2022 election: Q&A with Jill Galvez, Chula Vista mayoral candidate
There are six candidates on the June 7 poll operating to be mayor of Chula Vista, San Diego County’s second-largest metropolis. They’re businessman Ammar Campa-Najjar, U.S. Military Maj. Spencer Money, neighborhood faculty govt Zaneta Encarnacion, Chula Vista Councilmember/businesswoman Jill Galvez, Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann and businessman Rudy Ramirez. The highest two vote-getters will advance to a Nov. 8 runoff election. The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board despatched every a 12-question survey and is publishing their responses right here.
When you have feedback or questions in regards to the election or any of the candidates after studying this interview, please e mail Editorial and Opinion Director Matthew T. Corridor at [email protected].
Beneath are Jill Galvez’s responses and a hyperlink to different responses.
Q: Price outgoing Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. What was her largest accomplishment? What did she most neglect?
A: Mayor Casillas Salas has served our metropolis with distinction and integrity for many years. It’s positively not a straightforward job, being a public servant. However Mary makes it look easy.
Mary’s largest accomplishment will probably be getting the bayfront groundbreaking of the Gaylord Resort and conference heart over the end line. We’re so shut!
We’re grateful to Mayor Casillas Salas for the brand new outside library deck on the Civic Heart Library, her dedication to renovate Historic Third Avenue, all the stunning parks and open areas we take pleasure in all through east, west, north and south Chula Vista, and her dedication to protect the 375 acres in east Chula Vista for our future college.
Most uncared for: previous councils, together with throughout Mary’s phrases on the council and her first time period as mayor, had uncared for to completely fund our metropolis’s pension obligations for previous staff. In 2019, Chula Vista had a $350 million unfunded pension obligation debt, owed to the California Public Workers’ Retirement System, from years of underfunding worker pensions. Our metropolis was making interest-only funds at 7 %. We have been dealing with future escalating funds that will have despatched our metropolis into chapter 11 in 2028. Fortuitously, starting in fiscal yr 2020, we tightened our belts, worker unions linked arms and accepted a 0 % increase for a yr, and we refinanced our debt at an unprecedented rate of two.54 % web, with a 24-year time period and a robust reserve coverage.
I’m trying ahead to throwing Mayor Casillas Salas a beautiful social gathering to thank her for her years of service to Chula Vista.
Q: How would you charge the Chula Vista Police Division? What are its strengths and/or weaknesses? Would you prefer growing or reducing its funds and why?
A: A+++. There isn’t any finer Police Division than Chula Vista’s!
We have now the very best officers, brokers, sergeants, lieutenants, captains and police chief. The very proficient staff who help our Police Division in the whole lot from information, fleet, data know-how, police know-how, coaching, finance, forensics and extra are the perfect of their area.
However we want extra law enforcement officials. We want extra boots on the bottom, deterring dashing drivers, investigating smaller crimes that typically are low-priority, conserving our metropolis secure always. We aren’t shut to completely staffing public security to the extent that our neighborhood expects: 281 officers.
In 2018, our residents handed Measure A, a half-cent gross sales tax, meant to extend police and hearth staffing. We should not let our public down. It has been nearly 4 years since Measure A has handed, and we have to rent extra law enforcement officials.
Q: How would you method police use of surveillance equivalent to drones and license plate readers?
A: Chula Vista’s public security drones have positively saved lives. They arrive on scene quicker than an officer might and supply particulars and intelligence to assist officers make the perfect selections in sophisticated and demanding conditions.
Our drones additionally assist in areas that police automobiles can’t simply attain or patrol, equivalent to open areas, canyons and locations with out roads. An additional benefit to our neighborhood is that Chula Vista Police Division drones are comparatively quiet, not like the sheriff’s ASTREA helicopters that are typically very loud and disruptive, alarming pets, young children, seniors and folk with sensory sensitivity.
Automated license plate reader (ALPR) know-how entails cameras which can be hooked up to a small variety of Chula Vista police automobiles. ALPRs mechanically scan car license plates to assist notify officers of automobiles which can be on excessive alert, together with stolen automobiles, automobiles needed in reference to a violent crime, and automobiles from different elements of our very massive state and area that could be flagged for AMBER alerts.
In the event you’ve ever accompanied Chula Vista law enforcement officials for a patrol shift, it’s simple to grasp what number of duties and particulars have to be dealt with directly, safely, whereas they drive and reply to calls and stories. I can’t think about how troublesome it should have been for officers earlier than ALPR know-how.
Chula Vista has just lately shaped a Expertise and Privateness Advisory Process Power to totally focus on privateness points as they relate to know-how that our police and different departments use to serve our neighborhood.
Q: The median dwelling value in Chula Vista is $732,500. How would you method housing improvement in Chula Vista and encourage affordability amid the housing disaster?
A: It is extremely unhappy to see how dramatically dwelling costs have elevated over the previous two years. Younger households are being priced out of the market. A $732,500 mortgage for 30 years at 5 % curiosity would imply a mortgage fee of $3,930 per thirty days! Rates of interest proceed to rise, and for a lot of households, stepping into a house that they will name their very own looks like making an attempt to catch a tiger by its tail.
I feel the dramatic escalation of housing costs lately was brought on by various elements, together with many individuals shifting to Chula Vista from San Francisco Bay and different areas, very low rates of interest that have been out there all all through 2020-2021, the truth that many seniors didn’t really feel comfy shifting into assisted residing or care services throughout two years of COVID-19 (decreasing the traditional turnover of housing stock), and low housing stock to start with.
Chula Vista might do a greater job at automating and streamlining the allowing course of in order that the precise time it takes to construct a for-purchase house is diminished. In development, time and delays price cash, and we should always all the time be aware of that.
I’m hoping that new inexpensive senior housing tasks which can be at the moment within the works come available on the market rapidly, in order that these of us who stay in properties which can be too massive to take care of can downsize into comfy areas that mounted incomes can afford. We’re at the moment working in the direction of extra inexpensive senior housing tasks on either side of Interstate 805 in Chula Vista.
Q: What particularly would you do to deal with homelessness in Chula Vista?
A: Chula Vista has 792 complete people who’re thought-about homeless, 120 are sheltered, 672 are thought-about “unsheltered,” with 350 of these people utilizing our housing voucher packages in local hotels.
Later this summer time, we are going to open a tiny village of transitional housing close to Broadway Avenue, south of Most important Road. It’s positioned adjoining to one of many three massive areas of Chula Vista the place most homeless stay, often called the Otay River Backside.
We bought 66 climate-controlled non-public pallet items that may home as much as 138 previously unsheltered people, together with small households, seniors and people employed by Chula Vista’s Work for Hope program, who’ve been restoring Chula Vista public park bogs and services.
The brand new tiny village can have two multipurpose services, actual bogs and showers. An on-site social providers company (Metropolis Web) will help residents, present safety and encourage residents to tackle and share new tasks, together with cleansing, gardening and different purposeful duties.
Residents will set targets for themselves, and it’s our hope that they’ll discover the transition to everlasting, unbiased housing simpler, and have extra confidence of their capacity to stay housed.
We encourage our neighborhood, native church buildings, charitable organizations and repair teams to hitch us in serving to the residents of our first tiny village succeed. If our new tiny village is profitable, we should always start instantly to contemplate one other tiny village adjoining to the well-known homeless encampment close to I-805 often called “the jungle.”
Q: Chula Vista adopted a Local weather Motion Plan in 2017 and declared a local weather emergency this yr. However progress is gradual. In 2018, town had extra greenhouse gasoline emissions from native government-related operations than 2016. How will you guarantee local weather targets are realized?
A: Lengthy commutes to work are the only largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in our area, in line with the San Diego Association of Governments.
We have to cease altering zoning from industrial to residential in Chula Vista in order that Chula Vistans have good-paying jobs, nearer to dwelling.
I used to be just lately on the dropping finish of a 4-1 vote to rezone a big parcel instantly adjoining to the north aspect of the Otay Landfill south of Olympic Parkway from industrial to residential.
Our Planning Fee voted unanimously in opposition to the rezoning, however my colleagues on the council voted 4-1 to remove the potential for a future jobs heart.
It might have been useful to have a “greenhouse gasoline” calculator to evaluate the impression that rezone can have on our metropolis, with the elimination of a future jobs heart and the addition to a whole lot of latest commuters on the street, becoming a member of the hundreds who go away Chula Vista every day for work.
Chula Vista’s fleet of greater than 700 automobiles must be inspired to take the “greenest route” between factors in our metropolis — even when it means paying the toll on state Route 125.
We should always supply the power to compost organics at metropolis services and parks all through Chula Vista.
The challenge I spearheaded — free door-to-door electrical shuttle transportation for seniors of 55 years or older in Chula Vista (launching mid-Might) — can and will probably be replicated all through town once I’m elected mayor.
Q: There’s a notion that japanese Chula Vista, which is wealthier, will get extra assets and a spotlight from Metropolis Corridor than western Chula Vista. How would you make sure that all neighborhoods are handled the identical?
A: Jap Chula Vista has funding sources built-in with open area charges and park improvement impression charges. It’s newer, constructed after state legal guidelines required set asides for parks in new improvement. Jap Chula Vista additionally comprises extra householders associations, with areas maintained and landscaped with charges assessed to every dwelling unit.
We’ve labored actually arduous to search out new funding sources to renovate western Chula Vista parks. We have been just lately awarded $9.2 million in State Parks grants to fully renovate Eucalyptus Park and construct a brand new pocket park (Patty Davis Park) in Northwest Chula Vista. The Rock Church and Vulcan Supplies together with Group Growth Block Grant grant funding helped renovate an missed park referred to as Lancerlot Park in western Chula Vista. Our Measure P gross sales tax has funded the reconstruction of the Loma Verde Recreation Heart, at the moment below development, the renovation of the Norman Park Senior Heart and outside train facility, and put in a brand new roof on the Chula Vista Girl’s Membership. And the Civic Heart library has a brand new outside deck that has reworked using our library.
Jap Chula Vista’s hearth stations have been the latest in our metropolis till just lately, once we opened two new hearth stations on the west aspect, due to Measure P funds.
As the subsequent mayor of Chula Vista, I’d very a lot sit up for working with new council members with contemporary concepts on easy methods to steadiness assets so that each one Chula Vistans really feel cared for and necessary.
Q: How would you’ve dealt with the Chula Vista trash strike and the way would you deal with municipal franchise payment agreements going ahead?
A: The trash strike was one of many largest failures of management we now have ever seen in Chula Vista.
On Dec. 17, Republic trash haulers went on strike, three days after the final Chula Vista Metropolis Council assembly of the yr on Dec. 14 and 25 days earlier than the subsequent assembly on Jan. 11.
Our mayor didn’t name a council assembly to declare a public well being state of emergency, as Huntington Seashore’s mayor did. Huntington Seashore’s trash strike lasted 4 days in comparison with 30 days in Chula Vista.
I referred to as for a public well being state of emergency after realizing that metropolis management was dragging its toes in the course of the trash strike. I actively reached out to residents and companies all through Chula Vista to search out out if their trash was being picked up or not, documenting pictures, complaints and experiences. I adopted by way of with each resident and enterprise to make sure that Republic’s very small crew of non permanent employees picked up the mounds of rubbish that that they had missed and returned to do the job.
Throughout an emergency, a frontrunner must act swiftly and decisively, in the perfect pursuits of well being and security of her neighborhood.
I commit that as mayor, I’d by no means permit the well being of Chula Vista to be in danger. I’d maintain our municipal franchise companion accountable always. I’d struggle for what is true for our metropolis, and can swiftly levy fines and penalties on any firm that doesn’t do proper by Chula Vista.
Q: What, if any, taxes do you help growing?
A: I don’t help any extra tax will increase. Individuals are actually struggling below the burden of inflation and taxes. It’s time to be fiscally conservative and prudent, and never make any errors.
Q: How would you’re employed to develop the Chula Vista Bayfront and the way necessary is the way forward for that in your imaginative and prescient of town?
A: The way forward for the Chula Vista Bayfront could be very thrilling and necessary to your complete San Diego area.
Our Chula Vista Bayfront is crucial improvement on your complete West Coast! It’s greater than 500 acres of contiguous bayfront land, master-planned, surrounded by protected wildlife areas, stunning parks, the glowing San Diego Bay, clear blue Chula Vista skies above and spectacular sunsets at nightfall.
Our anchor tenant, five-star luxurious resort Gaylord Resort and Conference Heart, will probably be nestled between the Chula Vista and California Yacht Marinas and the all the time thrilling Marine Group Boatworks (a big vessel full-service shipyard, a part of our working waterfront). The foyer ground of the Gaylord Resort will probably be 30 toes above the present floor on the website. Panoramic views of the bay, the Pacific Ocean, Mount San Miguel, Downtown San Diego and Mexico will probably be breathtaking.
Quickly after the Gaylord Resort is full (in three years), the Pacifica challenge with condominiums, retail, eating places and extra facilities will start planning in earnest.
The brand new Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade, the Bayshore Bikeway, a brand new pier and present parks, plus $25 million in new parks — the Harbor Park and the Sweetwater Park — will be sure that Chula Vistans will all the time have entry and be welcomed on the bayfront.
Excessive-tech employers Collins Aerospace and Raytheon stay an necessary and important a part of our strategic plan. Native, high-paying jobs in Chula Vista, significantly within the high-tech sector, will proceed to cluster and develop in Chula Vista.
Q: Efforts to deliver a college to Chula Vista have been mentioned for years. Would you’re employed towards establishing one, and the way?
A: Universities are born with both federal and state help or with large endowments, large concepts and passionate leaders.
We have now tried to entice the California State College system to open Chula Vista State College. There are already two Cal State faculties in our county — San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos. However it’s seemingly that the subsequent Cal State will probably be in Northern California.
We have now tried to persuade the College of California system to launch a second UC in the identical county — one thing that will not even be doable in line with its constitution.
The 2 most necessary steps Chula Vista can take right now that may deliver us nearer to reaching our long-sought purpose of a four-year college are: 1) Make investments CARES Act funding and procure grants to organize our college parcel for improvement, together with grading, roads, storm drains, sewer, water and utilities; and a pair of) Launch a college endowment and search the very best philanthropic help from a decided group of legacy donors.
We are able to additionally construct on the work we now have performed to make sure that the innovation district, integral to the college challenge, is seeded with high-tech, progressive corporations on the lookout for a piece campus that’s completely located with housing, retail, parks and different facilities within the close by Millenia and HomeFed villages.
Q: What can be one other high precedence for you, apart from those you’ve mentioned above?
A: My ardour challenge over the past three-plus years has been designing, funding, and implementing a free, door-to-door electrical shuttle service for seniors 55 or older in northwest Chula Vista.
Seniors in northwest Chula Vista are sometimes remoted of their properties. If they will nonetheless drive, they discover themselves unable to search out parking close to locations they go to. If they will’t drive, they’re depending on household, buddies, costly taxis or Ubers, or complicated bus schedules.
With the assistance of metropolis workers, some very dedicated do-gooders, and our working companion circuit, we acquired a $1 million grant from the Group Congregational Growth Corp. and a $1 million grant from the California Clear Mobility Choices program. We bought six electrical shuttle automobiles, together with one van with a ramp that may accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, and 5 sedans for conventional wants passengers.
The brand new service, referred to as the Chula Vista Group Shuttle, begins this month. When referred to as (through the Circuit app in your smartphone) it can decide up seniors 55 and older Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., inside a couple of minutes of calling the shuttle from the app. Common, acquainted drivers referred to as Circuit ambassadors will solely have the ability to decide up and drop off in a three-mile radius space in northwest Chula Vista.
It’s my intention to increase the service with further grant funding to each a part of Chula Vista, and sooner or later embody individuals of all ages, significantly college students, to assist alleviate the necessity for a number of automobiles in a family.