Mayor Bailey Responds to Criticism Regarding Spreckels Park Signage

Proposed design of new sign to be installed by February or March of 2019 in Spreckels Park.

In the last city council meeting, a new community sign was approved for the Spreckels Park location at the corner of Sixth Street and Orange Avenue. It will include all organizations that are on the current sign, as well as those on the sign at the intersection of Third Street and Orange Avenue (photos of current signs are shown below). In February of 2018, City Manager Blair King was interviewed to discuss the possible removal and replacement of the sign.

Some members of the community took to social media to criticize replacing the current sign:

Coronado resident Kirk Horvath posted this comment to numerous Facebook groups:

Does this sleepy little town know that our council just approved the removal of our Church Directory Sign for this one? Does this town understand what’s really going on here? Our council tried to secretly remove it awhile back and was caught red handed. The removal had no merit whatsoever. Now, they’re covering up their unethical behavior back then with what they call an “update” to the sign. Total BS. Bailey and council know it and they should be ashamed. If this town doesn’t stand up like we did awhile back, we also should be ashamed. I’ve written council on this matter and if you give a damn, you should as well. Tell them our Church Directory Sign is fine just the way it is.

Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey published the below in response to the discussion taking place on Facebook:

There has been a great deal of discussion and speculation concerning the church directory located in Spreckels Park. 

Earlier this year, in effort to avoid potential First Amendment legal challenges and, in the interest of not spending taxpayer dollars on an unwinnable lawsuit, the City began the process of updating the directory at Sixth Street and Orange Avenue. 

While the City was in the process of contacting all of the churches and then notifying the general public of the situation, a post on Facebook, without proper context, preempted the City’s notification and outreach efforts. The post, made by a member of the public with no direct knowledge of the situation, was grossly inaccurate and irresponsible. 

This preemption resulted in misinformation, speculation, and concern from many. 

City leadership including myself and City Manager Blair King met with the Coronado Council of Churches to brief them on the situation and seek their input several months ago. The Coronado Council of Churches drafted a letter in support of the city’s actions. 

This redesign effort will ensure our signage is informative and representative by incorporating our community’s civic, social, faith-based and philanthropic organizations. 

Once again, leaders of the church community were consulted with and are supportive of the city’s direction. The public was notified of this council agenda item five days in advance of the council meeting. The city council voted unanimously 5-0 to update the sign as pictured. 

There was never any effort to conceal this action from the public nor was there ever a unilateral decision to remove the sign by me, any councilmember, or city staff member. Any suggestion to the contrary without evidence only serves to spread misinformation. 

The new directory/signage will be installed in February or March of 2019. 

Personally, as a person of faith, with close ties to many church leaders in our community, I was disappointed we were placed in this position and I would have preferred to see the sign remain. I know other councilmembers felt the same. 

However, as Mayor, I have an obligation to make decisions, even difficult ones like these, that are legally defensible and in the best interest of our community. 

The new directory/signage will be installed in February or March of 2019. 

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

Mayor Richard Bailey
Phone: (619) 522-7320

Current sign in Spreckels Park at 6th Street and Orange Avenue.  This sign is being replaced.
Current sign at 3rd Street and Orange Avenue.  This sign is not being replaced.

Related Articles:

Community Sign Removal Centers Around Inclusion

“Church Directory” Sign Removal Causes Uproar – Mayor Bailey Releases Statement

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