3 takeaways from Chula Vista's 2023 State of the City address
Mayor John McCann, the leader of the region’s second largest city, gave his first state of the city address on Tuesday, highlighting the city’s progress and aspirations before a large crowd of business and community leaders, former and current elected officials and residents gathered outside of the Chula Vista Elite Athletic Training Center, on the city’s east side. A flaming cauldron, blue skies and hills served as the backdrop during the mayor’s remarks.
McCann opened by saying this now is Chula Vista's decade.
“We are now the economic driver for the region, now building San Diego County,” Mayor McCann said.
McCann was elected to office last year. His election comes at a time where numerous construction projects are underway, and are expected to boost the economy.
Development underway: Bayfront hotel and 'UniverCity'
The mayor said the city is building the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center, a 535-acre project along the city’s west side. The project has been decades in the making and is expected to create thousands of jobs.
He also mentioned the groundbreaking for the construction of a new library on the east side of the city as part of the larger "UniverCity" project, an effort to attract one or several higher education institutions to the city.
Upcoming projects: Chula Vista Woman’s Club and Filipino American Veterans Memorial Park
Mayor McCann also said he would like the city to restore the Chula Vista Woman’s Club, a popular and affordable event center built in the 1920’s which he said is in need of improvements. He also said the city will honor Filipino veterans by naming a park in Otay Ranch the "Filipino American Veterans Memorial Park."
Oscar Garcia, the president of the Filipino-American Military Officers Association, who attended the State of the City said he was excited to hear the news about the park.
“It really means a lot more than I can even imagine. Because as far as I know, this is the very first one in the county in San Diego. I hope that this will be realized soon,” Garcia said.
Ongoing issues: Homelessness, police staffing and 911 response times
McCann also said the city continues to prioritize projects to tackle homelessness, including the creation of a homeless outreach team in 2016, the opening of the city’s first shelter with 65 units and a recent vote in favor of the city purchasing a hotel to provide permanent supportive housing which will include providing a parking lot for those who live in their cars. Progress on these projects comes as the city has also seen a rise in the number of people who are unhoused.
The mayor also said addressing the police staffing challenges was a priority. He said the city won an important accomplishment by approving a pay raise for police officers.
McCann said the city is also working to improve response call times for 911 emergency calls by improving efficiency in technology. The city is connecting "streetlights to communicate with our first responders," McCann said.
Watch McCann's full speech below.