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Mayor touts city’s walkability Robert Moreno | Sat, Nov 04 2017 12:00 PM

National City is not the city it was two decades ago.

That was the message National City Mayor Ron Morrison delivered last week in his 11th annual State of the City Address at Cornerstone Church of San Diego.

Standing on the stage for a little more than an hour, Morrison touted some of the improvements the city has made under his leadership.

Morrison said despite being the densest city in the county, National City has been able to improve its streets and sidewalks.

“We’ve been recognized on a countywide basis of being the most walkable town and the most bike friendly town,” he said. “Twenty years ago, that was not on anyone’s radar screen.”

According to Circulate San Diego’s 2015 Regional Walk Scorecard, National City was deemed one of the best cities in the county for walkability. The scorecard praised National City for adding pedestrian-friendly facilities and amenities throughout the city.

Morrison added that in the last seven years, the city has installed seven miles of urban bike paths around National City’s portion of the Bayshore Bikeway

National City is trying to meet the housing need with the new Downtown Specific Plan that recreated National City’s downtown area. The new plan, he said, allows for about 4,000 homes to be built on National City Boulevard along with 100 units of affordable housing.

He said the city needs to make sure there is the right housing balance. He said the city cannot have too much market-rate housing or too much affordable housing.

New businesses are coming to National City. Morrison said a CarMax will soon open next to Plaza Bonita and the city is in negotiations for developing a hotel in the same area.

He said the city finished signing paperwork to bring an Amazon distribution center to the city which will create hundreds of jobs.

The new businesses, Morrison said, are expected to bring more jobs to National City.

Morrison said while National City is doing well, there are a few things he is concerned about, especially the long-term financial future of the city.

“An issue we may have is a statewide problem,” he said. “That is the pension problem that is before us.”

Morrison said the city has to be careful what it spends and how it spends money. He said he does not want to drain all the city’s finances in a few years.

Despite all of this, Morrison did not mention public safety or the homeless population in his address. In a telephone interview, the mayor said over the years the relationship between police officers and the community has changed. He said 20 years ago relationships were strained but now the community and its police officers have a better relationship.

Morrison also added how firefighters can improve their response times with a new unit at El Toyon Park.

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Kevinbuddholde Says:

Sat, Nov 04 2017 11:57 PM

Vote for Francisco Tomayo! Next National City Mayor! We need more democrats!

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