Mayor Casey Tanaka will seek a second term as mayor of Coronado, an admission he offered in response to a query he hosted with San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox.
“This is not a formal announcement,” he told the questioner, but “yes, I am running.”
His answer came during a give-and-take with three residents over their ongoing concerns about s, a new restaurant in the neighborhood. Tanaka urged them to fight if they weren’t happy with City Council decisions.
“Continue to speak out against us,” he said. “The best way to change policy is to maintain that pressure.”
He reminded the 20 people who attended the coffee that two council seats and the mayor's seat are up for election in the fall. Councilwoman Carrie Downey already has announced that she will not seek another term.
To complaints that the restaurant was violating the city’s noise ordinance by playing music late into the night Tanaka said to “call the police and document that,” an action he has urged the same residents to take when the complaint has come before council.
The mayor and the supervisor were at to give their constituents updates on city and county business. Cox, who represents Coronado on the Board of Supervisors, is also up for re-election; his race is on the June primary ballot.
Both he and Tanaka reported that the city and county are in sound fiscal shape. The city's two main sources of revenue remain solid: Property taxes are holding steady and hotel taxes are up slightly.
“Our house is in order and we are sailing in the right direction,” he said.
The county too is fiscally sound, Cox said, and is one of two counties in the state with a AAA bond rating, allowing for borrowing at favorable rates.
Not that the county does much borrowing.
“We try to pay cash whenever possible,” he said. “In doing so, we have saved our children and grandchildren over $1 billion in interest payments.”
On the down side, Tanaka bemoaned . The greatest loss in all this, he said, besides the funding of future projects, will be sacrificing millions loaned to the Coronado Hospital Foundation.
The city had banked on redevelopment money to repay the loan.
“Were going to fight hard, but I’m pessimistic about the outcome,” the mayor said.
The county’s main challenge, as Cox sees it, is the state’s decision to house nonviolent criminals in county jails.
He advocated alternatives to incarceration, such as ankle bracelets for monitoring and home stays and rehab for drug offenders. The state is also shifting health and human services responsibilities to the counties without full funding, “further straining local sources,” Cox explained.