Issues Facing the City of San Diego - 2005 Fourth Quarter
George R. Najjar
To remain America’s Finest City, we must:
Reorganize City Hall – I promise to enforce the Brown Act, which requires meetings of public bodies to be "open and public." I will not participate in secret governmental actions. The City Council is charged with the duty to prudently manage City funds. To this end, I promise to trim the council budget and reorganize the council staff by replacing useless, high salaried political staff with objective skilled professionals (an economist and an engineer, for example) capable of properly analyzing and advising me on the complex issues facing our district and city today. I will also insist that the City Council follow the law and annually balance the budget.
Save the Mount Soledad Cross – San Diegans have twice voted to save the cross, but our representatives refuse to listen. The people are tired of our representatives telling us over–and–over why they can’t do something because it is “unconstitutional.” We need representatives who will instead find the “constitutional” solution. I promise to carry out your instructions and find a legal way to keep this part of San Diego history.
Better Manage Traffic, Parking and Growth – San Diegans already voted for slow, intelligent growth, but our representatives refuse to listen. To reduce congestion, one–way streets, diagonal parking and discreetly placed revenue–generating City owned parking structures (not ugly parking meters) must be considered, especially near the beaches. Additionally, I will evaluate every proposed project as follows:
- Will the project add to our long–term revenue base?
- What are the negative environmental impacts of the project?
- What are the burdens the project will place on the existing infrastructure?
Preserve San Diego’s Environment – It is why we all live here, and it is the soul of our tourism industry. San Diegans are all environmentalists. Our elected representatives must always demand for us the cleanest water, land and air.
Increase Public Safety Citywide, Especially at our Beaches – The drinking of alcoholic beverages on and near the beaches by non–residents negatively affects our living areas, and overburdens our police, fire and lifeguard services. San Diegans already voted to not ban alcohol on the beaches, so we must increase police services in these areas.
Increase the Tax–On–Tourists – We must raise the Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT), which taxes only tourists, to raise revenue. Our TOT is lower than the national standard.
Stem Illegal Immigration – Our system cannot continue to carry this burden. I will press the federal government to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, and to reimburse San Diego for the services we provide to them.
Provide Low–Cost Housing – Cheaply constructed, overpriced condominium projects only contribute to overcrowding and infrastructure overload. Developers must be required to include true low–income housing with every proposed major project. Especially needed in this City are low–cost three bedroom units for families.
Participate in CAFTA – The newly ratified Central American Free Trade Agreement promotes trade liberalization between the United States and five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. We must take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the Pacific rim shipping industry, without burdening our environment and without compromising national security. We must also make sure that the CAFTA workers in Central America are properly paid and protected.
Preserve MCRD – MCRD means so much to the thousands of men and women who have passed through its gates. These buildings are as important to San Diego history as is Old Town, and must be preserved.