Imperial Beach is a city of less than 30,000 people, so it goes without saying that local City Council elections won't get as much attention as President Obama and Mitt Romney. But for people who live here, the two people voters choose Tuesday will be important.
They will help decide laws we live by, how to allocate resources and matters of public safety.
That's why, for the final Candidates Q&A question, IB Patch asked "Why should Imperial Beach voters elect you to the City Council?"
For a complete list of questions IB Patch asked City Council candidates, see the Candidates Q&A column.
The citizens of IB should elect me for a second term because I bring a diverse set of skills and a proven track record of getting key decisions to move forward.
Case in point to name a couple, are the Skate Park and the new Pier South Hotel being constructed. My input into the decision process was instrumental in making these projects a reality.
I have lived in IB for 25 years and have lived most of my adult life in beach communities throughout San Diego County. I have a deep understanding of the distinction between "beach" towns and other towns in the region and the importance of protecting and taking advantage of the assets that beach towns have to offer.
In college I studied government and worked as an intern in the City Managers office in Escondido. I worked as a City Planner in the City of Carlsbad and later worked in the City of San Diego Planning Department in the first efforts at redevelopment for downtown San Diego. Later, I worked at the
Comprehensive Planning Organization (the predecessor to the San Diego Association of Governments or SANDAG), in water resources planning at the regional level.
In short, I have a broad understanding of how government works from the inception of ideas to their realization; and have the patience to deal with the process in a realistic manner. Even more significantly, and to my suprise, my experience as a General Contractor over the past 25 years has given me the tools to balance competing demands under adverse circumstances, acheive consensus and find workable solutions to what often seem to be impossible situations.
I am a beach person and a surfer and am passionate about the fact that Imperial Beach is a "community" in the truest sense of the word and that it is a community that stands together to protect what makes it special. The people are the community. The scale and size and casualness and retro-beach town image are what are to be protected.
Imperial Beach, however, has always faced an uphill challenge in terms of economic stability. Simply, the tax base is too small to support a robust and full range of municipal services. Change is inevitable if we are to retain solvency, especially with the State's elimination of Redevelopment. I will do all in my powers to insure that we do not sell the city to the highest bidder or build to the maximum densities possible by changing zoning to greater densities than we already allow.
I will be a good steward of the city's goals and will always encourage quality projects and growth that benefit the community and bring revenues. It is my hope and belief that we will become more solvent as better investments follow the improvements we have already made. It will take time; and it is happening. Your vote of support will allow me to continue to be a positive voice in the direction the city has been and is now moving.
I've been up early and staying out late knocking on doors campaigning. I'm comfortable talking to my community. Having a message that resonates makes it that much easier. It was the first person I spoke to and every single one thereafter that confirmed to me my reason for entering this campaign was the right one.
When residents come to the door I draw attention to the community and the beauty that exists here, sunset's the best time. I then point to commercial districts in other towns where residents go just to enjoy the experience, where traffic is calmed, a place where they feel safe, somewhere with nice restaurants, benches, interesting shops that fit the community, and services for the residents. I then ask how they feel about our commercial corridors. You know the answer, ditto that.
Upon these corridors, such quality businesses must be supported. The existing lack thereof is directly responsible for our current lack of public services, the skyrocketing violent crime rate, and a city that is losing its assets to outsiders.
After eighteen years with a General Plan that is clear about the need for tourism and ancillary services, our corridors are less productive, less safe, and less attractive then they were in 1999. The problem is not our city, it is a lack of vision, will, and experience on the part of our council.
Commercial corridors that reflect the values and composition of the community using creative design strategies are what's expected. Achieving that will require leadership with the vision, experience, and will to provide results, not promises. It will require a voice on the council with the conviction to serve the interests of the community, and only the community.
I will be that voice. My record of working independently on issues on behalf of residents, or supporting the council on key issues and achieving results is documented. 25 years in business and 20 years serving on councils and boards for nonprofits, and a belief in our community to aspire to its full potential, qualifies me to be your next council member.
The voters of Imperial Beach have a right to know their candidates–their qualifications, their experience, and their priorities if elected. Over the past nine weeks, I’ve worked hard to provide that information to help voters make their decision. I thank the hundreds of residents who allowed me the opportunity to speak with them and hear their concerns as I walked through all of our neighborhoods. It was truly an honor.
I have presented my credentials–educator, administrator, lifeguard, EMT, community volunteer, youth advocate, husband and father. I worked hard to earn these credentials and will work equally as hard for the people of Imperial Beach if elected. I believe these qualifications all bring a unique set of skills and an unparalleled breadth and depth of experience to the table.
But serving the community is also about leadership and building consensus within the community and with fellow councilmembers to get the job done. I believe I offer a balanced, fair and thoughtful approach that will be essential for representing Imperial Beach with integrity and respect. I have demonstrated leadership skills, backed by seasoned experience and determination. These qualities will all be critical in preparing our city for the challenges ahead.
As a resident of this city for the past 27 years, I, too, care about the direction we may go. I believe our best days are still ahead. I, like you, want IB to prosper, but also to keep that small-town atmosphere, and be a place our children can be proud to live in decades from now.
Every one of us has not only the opportunity, but also the absolute responsibility to assure a better future for those that follow us. I am dedicated to a single purpose–the betterment of Imperial Beach. I believe I can make a difference and look forward to the opportunity to serve.
I would be honored to have your vote Nov. 6.
Imperial Beach is my home. I am a homeowner, a mother, a taxpayer, a person with an interest in the prosperity of our town. I have a love for this city. I am a real person, one that calls back, one that is accountable to the community, one that has run on her own money and her own ideas.
This experience has brought me closer to the community. I have found what heats them up, what needs to be changed, what areas need more focus. It is something that I do not regret, win or lose. I have learned a new meaning for the word “service.” It is a service that extends beyond the limit of one or two organizations; it is a service that is all encompassing for our community. It is a service you will see me continue.
I will be the champion for the community; the one that brings the community out of our homes and talking to each other, working with each other, for the benefit of the whole. I will work to improve the economics and the livability of our city. I will work to bring business into the city, yet keeping the feel of our small beach town. I will bring a balance that will benefit all.
My four point plan, R.E.E.F: Redevelopment, Economics, Environment, Family encompasses this ideal. Over the past few weeks I have vocalized my plan. It isn’t a quick fix; it requires active participation from our citizens. It is something that in the long run, will help our city and our citizens. You can read my stands on my Facebook page. Please, take a moment to read the position papers there and be an informed voter.
Tuesday is the day that you can make a difference, one that will better our city.
I look at my race to be Your Councilmember in this manner: “A politician thinks of the next election - a statesman of the next generation” - James Freeman Clarke.
I am not a politician, I am your statesman.
Brian Pat Bilbray
First, I just want to thank Khari and the Patch for putting together this forum. Second, I would like to thank the people of Imperial Beach for allowing me the great honor of serving them these past two years. Third, I would like to thank the Deputy Sheriffs Association and Supervisor Greg Cox for their endorsements.
If re-elected, I will continue my fight for clean water. I believe that our beaches should not be closed any longer than any other part of the county. I will do this by using the relationships I have built to put pressure on Mexico City to bring funds back to Tijuana enabling them to upgrade their understructure. I will also continue to fight for public/private partnerships to bring responsible investors into our community. This will upgrade the business districts in our great city and generate much needed revenue to insure essential city services. Last, but not least, I will make sure our kids have a safe and affordable place to enjoy their childhood by fighting to ensure the Imperial Beach Little League and girls softball are guaranteed their rights by grandfathering them into any agreement we make with a third party.
I would be honored to have your consideration Tuesday. Together we will move Imperial Beach into the future. Vote Brian Pat Bilbray on Tuesday: The next generation of leadership.
I am the second generation Imperial Beachian, and there is a third and now a fourth generation with our grandchildren. I have a stake in Imperial Beach to make sure that this city is still here and thriving for my grandchildren, and their grandchildren.
I want what everyone in IB wants.
We want a thriving town with a small town atmosphere. We as a community have to decide in which direction we want to go, and make the best possible solution to get there.
The current City Council has done what they feel is best for the city.
Unfortunately, at this time there is no revenue coming from any of the sources. We have a hotel in construction, we have an empty lot at 9th and Palm, and now there is a vacant space where the El Camino Hotel used to be. It seems that we are destroying some of the things that make IB who it is.
I don't want to see any more empty spaces. I want to see a vision on paper become a vision on Palm Avenue. I want to see the hotel finished, and thriving. Everything we all want for the city.
Lets bring business back to Imperial Beach. Why are they hesitant to come here and open for business. I would like to find that out. I am so excited that Filipi's is coming to our town. This business added to the already great businesses we have along Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach Blvd, and Seacoast is great for the city.
If Imperial Beach is ready to move forward they need to know they have confidence in their city council members, they have elected. Look at who is currently there and decide if a change is needed. Being on the city council will be a challenge and I would like that opportunity. I have learned so much during this journey as a candidate for city council. We as a city must do what is right for our future and i am ready for that job.
I thank everyone who has spoken to me over this campaign and those who gave me good advice. It has been a pleasure meeting and working with all of you. I am for the people of Imperial Beach because I am one of you. Elect me for city council.