Describe your agenda for the next four years. How would you use the special powers granted to the mayor to move your agenda forward?
Cheryl Cox: As the leader of the city, I will continue to work with the City Council to accomplish the following:
Maintain financial discipline
Protect public safety, roads, parks and libraries
Champion bayfront improvement and the University Park
Support local businesses and jobs
Practice responsibility, honesty and fairness
Steve Castaneda: I have four priorities:
1. Responsible spending
Oppose pension buy-outs
2. Creating local jobs
Attract green energy jobs
Promote bayfront and University
3. Public safety
Quicker response times
Reduce wild fire risk
4. Chula Vista's Neighborhoods
Protect our character
Demand neighborhood improvements
Improve neighborhood safety
Jorge Dominguez: My agenda for my first four years is to truly balance the budget, not just pretend. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul as the present administration is doing is really not balancing the budget. Chula Vista is in a real financial mess which can only be solved by expanding our revenue sources; that is, our ability to bring in money. The bayfront is of course the catalyst that can start our economic engine. The new mayor is in a unique position to make this happen through hard work and influence. This is simply a matter of daily focus and perseverance. There are far too many elements involved in accomplishing this one important project to mention here. But I assure our citizens that I will not rest until every approach for fulfilling this goal is explored and acted upon.
What specific steps would you take to move bayfront development forward?
Castaneda: Over the last four years efforts to promote our bayfront have been missing. We must have a defined vision that will help us realize our goal. I will work with our community, the Port and others in the creation of a bayfront that serves us all.
Dominguez: I will move the bayfront project forward by making this the focus and keeping the plan simple. The present administration has not been able to move this project forward in six years. First, what is key is to get everyone on the City Council on board, we must work as a team. Agreeing that this project is a priority and must get done is something that the City Council must understand and get in unison with. Obtaining all the regulatory clearances is second, this is under way. Thirdly, we must find investors. This is not as hard as some people believe and I already have several potential investors in mind. I assure you, Chula Vistans, unlike the present administration, under my leadership we will get this done!
Cox: After obtaining the required entitlements from the Port, State Lands Commission and Coastal Commission, I will begin an aggressive program to bring in a master developer for the bayfront who can build and has the ability to finance a long-awaited bayfront that Chula Vista deserves.
What specific steps would you take to bring more jobs to Chula Vista?
Dominguez: Creating jobs is part of what must happen to bring financial stability to Chula Vista so we can again begin to focus on improving the quality of life for our residents. What this means is that we must proactively go out and court the right businesses. Why this hasn't been done is a mystery. After all, Chula Vista has everything a business could want ... an international location, a large work force and plenty of real estate to develop business facilities. Part of my business development plan includes bringing all the major players in town together, which includes a partial list of the Chamber of Commerce and existing businesses. Our agenda will be to discuss the type of business we want to bring to our town and then go out and get them. Bringing the correct businesses is a major concern for maintaining our quality of life. After we make key decisions about the business direction that we want to follow we begin an active campaign to go out and bring these businesses to Chula Vista. Finally I will insist that our local educational institutions put into place training programs tailored to the type of business we bring to town. This will be part of our sell, that we will provide a trained, knowledgeable workforce so that businesses can hit the ground running while at the same time providing training and employment opportunities for our residents.
Cox: I will continue working with my council colleagues to ensure that the city's permitting and regulatory processing is accomplished in an expeditious, thorough manner that helps business avoid unnecessary delays and assures employers that they will be welcomed and have advocates for job opportunities in Chula Vista.
Castaneda: Our challenge is maintaining our public safety and neighborhood services while aggressively pursuing good jobs for our citizens. We must revive efforts to assist and promote local business. City services that serve businesses must be more accessible. We must establish ourselves as an effective and beneficial partner with local business.