The Optimists Club of Coronado hosted the final forum for Council Candidates Thursday October 25th. President Ahern introduced the candidates, and the forum was moderated by Optimist member, Bruce Johnson. The candidates were limited to one minute responses, with the time checked by Michael Napolitano. The forum opened with candidate statements followed by five prepared questions, questions from the audience, and final statements. The welcoming atmosphere and light-heartedness of the Optimist Club seemed to put the candidates at ease. Overall the forum was enjoyable, well-executed, and extremely informative. The questions addressed the following:
1) Top two priorities if elected for Woiwode, Bailey, and Roesch are maintaining a balanced budget and solving the traffic problem. Keith prioritized overbuilding and code enforcement while McPherson also emphasized overbuilding and readdressing the beach policy.
2) All the candidates agreed that the city budget is on the right track. They all emphasized the need to keep the budget balanced and allocate funds wisely.
3) The candidates agreed that RSIP codes should be revisited and more workshops to gain more feedback from residents are absolutely necessary.
4) Unanimous decision that carpooling is the best solution for the current traffic issue. Improvement of bike lanes would also aid the problem.
5) All candidates agreed the need to maintain the character of Coronado and keep it a family town with strong sense of community. Bailey, McPherson, and Roesch argued that despite changes over time the council can work to maintain the Village of Coronado. Woiwode argued that ensuring that the building codes promote houses compatible with the community and more people/less traffic should be priority of the vision. Keith emphasized the importance of historic reservation.
The questions from the audience provided important information about current affairs.
6) An audience member asked about revisiting the idea of a toll on the bridge. Woiwode responded that SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) would be able to charge a maximum of $1.50, however, Coronado is a small percentage of SANDAG and getting other cities of San Diego to agree to reinstate a toll would be difficult. There are also regulations for tolls on bridges in California, where the cost of the toll must significantly contribute to the maintenance of the bridge and could bring the cost to $5. He was the only candidate to respond.
7) The second question addressed what was to be done about CoraMart. Roesch responded that she had tried to get a Goodwill to take the empty space, however, Coronado did not accept the decision. Woiwode mentioned that the owner of CoraMart expressed interest upon observing the planning and development of Walgreens which indicates the owner’s interest to use the space.
8) The final question was a simple yes or no for the Transient Occupancy Tax. McPherson responded no, Bailey was neutral, and the rest of the candidates said yes.
The last forum is on November 1st between the Mayoral Candidates. Get the details here.
To gain more information about the Candidates and their platforms click here. Don’t forget to vote November 6th!
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