Jim Eckel, San Clemente
San Clemente needs City Council members who possess the aptitude, experience and conviction to help lead it into the future. A very important area of our city is our charming downtown. As a property owner and former downtown business owner, I can tell you that maintaining our downtown charm is a top priority of both business and property owners.
As a resident of twenty years, I can assure you there were times when our downtown may have appeared charming, but it was definitely not profitable for business or property owners. As with any downtown area, there has been and will always be turnover, which can be a healthy exercise in regeneration. However, it was not that long ago that the word “charming” was not your first thought when describing downtown. For most of the nineties, our downtown barely limped along and business turnover was very high. Fortunately, in recent years, beginning with Dave Donaldson’s Beachfire Grill restaurant, the downtown has thrived with the additions of Nick’s, The Shore, Mimosa’s, and South of Nick’s.
However, there are challenges ahead for the economic viability of downtown in the form of increased retail competition from the future Marblehead outlet mall. We need to encourage sensible business development for downtown by resisting heavy-handed measures such as building height restrictions that would halt our upward momentum and sabotage our chances for sustained growth.
Mike Mortenson and Jim Dahl are two City Council candidates who have been endorsed by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, the San Clemente Downtown Business Association and the Orange County Register for one important reason; they understand that business is an important part to maintaining our Downtown vitality. From bartenders to board shapers, San Clemente runs on business. A City Council comprised of individuals who are aware of this reality is essential for a strong, fiscally responsible city.
Mike and Jim will have my vote this coming November 6 and for the future sake of our much loved downtown, I’m asking you to do the same.