Thursday, July 2, 2020

Was Coronado’s “Diplomatic Approach” to the Sewage Crisis the “Correct” Strategy?

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to letters@coronadotimes.com.

Submitted by Daron A. Case, Esq.


Within the last week elected officials in Coronado have blanketed our local news publications and social media with articles titled “Coronado’s Diplomatic Effort Helps Secure $300 Million For Tijuana Sewage Issue.” Mayor Bailey concluded the last City Council meeting by circulating to Council an excerpt of the USMCA deal (the recent trade agreement signed a few weeks ago by President Trump that assigns $300M for remediation of the Tijuana transborder sewage crisis), and stating: “There was a lot of pressure to maybe switch or choose a different strategy, but I think that this outcome that is in front of us now is validation that the strategy this Council unanimously approved was the correct one.”

It is not possible for the public to make an educated determination whether Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” was the “correct” strategy, as the public has not been informed with specific details regarding what exactly Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” entailed. In fact, Coronado had very little if any communication with other stakeholders regarding Coronado’s “diplomatic approach,” which served to irritate just about every sewage activist, sewage NGO, and stakeholder in the region. At tomorrow’s City Council meeting there will be an update from Coronado’s federal lobbyist on the transborder sewage topic. As Coronado is apparently claiming credit in some capacity for the $300M per USMCA deal, then it would be courteous and helpful for our sewage lobbyist and/or City Council to answer the following questions for the public:

  • Are Coronado elected officials claiming credit for the $300M per USMCA deal?
  • If Coronado is claiming credit for the $300M per USMCA, please explain in detail how the $300M would not have happened but for Coronado’s “diplomatic approach.”
  • If the $300M per USMCA would have happened without Coronado’s “diplomatic approach,” why was Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” the “correct” strategy?
  • If Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” was instrumental in securing the $300M per USMCA, why did Coronado not have a representative at the press conference a couple weeks ago when the San Diego delegation celebrated the $300M?
  • If Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” was instrumental in securing the $300M per USMCA, why did Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina at the press conference to celebrate the $300M per USMCA thank everyone in the San Diego delegation except City of Coronado?
  • Why did Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina say in May of last year that Coronado “has done almost nothing to help us and their beaches are almost as polluted as ours?”
  • Until fairly recently, the only details disclosed to the public about Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” was their purported efforts to draft with the County of San Diego legislation titled “U.S.-Mexico Transborder Sewage Protection Act of 2019”… what was the outcome of that proposed legislation?
  • Why has Coronado been so secretive about disclosing specific details regarding their “diplomatic approach” to the public and other stakeholders?
  • Did Coronado organize the recent key meetings at the White House attended by San Diego Mayor Faulconer and IB Mayor Serge Dedina, or is it a more accurate characterization to say Coronado elected officials were tagging along and lucky to be invited to attend?
  • Why will Coronado not declare an emergency for the sewage spills when our beaches are closed due to cross-border pollution? [Cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach have ongoing declarations of emergency for the sewage spills, and Coronado is the city 2nd most adversely affected in the United States by beach closures from cross-border sewage which is the longest ongoing environmental crisis in the nation].
  • Why will Coronado not issue free Nixle alerts for beach closures, when the public is begging for such notifications? https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nixle-alerts-for-beach-closures
  • Many who encouraged Coronado to join a sewage lawsuit suggested Coronado join with a “cap” on expenses of around $100K – $150K. In comparison, how much in total has been spent on Coronado’s federal sewage lobbyist in connection with Coronado’s “diplomatic approach,” and how much taxpayer money has been spent in total to send Coronado elected and public officials to D.C., Mexico and/or Hawaii in connection with the transborder sewage topic?
  • Will the photos of Coronado elected officials in D.C. be used by the relevant elected officials in their 2020 re-election campaigns?
  • If Coronado’s “diplomatic approach” was the “correct” strategy, why do most sewage activists, sewage NGO’s and regional stakeholders feel the approach was at best not enough, or at worst, “almost nothing?”
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Hopefully, the public will get some answers to these and many other questions at tomorrow’s City Council meeting.

Daron A. Case, Esq.
Founder, Coronado Residents Against Poop (CRAP)

 

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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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