(Editor’s Note: The following commentary is in response to our Editorial on the Mayoral race for National City, published October 27, 2006.)
This Tuesday the election for Mayor of the city of National City is about an obvious choice between the status quo in our city given two candidates for mayor, Ron Morrison and Michael Dalla (that have nearly fifty-years at City Hall) or me, Pearl Quinones a candidate for Mayor that is currently serving on our Sweetwater School Board.
While living in National City, I put myself through school while raising my son and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University. I also am a twice-elected public servant, school counselor and a 26-year National City resident, homeowner and single parent that raised my family here in National City
I have often said on the doorsteps of voters and at numerous candidate forums in National City, “If you like our city the way it is with our crime rates that are the highest in the county and a tax rate that is also the highest, you can vote for either Ron Morrison or Michael Dalla, but if you want real change at City Hall given a mayor that has a track record of fiscal discipline and a real plan to fight crime in our city, then you can vote for me.”
My detractors say that the record at the Sweetwater School District in which I serve is mixed with questions concerning the appropriate spending of Prop BB bond monies and discontent amongst some of the community given the remodeling of National City Middle School.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Allow me to offer the FACTS:
FACT #1: The issue concerning the spending of prop BB bond monies to renovate South Bay schools was closely examined and NO wrong doing was found; that’s part of the official record. Since my time on the Sweetwater School Board there have been at least 3 community committee meetings per individual school site involving parents, community-members, students and school administrators, prior to renovations. That public involvement in our decision-making at the District ensures that our community is getting THEIR priorities built into our schools that teach our children.
FACT #2: The work on our schools with Prop BB monies is 11 years ahead of schedule saving our district and South Bay taxpayers $72 million dollars in construction escalation costs and secured another $80 million dollars in state matching funds for our school district.
FACT #3: During my term on the Sweetwater School Board our school district was recognized by the San Diego County Taxpayer Association as on of the four finalists (out of 100 nominees) for the “Golden Watchdog Award” for PROPER use of taxpayer funds.
All I can say to the detractors is please look at the facts and not the politics that make up these allegations. Our school district is an open book and with our new Superintendent, Dr. Jesus M. Gandara, I would invite the community to call either Dr. Gandara or myself to get more of the facts on how we are serving our kids with their education, their parents and the National City community as a whole.
Putting the politics aside, all of us in National City know that this election is critical to all of us. The FACTS are City Hall has failed us! We have prostitutes freely walking our streets in front of our homes and in front of parents and their families. We have the highest violent crime and property theft rate in the county and the number of sexual predators that call National City home is a danger to our youth and all of us. This must CHANGE and change NOW! I have a plan to do just that and I ask my opponents in this race for mayor, where’s your plan? The fact is they don’t have one.
The status quo at City Hall clearly doesn’t work when we consider that the tax rate in National City is the highest in the county and there is no plan as to how we lower that tax to make our local businesses more competitive. My opponents talk about massive development projects given outside investment as a possible way to stabilize our economy. Clearly, they have not studied market economics or understand that the #1 priority in our city must be to better protect our neighborhoods and streets now!
This positive change in our environment would create the safe atmosphere for our residents, our kids and added investment needed to stabilize our economy. Build it and they will come simply won’t work. Our challenge as a city is to identify funding nowwithout added taxesand prioritize our current spending on the public’s safety.
My plan to fight crime reclaims and identifies existing resources that will immediately add more police officers to give back our neighborhoods and streets to our residents and not the criminals. Please go to: pearl4mayor.com and get a copy of my crime plan or you can call me at 619-479-1988 and I will see that you get a copy.
On election-day we have the chance to change our city and make our streets safer for all of us and our families. I ask for your trust and your vote for Mayor of National City this Tuesday, November 7th.
Candidate for Mayor of National City