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Mayor: ‘Much to Celebrate’ in Chula Vista

May 9, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

Mayor of Chula Vista Mary Casillas-Salas during the 2018 State of the City address on Tuesday. Mario A. Cortez/La Prensa San Diego

With much optimism after what she called a “very successful” year, Mayor of Chula Vista Mary Casillas-Salas delivered the 2018 State of the City address before a packed City Council Chambers on Tuesday, May 8.

Celebration was the unifying theme behind the mayoral speech, with the Mayor pointing to the progress being made throughout the City across many sectors.

Casillas-Salas informed attendees of new housing projects in eastern Chula Vista, which include two new affordable housing complexes with more than 200 units for families and seniors, as well as construction of new homes in Chula Vista’s west side.

In business, Mayor Casillas-Salas highlighted the growing economic activity in town and job creation.

She pointed to the signing of ship repair company BAE Systems to a lease on a 110,300-square-foot property on Industrial Boulevard and the now-approved construction of a bayfront hotel and convention center as major actions taken by the city to generate employment

“A world-class resort on our Bayfront will act as a catalyst for more development with new housing, office, retail, restaurants, entertainment, RV parks and acres of public parks,” Casillas-Salas said.

Chula Vista’s historic heart and it’s new life was also mentioned by the Mayor as a boon to the local economy.

“The renaissance of our Third Avenue Village continues with new brew pubs and restaurants, creating a vibrant downtown. Third Avenue Village is alive with Amps & Ales, Lemon Fest, Taste of Third, and the new Village Summer Nights starting in June,” she said.

During the address, the mayor also premiered the new “This is Chula” promotional video, which seeks to draw more visitors to this city through images of outdoor spaces, fine dining, and recreational activities.

The mayor hailed public safety initiatives and local law enforcement for helping keep Chula Vista among the safest large cities in the country despite having the second lowest officer-to-civilian ratio in California.

“Chula Vista is one of the safest cities in the country. This is a testament to the men and women who work in our police and fire departments. Every one of our departments is understaffed and overworked. We recognize that and we express our gratitude for their work,” the mayor stated.

Half-cent tax Measure P was hailed as a big contributor to Chula Vista, with the Mayor naming many improvements throughout the city that have been funded through this ballot initiative.

“Two years ago, we asked the voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to help fix our infrastructure and to replace failing equipment. I am proud to report that we are delivering on the promise we made to our voters,” she said.

Among the projects and resources financed through this tax increase were the reconstruction of over 30 miles of residential streets, the replacement of the 911 Computer Aided Dispatch system used by Chula Vista, the resurfacing of 38 basketball courts and numerous renovations at City facilities.

The measure also allowed for the purchase of 51 police vehicles, three fire trucks, and 15 electric vehicles for the senior volunteer patrol, with the City receiving a major rebate from the State for purchasing the electric vehicles.

The people of Chula Vista were also a big part of this South Bay city’s celebration, with the Mayor extending recognition to local residents who have put Chula Vista on the map.

Among those recognized were Women’s Boston Marathon winner Desiree Davila Linden, Chula Vista Fire Department strike teams, which helped fight fires in Central California, and the over 200 community champions recognized in this year’s City of Champions Ceremony.

In her closing statements, Casillas-Salas declared that city she presides over one which is on the rise and moving forward.

“We are no longer that sleepy, agricultural town full of lemon orchards,” she bolstered. “We are growing, developing, maturing, fulfilling our promise (of) becoming a great 21st century city, a city rising to meet the greatness of its people.”

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