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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Commentary—Regional cooperation is key issue for New Year

As we begin 2001, many of the officials representing our region are newly elected or beginning new terms.

All of the candidates , who were motivated by a desire to serve the public , should be commended for their efforts. Those who have been selected to serve should be congratulated and welcomed.

As the San Diego-Tijuana region moves into the 21st century, the need for greater understanding and cooperation among our various communities becomes imperative.

Communication and cooperation will only continue to gain importance as this bi-national region’s population increases. Whether the issue is transportation, affordable housing, a healthy jobs/housing balance, or the metro wastewater system, the cities, the county and our neighbors in Mexico must work in mutual support of one another if we are to maintain , or improve , the quality of life here.

Our quality of life at home and at work extends well beyond any one jurisdiction’s boundaries. Certainly decisions made by one jurisdiction can, and do, affect us all. That’s why the highest level of cooperation is needed at this critical time in our history.

Long gone are the days when a city or other public agency acted without creating a ripple effect in a neighboring community, around the county or across the border. None of us can represent our constituents well if we don’t improve our ability to look at the big picture.

The thousands of tourists from around the world who visit here certainly do not view us as individual cities. Our visitors easily travel across city, county and international borders while staying at a Mission Valley hotel, spending a day at the San Diego Zoo, taking the trolley to Tijuana, enjoying the rides at Legoland in Carlsbad and watching Olympic athletes at the ARCO training center in Chula Vista.

We’re also viewed as one region by the businesses looking to expand or relocate here. Those firms look for available land, water resources, operational costs, etc., on a regional basis. We improve our ability to attract these businesses if we work together.

Another opportunity to pool our resources is in presenting issues to the state and federal government agencies with which we all must interact. Permitting agencies, regulatory agencies, even the legislators themselves tend not to differentiate among individual communities but, rather, to see us as a region. With that in mind, why not find those areas of mutual concern and present them together?

With that in mind, we look forward to having the new mayors , including the mayor of San Diego , take an active role at the San Diego Association of Governments, attending monthly meetings and participating in the annual planning meeting. We’re particularly eager to hear Mayor Dick Murphy’s thoughts on regional transportation issues and hope he will share those with the committee on regionalism being chaired by San Diego City Councilman Byron Wear.

Developing a network of strong relationships among all the mayors and council members of each city in this region, as well as the members of the county Board of Supervisors, is the best way to ensure clear communication and collaboration. That, in turn, allows each agency to develop an understanding of one another’s issues and concerns and to provide valuable resources to benefit the communities within the region.

Chula Vista looks forward to having the opportunity to forge those relationships and working closely with the new administration at San Diego City Hall and in the other communities that make up our dynamic region.

Horton is the mayor of Chula Vista.


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