To understand Coronado City Council candidate Ron Hauser’s primary motivation for seeking civic office, you need to know that in 2013 architect Lew Dominy proposed a two-mile bike and pedestrian pathway under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.
Subsequently, the County of San Diego approved a $75,000 feasibility study to explore this proposal. This ABC 10 News Story offers a clear explanation of the proposed project.
Candidate Hauser’s response to this bicycle and pedestrian bridge is a solid “No.”
Hauser acknowledges that it would be pleasant for bikers, runners, and tourists; however, he asserts that it will also be pleasant for the homeless. Hauser states: “I am specifically worried about the transients and homeless, … drug users and alcoholics would probably be a part of this group.”
Referencing the movie Field of Dreams, Hauser opined that “if you build it they will come.” Meaning that if the bike tube is built, the shopping cart wheels of the homeless will be rolling down into Coronado as much as bicyclists.
After 20 years in law enforcement with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Hauser reflects: “I don’t want Coronado to be a camp site for the homeless where they can beg, become a public nuisance and receive public services.”
Hauser noted that we have 12 documented homeless people in Coronado. He doesn’t want Coronado to become like San Francisco or parts of San Diego where homelessness is an “epidemic: petty theft, aggressive behavior with residents,” etc.
Hauser notes that the construction of the bike tube would force Coronado to use tax dollars to provide services for any increased indigent population.
The County feasibility study has not been finalized yet, but is expected within weeks rather than months. Supervisor Greg Cox is interested in the proposal but will not take a position “for” or “against” until the study is completed. Supervisor Cox’s office assured The Coronado Times that as soon as the study is completed, we will be notified.
Hauser believes that no matter what the feasibility study says, the City of Coronado should start a drumbeat against this idea. He’s concerned that if someone doesn’t start talking about this, someone else is going to “push [the idea] through.”
As far as other matters related to his candidacy, Hauser identifies himself as a “law and order” candidate.
Hauser stated, “I believe we should hire [more] PSOs (support officers) who cost much less and can handle minor, non-injury traffic accidents and minor petty theft crimes where there is no suspect information available.”
He offers that more patrol cars on 3rd and 4th Streets would slow down traffic speeds.
When I asked Hauser if we had any “broken windows” in Coronado, he told an anecdote of two “large dogs urinating on the sidewalk in front of a patio full of diners and the owners laughing, not apologizing and making no attempt to clean up the mess,” forcing an employee to clean up the mess.
He noted that some of our alleys have trash, weeds, and old mattresses while other alleys are a delight. He also mentioned “loud car stereos and loud motorcycles riding up and down the streets.”
In my interview, it seemed that tourism, the role of the Coronado Tourism Improvement District, and issues related to the historical designation of homes, were not issues that Hauser has focused on so far.
Hauser did express that he is “frustrated that the city spends money on repeated studies to appease the public and then doesn’t follow up on the recommendations.”
He was light-hearted about the Pokemon phenomena on Orange Avenue, noting that his granddaughter enjoyed joining the crowds during a recent visit.
He is supportive of lighting the bridge, and also of nets – if the nets really would deter people from the idea of jumping. He noted that there are fences on the Laurel Street Bridge in Balboa Park, but said that the fences exist so that suicide attempts don’t interrupt traffic, more than anything else.
A resident for a little over a year, Hauser believes Coronado is a jewel. He admires the arts and culture, noting in particular the success of the Coronado Film Festival.
If you are looking for a “law and order” candidate, one who eschews “political correctness,” and one who will make stopping any forward motion on the bike-tube pathway a number one priority, Ron Hauser is your candidate.