctuary city is going to make our citizens safer, I’m all in it but there is no statistics that prove that.”
A subsequent op-ed piece explained that Diaz had misstated facts. In 2014 there were 9,967 victims of alcohol or drug related driving impairment, not the 47,000 Diaz alleges. In addition, academic studies found there is no evidence of higher crime rates in cities with sanctuary policies.
In addition, it turns out that the Director of the Otay Water Board, Hector Gastelum, who has been asked to resign by community activists after his anti-Muslim tweets. According to this Chula Vista Star News article from January 2016, it looks like Hector Gastelum was an aide to Councilmember John McCann for a time. (See paragraph #8.)
Otay Mesa Road 50% Complete
For many years, the Otay Mesa Road winding up to San Ysidro High School was dangerous and nothing was being done to fix it. Thanks to sustained community protests, the road improvements are underway. This week, the city announced that the project is 50% complete. Phase two begins in April with the haul off of 12,000 Cubic Yards of dirt that will expand the width of Otay Mesa Road making it safer for pedestrian, vehicular and bike travel. Project completion is anticipated in summer 2018.
National City Council Opposes SANDAG Reform Bill 3-2
The National City Council continues to struggle with a chasm that leaves both councilwomen, Mona Rios and Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, in a minority while the three councilmen are unable to strike common ground. This week, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher felt the sting too, posting on her Facebook:
Seriously disappointed National City “majority.” I have been your loyal Assemblywoman. I simply asked you to hold off before opposing my SANDAG reform bill, but I couldn’t get that courtesy even after agreeing to work on Mayor’s concerns. Thank you — as usual — Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and Mona Rios.
Gonzalez is referring to AB 805 which “would create an audit committee and hire an independent auditor at SANDAG, in hopes of preventing another budgeting scandal, after Voice of San Diego revealed that SANDAG leadership knowingly overstated how much money a sales tax hike would bring in and understated costs of transportation projects voters already approved. Andy Keatts at Voice of San Diego explained the bill more thoroughly.
After the city council meeting, Councilwoman Rios voiced her concern on Facebook, saying:
It is with great disappointment that the “majority” (Morrison, Cano, Mendivil) AGAIN did not vote for the “will of the people” and Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher and a request to postpone any decision until amended language or direct discussion with the Assemblywoman was concluded. The vote was 3-2 to move forward to draft a letter in OPPOSITION to Assembly Bill 805.
You may also want to know:
- Chula Vista city workers may opt out of their union and create its own union. They’ll vote on April 17th. (Chula Vista Star News)
- La Bella Pizza Gareden in downtown Chula Vista has 13 handles on tap, nine are craft beers. Here’s the great article about their beer. Their food is excellent too.
- The city’s local non-profit, A Reason To Survive, lead a mural project at blighted H&M Goodies Family Auction House on Eighth Street. Students, city council members and city staff helped paint the abandoned building. The beautification project is one of 30 art projects the non-profit hopes to undertake. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- A state audit found the San Ysidro School District is meeting the requirements of spending federal money it receives. (San Diego Union Tribune)