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Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

PUBLISHER’S NOTEBOOK — San Diego’s World-Class Status Grows

Amazing is the only word I can think of that describes the continued growth of America’s Finest City, the first great city of the 2lst century.

Amazing because no matter what we do to ourselves we prosper. Fortunately, we have overcome nearly every single impediment thrown in our way to vault into this new century with nearly every other community in the country wishing they were San Diego.

How many cities have an average temperature of 67 degrees year-round, tout a world class zoo, Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld, Legoland California amusement park, the largest military complex in the free world, more than 2,000 technology companies, four Fortune 500 companies, six in-residence Nobel laureates and more than 60 members of the National Science Foundation conducting research? On top of that, we also have a major league baseball team, professional football team, a winning International League hockey team, and more than half a dozen highly rated colleges and universities?

None! No other city has all of our ingredients or the prospect of having all of them anytime soon. Admittedly, other cities have things we don’t have but everyone looks at this region as the model for the 21st century.

A recently released report by the Small Business Administration touts San Diego as a national model of excellence in development of high-tech clusters. The report indicates more than 107 percent of San Diego’s payroll growth from l990 to l998 was created by small high-tech companies, overcoming the continued decline of the defense industry and dwarfing the growth in all other business sectors.

This report not only verifies my comments about the role this region is playing in the nation, it also solidifies the rationale for Nokia, Intel, Gateway, Erickson and others to locate major facilities here. San Diego is where the action is really happening.

With all the good things happening, we have and will continue to have problems. Problems with an aging sewer and water delivery system, affordable-housing shortages, traffic, crowded schools, an airport too small to handle our growth , the list goes on. While these items sometimes seem to overwhelm us, they aren’t fatal to our economy. It is easy to identify problems; what we are short of is leadership to bring about the needed solutions.

There is never a shortage of NIMBYs and naysayers, but even they serve a purpose. As a philosopher once said, “Everyone is vital to our well-being; even fools and troublemakers have value, as they can be used as bad examples.”

But in reality the vocal minority provide a service because they cause us to focus more clearly and pay more attention to problems and not take them for granted.

I am a true believer that everything that happens to us and around us is occurring for a reason. The problem with success or progress is the circuitous route we need to take to get where we are supposed to go. In other words, the road to success is always under construction.

Consider this short allegory:

A farmer who had a quarrelsome family, after trying in vain to reconcile them by words, thought he might more readily prevail by an example. So he called his sons and told them to lay a bunch of sticks before him. Then, having tied the sticks in a bundle, he told the lads, one after another, to take it up and break it. They all tried, but tried in vain. Then, untying the bundle, he gave them the sticks to break one by one. This they did with the greatest of ease. Then, said the father, “Thus, my sons, as long as you remain united, you are a match for all your enemies, but differ and separate, and you are undone.”

, Adapted from Manager’s Legal Bulletin

That says it all. If we stand united in our goals of progress and problem-solving, we will continue to be the role model for the nation and become the first great city of the 21st century.

To the balance sheet.

Credit: To the U.S. Marines for trying to serve all masters in solving the helicopter noise problems that arrived with the move of the El Toro based 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The Marines were placed immediately in a no-win situation when they arrived. But through countless battles and lawsuits, they have reached a conclusion that satisfies many citizens , not all of course , and still provides for safe flying conditions for their aircrews.

Yes I am a retired Marine, but I still believe that Marine Corps officials did their level-best to try and satisfy everyone and not compromise safety. I don’t believe they have quit trying to deal with this situation and will continue to find the best solutions as time goes on. For the record, I live 500 yards off the Interstate 15 corridor in Escondido and live with the noise like everyone else. We should all remember freedom is what our nation is built on and every once in a while we are called on to put up with its inconveniences.

Debit: To San Diego City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings for, of all things, stalling. In my opinion, she has done nothing illegal in her current stock flap, but she is certainly hurting San Diego’s ability to issue bonds for the East Village redevelopment project and others as well by staying in office and creating a negative cloud over all decisions on the project. While she is waiting for the government agencies that are looking into the matter to finish their investigations and vindicate her, she is hurting the region. She should resign and state that she did so because of the perception of the stock issue and not that she is guilty of any wrongdoing. Leadership is what she was elected to provide, and she can do that with her immediate resignation so the city can proceed with the matters at hand.

Credit: To the San Diego City Council for approving the McMillin Co.’s plans for the old Naval Training Center. I served on the closure committee for nearly two years and it seems like a decade since the committee adjourned. I salute Corky McMillin for taking on a politically charged project as he nears the twilight of his career. His sons have Corky’s spirit as they will be the ones charged with finishing the project. Serving so many masters in this project will be tricky for the McMillin Co., but if any company can do it, it is Corky and company. I salute Corky for his vision and the council for its vote.


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