Saturday, September 30, 2023

Council Considers Cays Park Planning Options, Issues Multiple Proclamations

The Coronado City Council meeting on May 16 was filled with proclamations, an additional Cays Park option, historic alteration permit approval, and council committee reports. Mayor Richard Bailey, just back from his trek to Mt. Everest, began with a proclamation to Lead Worker for Parks, Special Services, and Urban Forestry Dino Camberos and Director of Public Services and Engineering Leon Firsht to honor National Public Works Week, May 21 through 27. The mayor urged residents to pay tribute to our Public Services and Engineering Department employees to recognize the contributions they make in protecting our national health, safety, and quality of life.

John D. Spreckels Center Recreation Services Supervisor Dana Welch and Coronado Senior Association Board Member Cindi Sanders received the Mayoral Proclamation for Older Americans Month, which is celebrated in May. The mayor noted that Coronado works to build a better community for older residents by planning programs that encourage independence, hosting activities, and increasing awareness and access to services. Coronado will celebrate National Senior Health & Fitness Day on Wednesday, May 31 at 10:15 am as seniors walk one mile on Orange Avenue. Come out and cheer them on!

The Peace Officers’ Memorial Day proclamation was accepted by police officers Matt Argandona, Lexi Rude, and Grace Del Bagnno, who is also the School Resource Officer.  May 15 has been designated as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day to honor the fallen men and women of law enforcement who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty; and to recognize the hazardous work and serious responsibilities of our nation’s peace officers.  Coronado pays tribute to Lieutenant Frank Greene, killed in the line of duty on October 12, 1954. A county-wide commemoration ceremony was held on May 3 at the San Diego County Administration Center.

Cays Park Master Plan

Additional alternatives were proposed for the Cays Park Master Plan, which began back in 2019, was put on hold during the pandemic, and restarted in April 2022. In January 2023, Schmidt Design Group was selected to design the project, and they are working with the city team comprised of Assistant City Manager Tony Winney, Director of Public Services and Engineering Leon Firsht, and Golf and Recreation Services Director Tim Farmer. The current direction is to produce conceptual plans for 1) maintaining 100 percent of current active field space; 2) maintain 75 percent of current active field space and 25 percent passive space; and 3) maintain 50 percent of current active field space and 50 percent passive space. The Coronado Cays Homeowners Association (HOA) asked that another design option be considered with 25 percent of current active field space. Based on this, City Manager Tina Friend outlined the three choices for council approval:

  1. Continue with the 100/75/50 percent active field space approach at no added cost.
  2. Add a fourth design option of 25 percent of active space for an additional $13,200.
  3. Swap the 100 percent plan with the 25 percent plan for a $2500 additional expense.

During public comment, Coronado Cays HOA General Manager Henry Angelino spoke in favor of option three, which he felt would improve the process to benefit all of Coronado. Two members of the soccer leagues said that they do not support the 25 percent choice and that it will adversely affect all youth sports. All of the council members weighed in with support of option two, stating that the more options, the more informed their decision will be. They unanimously approved it, with the additional budget costs of $20,000 for the changes and added expenses to translate the survey into Spanish and additional community outreach.

Friend outlined the Cays Park Master Plan timeline stating that small stakeholder group meetings began in February, with the official public outreach campaign kicking off next week with a video, website, and community survey. Based on feedback, conceptual plans will be ready in July, and then summer public workshops, pop-up events, and community meetings will be held, with the master plan slated for completion by January 2024.

For more on the Cays Park Master Plan, visit the city website here.

Associate Planner Tricia Olsen gave an overview on a historic alteration permit request for 1027 F Avenue. The home was historically designated in 2014 and received Mills Act designation in 2019 with the caveat that the solar panels be moved out of view within 10 years to meet the criteria, which will be done in this remodeling project. The project also includes exterior paint and other modifications to the garage and carriage house, first and second floors, and roofing modifications. This project came with approval from the Historic Resource Commission (HRC) and the permit was unanimously approved by the council.

Friend shared that the semi-annual Avenue of Heroes celebration will be held on Saturday, May 20, at Coronado Performing Arts Center at 10:30 am. Fifteen “hometown heroes” will be honored as part of the program’s 16th group., with 230 service members recognized since 2014. Banners for the honorees will be displayed beginning the week of May 15 through October 2023 along the “Coronado Avenue of Heroes,” located on Third and Fourth Streets from Orange Avenue to Naval Air Station North Island.

Friend also pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SANDAG regarding planning for a regional beach sand project, approved on the consent calendar, will look at sand loss for the coastal region. For Coronado, it will include Coronado beaches, as well as looking at Grand Caribe Isle for the first time. The estimated cost for Coronado is $14,200 for initial planning activities.

New City Clerk Kelsea Holian

After an extensive search, Friend announced that Kelsea Holian, MMC, CPM, has been named as the new Coronado City Clerk, officially starting on May 20. Holian has served as the Deputy City Clerk for one year, and has eight years of public sector experience, most with the City of Coronado. A Certified Municipal Clerk, Master Municipal Clerk, and Certified Public Manager, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from SDSU and is currently completing her Master of Public Administration. Prior to serving as Deputy City Clerk for the City of Coronado, she worked for the City of Peoria, Arizona, where she oversaw the administration of elections, boards, and commissions, and partnered with analysts and lobbyists from the Arizona League of Cities to analyze proposed legislation and its impact on municipal clerks. Friend highlighted that Holian is passionate about civic engagement and facilitating the adoption of innovative technology to modernize public administration and increase openness of government. Holian has spent most of her life in San Diego and enjoys snowboarding, calligraphy, and car projects.

Oral Communication

Luis Padilla from the Del Mar Fairgrounds announced that the San Diego County Fair is just three weeks away and will be fully back this year with the theme “Get Out There”. Something unique this year is a “Get Out There Challenge” where participants visit parks, take selfies, and visit the fair to receive a commemorative pin and other prizes. He invited everyone to enjoy this cherished San Diego tradition with its fun food options like deep fried s’mores and peanut butter and jelly chicken sandwiches, to name a few, concerts and performances by Train, Kevin Hart, and an all-star lineup. For details, visit

Board Member Andrew Gade shared that the annual Coronado Fourth of July celebration is just seven weeks away. They are looking for volunteers and have sponsorship opportunities available to help pull off this amazing day, filled with the 74th annual parade, fireworks, and other festivities. For more info:

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rena Clancy thanked the council for the community grant that made the 2nd annual Art & Wine Festival possible. She said that surrounding businesses reported a huge surge in business from the successful event.

Bill Pate expressed concern about the prolonged intersection closure at 8th Street and Coronado Avenue due to the ongoing Parker Pump Station project.

Councilmember John Duncan mentioned that the 26th annual Rotary Low Tide Ride and Stride is coming up on June 24.  For more information, visit

During the inter-agency committee council reports, Councilmember Tanaka shared that he and Councilmember Downey attended the Winn Room update meeting, and the committee is currently refining five options that should be available for public input by this summer.

Councilmember Duncan commented on the SANDAG annual budget that passed on May 12, noting that he voted in favor of it, but was not apprised that several North County and East County cities were not supportive. He also said that the SANDAG independent auditor recently released a scathing report on how SANDAG is run, so stayed tuned for details on that. He also said that the new Bayshore Bikeway extension from Imperial Beach to the border is projected to cost $9.653 million, which came from active transportation funds and state funding. Due to increases, in part, due to addressing safety concerns, SANDAG went back for $14 million. Duncan attended the USMCA EPA trans-border sewage meeting on May 4, where IBWC Commissioner Maria-Elena Giner said that their federal budget had been cut from $50 million to $35 million. Duncan also attended the Metro Wastewater JPA Board’s tour of the Pure Water facility. Currently, sewage from Coronado goes to the Pt. Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, but potentially 100 percent of our sewage will go to the new Pure Water facility and be converted to tap water, cleaner than what comes out of the tap now. But, because of people’s concern about “toilet to tap”, the water will be funneled to reservoirs. He noted that sewage has become a commodity.

The next city council meeting will be held on June 6, 2023.

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]