Those are a couple of the words that come to mind when I find myself thinking of National City lately.
And while they don’t tickle the imagination of would-be visitors the way chamber of commerce types would like them too, they do capture the spirit of the city these last couple years.
In April 2020 National City was the first city in the county to mandate face coverings in public settings.
Grouse, protest, stamp your feet and howl all you want now about having to wear masks in public, but recognize that at that early stage of the pandemic the protocol was the right call. It sent a message that leadership was doing what it could to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among its near 60,000 residents.
The city—one of the hardest hit by the pandemic—has been at the front of mitigation efforts, from masking and social distancing policies to testing and vaccine rollouts.
Lately, when National City decides to do something, well, it does it.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised, stunned actually, when in December last year—amidst the frenzy of holiday madness and Omicron (Delta?) surges—the city council decided to switch to district elections.
In Chula Vista when the question of district voting came up the contentious issue ultimately was decided by voters in 2012, preceded by healthy debate, discussion and arguments.
To my knowledge National City’s move toward districts was prompted by a November threat of a lawsuit made by attorney Audie de Castro.
Not a lot of public discourse took place from Point A to Point B.
While not opposed to district elections in National City I’m not convinced a city so relatively small and nimble is in dire need of leadership selection by region. Of course, regardless of size a municipality’s needs can be as varied as the people who call it home. It would have been a nice conversation to have.
Nevertheless, here we are.
The first public hearing about the new districting was Thursday and the first public workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5. A final map is supposed to be decided on by Spring this year. Life comes at you fast when you’re decisive. We’ll see how much resilience is needed.