Proclamations galore at council meeting, and term limits, Zuniga parking lot and pier
April 5and The city council meeting was filled with proclamations, beginning with the Coronado Flower Show Week, from April 18 to 24. Flower Show President Diana Drummey, Homefront President Lisa Daniels, President-Elect Sara Stillman and Children’s President Alexia Palacios-Peters were on hand to receive Mayor Bailey’s honor. The Flower Show celebrates 100 years as the nation’s largest tented flower show and is hosted by the Coronado Floral Association, in partnership with the Crown Garden Club, Bridge and Bay Garden Club and the City of Coronado. This year’s must-see show will take place on April 23-24.
Director of Library Services Shaun Briley and Library Board Chair Brenda Jo Robyn accepted a proclamation for National Library Week, from April 3 to 8. The mayor noted that the Coronado Public Library, librarians and staff bring community members together to enrich and shape the quality of life and address local issues. The library also offers literary, educational and cultural programs for children, teenagers and adults of all ages.
Dispatchers Tanya Singh and Rebecca Jones received a proclamation from the mayor proclaiming April 10-16 as National Public Safety Carriers Week. He noted that the Coronado Public Safety Communication Center serves as the first point of contact between the community and emergency services in an efficient and professional manner. Dispatch Center staff responded to 9,483 9-1-1 calls and handled 42,523 incidents. He thanked them for their diligence and professionalism in ensuring the safety of residents and the community.
In her report, City Manager Tina Friend provided an update on Cays Park’s master plan. She said that after the board approves the original process pivot, staff review usage data to provide to the landscape architect to assist in the design process. She also notes that tennis and pickleball are popular and 700 responses were received for a recent poll. They plan to develop a policy for these sports, to help allocate scarce resources.
Friend said senior management analyst Kelly Purvis (in her capacity as the city’s arts administrator) helped coordinate various stakeholders as they applied for community improvement grants from the County Board of Supervisors, three of which were recently awarded: one for the Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) for $25,000; another for community development for $25,000; and one for $15,000 for Coronado Promenade concerts. The City’s Arts and Culture Commission continues to advocate for improvements to the COSA Performing Arts Center. The City has allocated $250,000 to the project. The Coronado Promenade Concerts are a separate grant to support the upcoming summer concert series.
City Attorney Johanna Canlas provided a brief overview of the intent and wording of the duration limits policy for the members of the municipal council and the mayor. She said there was no lifetime ban, having served two terms on council and two terms as mayor, as set out in the initiative approved in 2002. Mayor Bailey asked if candidates could technically serve indefinitely and commented that term limits encourage new people to come forward. Canlas said while language doesn’t preclude it, intrinsic evidence over the past 20 years has shown that candidates have taken a break and failed to run for multiple consecutive terms continuously.
John and Dawn Ovrom, who helped draft the term limits bill 20 years ago, spoke out and said they spent thousands of hours educating voters on the bill, which allowed two consecutive terms on council and as mayor, without a lifetime ban. “Our goal was for members to take a break,” commented Dawn, who also mentioned that a new ballot initiative can cost between $15,000 and $30,000. John said: “Don’t use that as a reason to change because 71% of voters approved of it.”
Councilman Donovan asked if language could be inserted into the current ordinance prohibiting someone from running continuously without interruption, to which Canlas pointed out that it would have to go back to public voting. He then gave the example of Catch 22 and said they should trust voters. Council member Tanaka said this has stood the test of time and most mayors have also served as council members. Council member Sandke offered not to prepare a new voting motion for term limits and the council unanimously agreed.
The Director of Administrative Services, John Kim, made a brief presentation on the implementation of the annual indexation for police, emergency medical services/ambulance and development related user fees, and sewage capacity fees, special event fees and sports field allocation fees for the financial year 2022/23. The proposed increase is three per cent for these categories. The 2021 average for the Cost of Construction Index (CCI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) charges is 5.2%.
Additionally, the proposed new schedule for SB 9 administrative permit fees is $500 for residential development and $800 for urban lot splits. Council Member Donovan asked if the increase covers the costs of sports fields. Kim said the city generally subsidizes recreational activities from the general fund. The last assessment was done about a decade ago, and City Manager Tina Friend said she’s looking at costs at all levels and will provide an update over the next year, so that the board can determine what percentage they want the cost recovery to be.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the Zuniga Pier was presented by City Manager Tina Friend. The Zuniga Jetty Shoal is a shallow body of water near the entrance to San Diego Bay between Point Loma and Coronado, under the jurisdiction of the California State Lands Commission within the city limits of San Diego and located near from Naval Air Station North Island. Derelict and derelict ships wash up on nearby beaches, especially during and after storms, causing environmental and safety issues. Friend noted that 90 ships have washed up on Navy beaches over the past decade, including 14 recently. Even though there is a two-hour wetting limit, it is still difficult to enforce. Based on the success of a pilot program, the city wants to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the City of San Diego, the Unified Port District of San Diego, and the California State Lands Commission to help resolve this issue. The City of Coronado would contribute $50,000 from the general fund and the City of San Diego would contribute $75,000 to help develop solutions. Emerald Keepers president Amy Steward strongly supported this to help eradicate pollution in the bay. This motion was unanimously approved by the board.
Police Chief Chuck Kaye gave a brief presentation on the military equipment used by the Coronado Police Department, required annually by AB 481. Council Member Donovan specifically asked about the launcher’s capabilities 40mm. Chief Kaye noted that this is a shoulder gun that fires less lethal sponge rounds to incapacitate suspects, which they have only had for a few months and have not not yet used. He said they stay on the cutting edge of the most efficient equipment to use. This order was approved unanimously.
Current exam downtown parking policies was requested by Mayor Bailey to be considered at an upcoming council meeting. The mayor pointed out that the lack of flexibility in current parking policies has unintended consequences. Blue Bridge Hospitality manager David Spatafore, who has been in business here for 24 years, agreed, saying “Let’s talk about it”, noting that parking needs have been onerous and there are underutilized options, such as the Bank of America building. Owner Alex Shaw said he’s open to finding ways to help business owners. Pete Joseph, owner of McP’s Irish Pub, said the parking requirement is outdated and he favors a fresh look. He felt that building B of A was a good alternative. Chamber of Commerce executive director Rena Clancy supported the discussion to help local businesses. Council member Donovan offered to bring this into the outdoor dining conversation, but this motion was unanimously approved, to come back for discussion at a future council meeting.
Robin Hagemann was appointed for the remainder of a term at the Mobility Committee expiring on December 31, 2023.
Scott Metzger was nominated to serve the remainder of one term in Urban planning committee ending on December 31, 2022.
Council Member Sandke recently took a trip to Washington DC and had some positive and not-so-positive highlights to report. He shared that the EPA still seems committed to helping solve the wastewater problem, with Phase I beginning this year. Funds are solicited for the Coronado Bridge suicide fence, and electric tugs arrive as alternative ferry options. He also indicated that the Navy would do nothing regarding additional accommodations on base and talked about staffing for the new Otay Crossing border with pre-determined toll times.