Sunday, February 5, 2023

City Council Swears in John Duncan and Carrie Downey and Honors Bill Sandke and Marvin Heinze for Service

December 20th’s City Council meeting was bittersweet; councilmembers Marvin Heinze and Bill Sandke completed their terms as John Duncan and Carrie Anne Downey were both installed as the newest members of the City Council. 

City Manager Tina Friend provided a few parting words for Marvin Heinze, who had served on the council for four years. 

“Councilmember Heinze, what I’ve appreciated is that you bring such a clear eye and analysis to all your decisions. You are very engineering-focused and problem-solving. The city has really benefited from your great analysis. Councilmember Heinze has also had a very strong fiscal stewardship. I don’t think we had a meeting where we didn’t talk about the budget position for the city and making sure we’re making really sound financial decisions.”

Former councilmember Marvin Heinze.

“Another element I am so grateful for is the connection with the Navy. Councilmember Heinze, as a former Navy captain himself, has been instrumental in my understanding of our great relationship with the Navy and all of our Navy installations. He really helped me understand the culture, dynamic, and the interplay and it’s been so instrumental.”

Perhaps Heinze’s most notable contribution to the City Council was volunteering for the League of California Cities and traveling across the nation to advance Coronado’s issues on not just a county level, but a state-wide and national level. 

In his outgoing statement Marvin Heinze shared, “Thank you to the citizens of Coronado who gave me the opportunity to do this for four years. I have three things that I am leaving for this council to finish. One, I want them to continue to work on relinquishment and get us control of our roads. Secondly, water recycling. And the third, perhaps to me the most important, is continuing to work on our underground infrastructure.”

Councilmember Bill Sandke’s term came to an end after eight years serving on the City Council. 

Friend described, “The incredible richness of history and experience that you brought every day to the council having that deep, deep knowledge and that deep love for Coronado always just struck me. You always led on the dais with your heart first in many ways thinking about Coronado.”

Former councilmember Bill Sandke.

“Councilmember Sandke has also been very effective about reaching across the bridge. You have very seriously cultivated many relationships. I think you did more in hallway conversations than most people could get done in years and years of formal meetings.”

Some of Sandke’s most significant contributions to the council included the Bridge Suicide Barrier Project and Tijuana Water Equality. 

Bill Sandke shared in his closing comments, “I can’t tell you how humbling it is. People talked about leading with my heart and there’s an emotional part of serving my city that I feel is going away. So, I really wanted to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve twice. The challenge you guys have before you was one that Susan Keith described to me a long time ago right before I got elected. She said the decisions you make affect people’s lives. One of the most important things that I’ve learned that some of my favorite policy makers explain is that the ones who can make decisions based on putting themselves in somebody else’s shoes.”

Both Marvin Heinze and Bill Sandke will be missed because of their heartfelt efforts in preserving Coronado and helping to make it a better place.

In light of outgoing members, the meeting also included the installment of John Duncan and Carrie Downey. Both were sworn in and took the seats of the two parting members. 

Councilmember John Duncan is sworn in at the December 20th City Council meeting.

Duncan expressed, “It really is humbling and it is true that when you campaign here and you meet all of the wonderful people of Coronado who work so hard to make our community better, they don’t really ask for anything in return and they just keep showing up. I feel thankful for you and an obligation to conduct myself in honor of what you’ve done before me and to try to do a very good, honorable, hardworking, and civil job on council.”

Councilmember Carrie Downey is sworn in at the December 20th City Council meeting.

Downey also shared, “I greatly appreciate the city of Coronado and all the residents giving me one more try. For those of you that don’t know this will be my fourth time on the city council and it is something that I obviously love doing because I keep going back again and I look forward to serving you. I also look forward to working with you.”

A reception was held after the meeting.


Bella Villarin
Bella Villarin
Bella is a proud military brat who has been a resident of Coronado since 2015. She was born in Japan, and after a short stay in Virginia, traveled extensively throughout Asia while living in Singapore and picking up another language. A junior at Coronado High School, Bella can be found at the driving range or golf course when not in school, studying, writing, playing the guitar, or spending time with her family. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]