Editor: The following is by Councilman Ed Harris of District 2 of the City Council. Harris represents the following communities: Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and other communities. His term representing the District ends in early December 2014.
By Councilman Ed Harris
As summer wraps up and the second half of my council term gets under way, I wanted to share some information and provide you with an update from my City Council District 2 office.
- Illegal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries — Last month when I met with representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, Neighborhood Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, I learned there were 63 illegal marijuana dispensaries that remained open in the city, with 17 of those located in District 2. Neighborhood Code Enforcement and the City Attorney’s Office are actively working on getting these storefronts closed. Since that meeting, the city has closed the dispensary adjacent to St. Brigid Church on Cass Street. Progress is being made, but this process is time consuming and often involves months of litigation. At my request, city staff will report on current efforts to close down illegally operating dispensaries during the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Council Committee meeting on Sept. 18.
- DecoBikes — While I’m excited about the bike-sharing program DecoBike coming to San Diego, I am concerned that some community groups feel disenfranchised by the bike-station location selection process due to a lack of effective communication between the stakeholders. I am encouraged to know, however, that DecoBike will be meeting with District 2 community groups to explain the rationale behind each proposed bike station location. I support what the residents of District 2 want and am optimistic DecoBike will give thoughtful consideration to the community’s feedback.
- Illegal Newspaper Racks — It has been called to my attention a number of Pacific Beach’s newspaper racks are not permitted and/or are not being properly maintained. On Friday, Aug. 22 from 2 to 4 p.m., my staff and I will join community members to commence an audit of illegal newspaper racks installed on Garnet Avenue, from Jewell Street to Mission Boulevard. The data compiled during the audit will include locations, types and operators of noncompliant newspaper racks and will be provided to Neighborhood Code Enforcement for purposes of noticing and citing. If you would like to join us for the Aug. 22 audit, please contact Tarrant Seautelle of my office at (619) 235-5281 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Public Safety in Ocean Beach — With the generous donation from the company SIDUS, my office secured two additional security cameras which were recently installed on the San Diego Police Department trailer in the parking lot at the foot of Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Those cameras, along with sign-age indicating the cameras are operational, are installed to deter disruptive and sometimes illegal behavior taking place along the seawall. I am told by community leaders the cameras are making a difference.
- Mission Beach Flies — Thanks to business leaders, community members and the City, there has been a strong response to help control the fly problem in Mission Beach. More trash is being securely bagged and more signage is up in businesses and vacation rentals to educate people on steps they can take to help reduce the fly population. Additionally, the city is issuing more violation notices for trash that is not property bagged. With additional hot weeks ahead, I would encourage everyone to tightly tie up their trash bags and secure trash bins inside garages to avoid scavenging.
- Get Involved — Finally, if you’re free on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 7 to 8 p.m., I’ll be at Yogurt on the Rocks at 1886 Garnet Avenue for a community dessert to meet with constituents and hear their concerns. I hope you’ll be able to attend. With a goal of improving the quality of life in District 2, I know great things can happen when residents are engaged in their community. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to represent you.