Sat, Mar 02 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Peña
It must have been sometime in the mid 1980s. I was in the administration office of Bonita Vista High School gathering information on the newly opened edifice of education. I saw a tall individual enter the office and someone pointed him out to me as Greg Cox, an instructor and faculty advisor to the Associated Student Body.
For whatever reason, I thought of this the other morning when I sat opposite him at one of the local breakfast emporiums. To paraphrase the walrus of verse, the time had come to talk of many things. Bonitan John Porner and I had arranged for this meeting sometime earlier in the week and, believe me, we talked of many things.
Greg Cox has come a long way from his days at the local high school.
He is a local product, born and raised in Chula Vista, the son of public school educators; hence it is natural that he would seek this as an early career. He left the field of education, however, and entered politics, first as a city councilman and then almost an entire career as mayor of Chula Vista. He left that office and entered politics at the county level being the County Supervisor of the First District for the ensuing years.
The tasks of a supervisor are so diverse and varied that it would take a short novel to cover them all. As president of the board this year it was his task to address the community and bring them up to date with his “State of the County” speech a couple of weeks back. This was given on the hanger deck of the USS Midway museum, an appropriate place, indeed.
Having that storied vessel in his district is an honor, Cox said.
Cox is a champion of many things that are going to be for the good of the community, two of which are of utmost interest to me. One of these is libraries. I recall once interviewing a state assemblyman whose idea of public libraries was a space the size of a telephone booth. There the reading public would come, order his book from the one employee and then in a couple of weeks receive his reading material in the mail. Thankfully that concept never materialized.
Cox tells us that the county has built five new libraries in the past five years and it is in the process of modernizing two others. He believes that even in this digital age libraries are the heart of the community.
We watched, for example, the steps that were taken a few years ago to realize the new Bonita/Sunnyside Library, along with the Bonita Museum that are, today, showcases in the South County.
This seems to be a long way from the telephone booth concept.
As I mentioned earlier John Porner had joined us in these discussions.
Porner’s main interest is in the bike trails, particularly those that have recently been established in our area. Later in the morning Porner took me to various vantage points in this network, that is, those places that could be reached by car.
According to Cox, San Diego is fast becoming one of the best bicycling regions in the nation.
He is working on creating a 24-mile world class bike path around San Diego Bay. This project is more than 60 percent complete.
Another project is a tube that could be built under the Coronado Bay Bridge. This one is a bit more ambitious as it would allow foot traffic as well as bicycles directly under the bridge. There, however, are many agencies that would have to meet with approval for such a venture.
On my travels to the vantage bike stations about South County with Porner we saw many sites that attest to the dedication of Cox and other county officials who are responsible for them.
We also saw countless bicyclists, both men and women, who were taking advantage of these county trails.
Almost made me wish that I could participate. Almost.
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