Q&A | ‘Retired’ Coronado City Manager (Mark Ochenduszko)

    Mark Ochenduszko, Coronado’s city manager since 1999, retired this week after his third stint with the city. As a 21-year-old senior at San Diego State University, Ochenduszko, now 54, completed an unpaid internship with Coronado. He later served as the city’s director of administrative services and director of human resources before leaving the city in 1991 to become assistant city manager in Temecula. After serving as a city manager in the Northern California city of Campbell and the Los Angeles-area city of Cypress, Ochenduszko returned to Coronado in 1999 to fill the city manager’s role here.

    An avid surfer, Ochenduszko plans to continue enjoying Coronado’s beaches, but only as a “regular citizen.”

    We recently talked to Ochenduszko about his tenure with Coronado and his future.

    QUESTION: What obstacles have you faced as Coronado city manager?

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    ANSWER: It’s always been a challenge to maintain fiscal stability while building. We have had a large number of capital projects that we’ve started while I’ve been here. But we’re a pretty conservative city. That has enabled us to avoid the fiscal challenges facing other cities and complete many capital projects.

    QUESTION: What are among your greatest accomplishments?

    ANSWER: There are two projects I can think of since we began a major building program. The Glorietta Bay Master Plan has really benefited the community and was good for Coronado. The other one was the transbay sewer line. We replaced the old line. It’s not the kind of thing that excites people. Most don’t see it, but it is necessary and could have been an environmental hazard. We also initiated the paramedic medical response program in 2001. That means a higher level of medical care on all emergency calls. There’s also been a growth in recreation. The new community center has enabled us to do a lot of things we weren’t able to do before.

    QUESTION: What are the city’s plans with a possible crosstown tunnel aimed at easing traffic congestion?

    ANSWER: It’s a big project. I’m pleased to say that most of the money we’ve spent ($13.5 million) was from federal and regional sources. It’s certainly a very big idea for this community, but traffic is this city’s biggest problem. A ballot measure will be on the June ballot that will allow this community to learn more about the tunnel and other alternatives. I think it’s going to be a turning point. It’s good for the community. It’s a pretty expensive project, and it’s going to take a lot of support.

    Read the entire Union Tribune article here.

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