In his first sit-down interview since winning the local mayoral election, Coronado Mayor-elect Richard Bailey addresses the community, candidly discusses why he ran for office, and speaks of his vision for Coronado.
“Coronado has only elected two mayors in the last 20 years, so as the votes came in and it became apparent that I was going to be the next mayor, it felt like a tremendous honor to be trusted by the voters for that responsibility.”
There’s no denying it, Bailey ran a strong and competitive campaign over the past year. Whether his name was splashed across the city in residents’ yards or you saw pictures from, or attended, one of his many meet and greets; it was clear that many voters were eager to back a councilman that was not only passionate about his community, but that they felt listened to the concerns of residents.
“I think the community is very fortunate that in this election we had two candidates that gave voters someone to vote for. I have the utmost respect for Carrie Downey, and we are very fortunate that she is going to be serving on the City Council for years to come, and I think she is going to continue to be an asset for our city. I’m looking forward to working with her. To all of her supporters and all of my supporters, I just want to say thank you so much for really believing in us and believing in Coronado and getting behind two candidates that both share a very similar vision for making our city a better place to live.”
As a young boy, Bailey didn’t dream of becoming mayor of a city. In fact, he says, he always aspired to be a person who could make a dramatic impact on the lives of others.
“I think like most of our other local elected leaders, that desire started from really wanting to make our city an even better place to live. I’m just trying to figure out where I could have the biggest impact and that led me to run for city council, back in 2012, and, subsequently, run for mayor, this time around.”
“Because I was elected in 2012, I was up at the end of my first term, so I had the choice to either run for re-election to the city council or decide to run for mayor. Ultimately, for me, the decision just came down to where can I have the biggest impact for the city. I thought that would be the position of mayor, and so I’ve tried to put forth a good campaign and see if that resonated with the voters. Fortunately, it did.”
As for what his main priorities are once assuming office, Bailey says traffic enforcement and improving traffic safety, in general, are at the top of his list.
“We are going to continue to work with Caltrans and the Navy to reconfigure the traffic signal sequencing down at the Amphibious base. I’d also like to see the city council take on reducing cross-through traffic on Second Street during the morning rush hours. And, we are right on the cusp of approving a traffic signal somewhere on Fourth Street, either on base or right at the corner of Alameda and Fourth. I think that is going to go a long way to reducing cross-though traffic throughout the entire corridor and also help traffic queue up on Base versus on Fourth Street.”
Two council meetings will take place before Bailey is sworn in as Mayor of Coronado on December 20, 2016.