Celebrating people and accomplishments was the theme of this week’s City Council meeting. From retiring Librarians and Fire Engineers to outgoing and incoming City Council Members, and the meeting ended with a honorary reception.
Mayor Richard Bailey acknowledged the accomplishments of Christian Esquevin, Director of Library Services since 1988, overseeing a department of 11 full-time employees, as well as a team of part-time employees and volunteers who help create and manage programs, and maintain the Library’s extensive collection of books, magazines, newspapers, videos and special collections. During his tenure, he oversaw an expansion and remodel of the facility, and completed a digitization project that placed the local newspaper collection from 1887 to 2013 online. He also helped introduce e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines, Wi-Fi, web courses, streaming videos and e-publishing and genealogy resources. He started the Library Summer Festival 19 years ago and the Holiday Animated Window 23 years ago. He was also awarded the “Jewel in Our Crown” award by the Coronado Historical Association and was named “Coronado Citizen of the Year’ by Coronado Private Bank in 2016. The Council voted Cynthia Smith as the new Interim Directory of Library Services.
Mayor Bailey honored Eric Hingeley, Fire Engineer, for his 30 years of service to the Coronado Fire Department and proclaimed December 18, 2018 as “Eric Hingeley Day.” He was recognized for his many responsibilities, including serving as a CPR instructor, as Terrorism Liaison Officer, Urban Search and Rescue Team Member, Learn Not to Bum Program Manager, and member of the City’s Safety Committee; also Acting Fire Captain and helping with special events.
After 18 years in Coronado politics, and 12 years on the City Council, Carrie Downey’s exemplary service was recognized by regional and local leaders including: Assemblymember Todd Gloria, County Supervisor Greg Cox, Naval Base Coronado Commanding Officer Captain Slentz, SANDAG Chief Deputy Executive Director Kim Kwadda, Port of San Diego Director of Communications Ronald Powell, Mayor Bailey, Councilmembers, and her family, including husband Elton Inada, daughter Samantha Yim, and father Bob Downey.
Current Councilmember Bill Sandke was sworn in for a new term by City Clerk Mary Clifford. He thanked the public for their continued support and was honored to have his dad Bill in the audience to support him and mentioned that his wife Tami was unable to attend due to Rotary commitments.
New Councilmember Marvin Heinze was sworn in by City Clerk Mary Clifford. He was pleased to have his mother-in-law and friends in the audience and said that unfortunately his wife Jill couldn’t attend being half way around the world in Afghanistan.
City Manager Blair King presented a Storm Event Report for the torrential rain that occurred on December 6, 2018. He noted that Coronado received 4.04 inches of rain in six hours, based on the Golf Course weather station. The flash flooding exceeded the City’s stormwater drainage capacity and caused an SDG&E power outage of more than 1000 homes. The City provided sand bags to residents for storm needs, and their response included 57 employees being deployed for storm needs and clean-up. Emergency Services handled 67 storm related calls with 20 disabled vehicles.
An “Emergency Operations Center” was activated at 7:16 p.m., and a ‘Declaration of Local Emergency” was issued at 12:03 a.m. on December 7. King discussed the impact and damage, which is estimated at $200,000, and included:
- Extensive street flooding
- Public Facilities and Infrastructure
- John D. Spreckels Center inundated with two inches of water
- Gold Course maintenance facility was flooded with approximately two and a half feet of water
- The Library suffered water damage due to leaks
- The Community Center had water damage
- Both City Hall and the Police Department Buildings had leaks
- Bayshore Bikeway at Fiddler’s Cove
- Various pot holes and sink holes
- Pump station electrical equipment
- Sidewalk at Avenida del Sol cul-de-sac
- Damage to residential and business private properties
King pointed out that he was proud of the City personnel for their response to this storm emergency and praised them for still hosting the Snow Mountain and Parade the very next day.
City Manager King also gave a presentation highlighting the City and Council’s Accomplishments for 2018, including:
- Adopted a balanced budget for fiscal year 2018-19
- Oversaw a year-end with $2,665,415 in excess General Fund revenues over expenditures
- Set aside an additional $2,150,000 for pension stabilization
- Set aside an additional $2.7 million for major facilities replacement
- Set aside $500,000 for Historic Preservation Reserve
- Provided tax breaks via 39 Mills Act Agreements for 28 properties and modified the Historic Resource designation process
- Approved refinancing of $120,990,000 that will result in a gross savings of $44 million (present value savings of $15 million) and accelerate the dissolution of the Successor Agency by eight years
- City maintained AAA rating with S&P and improved the Successor Agency’s S&P rating
- Through the Council’s lobbying efforts, secured a congressional directive to analyze the impact of border sewage in the Department of Defense budget
- Requested SANDAG reprogram $25 million of TransNet funds
- Reaffirmed commitment to improve playgrounds with barrier free equipment
- Approved the purchase of beach accessibility mats
- Approved the purchase of a new Police Command Vehicle and new Police Department patrol vehicles and other devices
- Approved improvements to the Police Department Dispatch Center
- Approved emergency response medical kits for all public schools and buildings
- Directed the upgrade of the emergency alert system
- Approved Fire Station upgrades
- Supported preliminary steps to underground overhead utilities
- Oversaw and approved community celebrations
- Approved the concept of the Third and Fourth Streets Improvement Project
- Approved the bid for new signals at Fourth and Alameda
- Approved awarding contract for Cays Causeway repair
- Appropriated funds to begin the reconstruction of the Parker Pump Station
- Approved long term maintenance for the Transbay pump station
- Approved improvements for the Little League Field
- Purchased new trash receptacles for the Commercial District
- Continued to fund the Commuter Ferry and Free Summer Shuttle
- Approved a new concessionaire at the Golf Course
- Approved a contract with Host Compliance to assist with enforcement of short-term vacation rentals
- Completed the Silver Strand Fencing Project
- Received Vietnam War Commemoration Partner Status
- Approved temporary public art for the CoraMart Building
- Completed modifications to the skate Park for scooter riders
- Approved the purchase of innovative parade security bollards
- Adopted an Active Transportation Plan
- Adopted new ordinances for basement and wireless communication projects
- Initiated preparation of Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Climate Action Plans
- Expanded the public library hours, upgraded the HVAC system and endorsed the Community Read
- Agreed that the operations plan for the Community Pool needs to be updated.
- Approved removal of hazardous trees at Spreckels Park
- Maintained the title Tree City UA for the 33rd consecutive year
- Approved planting of 40 new trees
- Approved the rehabilitation of 35 low income housing units
The Council also voted unanimously to amend the City Manager’s employment agreement to reflect an eight percent increase in base salary and an annual contribution in the amount of $6,000 to a qualified Retirement Plan.