The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

Gene James

By Mayor Gene James

It’s an appropriate time to review the San Clemente City Council’s accomplishments of 2021.  

First, we have put an end to the nightmare imposed by the Transportation Corridor Agencies and those who wanted to ruin our great city with a toll road. Through months of negotiations with the County of Orange, Orange County Transportation Authority and the City of San Clemente, we reached a cooperative agreement by which the open spaces of San Clemente can never be used to build any major road. 

We should keep in mind the TCA refused to be a party to the agreement and they will continue to attempt to be a threat, but a diminished and rather pathetic one.

I would like to thank my Toll Road Sub-Committee partner, Mayor Kathy Ward, as being the councilmember who worked the hardest and knew the most in protecting our city. There are many who fought the toll road for years, and they are owed a well-deserved thank you.

We successfully navigated our city through the pandemic. We were one of the first cities to adopt outdoor dining, and city staff created and executed a robust program in assisting small business in getting funding and loans related to business interruption. City management did a stellar job in leading staff during unprecedented challenging times.

Without any impact on the operating budget of the city, we built and completed a state-of-the-art station for San Clemente Police Services. This station will take Police Services well into the mid-21st century. Our Public Works Department did a great job in bringing this project in on budget while dealing with supply chain issues.

I pushed for a plan to pay our $50 million unfunded pension liability, and this year that plan has come to fruition. I am very confident that with this plan we will bring our pension funding to 90% within five years without budget cuts.

As a result of policies and actions by our federal government, inflation is at 6.2%. There is no doubt the cost of running the city will increase dramatically. I will again push for year-round, zero-based budgeting.

I’m very concerned with the future development on our city’s borders near Talega and east of Avenida La Pata. There is a potential for 11,250 people living in Planning Area 5. In all likelihood, these future neighbors will drain our resources by using our parks, athletic fields, swimming pools, streets, recreation programs and beaches.

We are faced with two unpleasant scenarios—a large group using our resources and not paying taxes in San Clemente or annexation of 12,000 new residents with public safety and other city-based needs while receiving only a portion of the property tax.  

We need to study the problem and create a plan to address this future burden on our city’s taxpayers.

There is an absolute need for council to work harmoniously together and with city management. I am confident with trust in one another and respectful dialogue, we will meet our future challenges.

It is critical all councilmembers place the needs of San Clemente over all else. Each of us needs to check personal agendas at the door; City Council is no place for personal grudges or settling old scores. It’s my hope we can look to the road ahead and ignore the rear-view mirror. 

Finally, this is the time of year to enjoy the warmth of family and the camaraderie of friends while we rejoice and reflect upon this magnificent and wonderful place we call home.

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Gene James is a councilmember who was elected in 2019, reelected in 2020 and is serving as the mayor for 2022.

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (11)

  • and council will be cracking down on blue collar workers and will be willing to send them to jail for having a ladder on their PU trucks using our sheriff department to sooth their esthetic sensitivity’s

  • Gene– Please make sure you don’t get caught gassing homeless folks with your pick up truck for awhile. You are making SC look like a rube festival.

    • You can’t justify this insanity:
      • If a guy pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.
      • Somehow it’s un-American for the census to count how many Americans are American Citizens.
      • Russians influencing our elections are bad, but illegal’s voting in our elections are good.
      • It was cool for Joe Biden to “blackmail” the President of Ukraine.
      • Twenty is too young to drink a beer, but eighteen is old enough to vote.
      • People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.
      • People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees.
      • Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.
      • Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate gang member or terrorist who jumps the southern fence is welcome.
      • $5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not.
      • If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.
      • If you cheat in an election nothing happens to you, but if you point out the mathematical errors of that election you are a conspiracy theorist & disdained.
      • People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.

  • Now THAT’S some screed.
    a long speech or piece of writing, typically one regarded as tedious.

  • Hal–

    Yes Mr. Davison’s comments are a yawner……….particularly when he’s triggered. Often he is…..
    Screed indeed !!!!

    • Hilarious! Hey Kip, being triggered is a leftist phenomenon, not one conservatives suffer from. Was your comment posted from your woketard safe space or cry room?

  • Woke “tard”?
    Wow, a 9 year old using his parents computer again.
    Mr. D, you are so often angered and whining on a rant out here that “triggered” is the most apt descriptive. Sorry man.

  • Hilarious! Hey Hal, clearly I hit a nerve and hit the target with YOU! I spoke the truth that it is the left, who I rightly refer to as woketards, who get triggered. It is leftists who invented safe spaces and cry rooms, not conservatives. As for 9-year olds, given your poor grasp of the English language, perhaps it is YOUR computer that has been hijacked by one.
    You’re too funny.

  • Mr Davison—– LOL LMAO you are a caution!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES— you ARE 9 years old, right? Do Mom and Dad know you’re using the computer? “TARD”???? LOL!!!! You seem triggered by the changes that life has brought? Am I right? Trump’s landslide loss? The SCOTUS hanging the 1-6 traitors out to dry? The closing of the leaky old nuke waste dump of SONGS?

    I will pray for you my friend. It will all be ok. Relax. Have a great holiday season and just know that things change and thats ok………. Have a super duper day!!!!!!

  • Hilarious Hal! Was yours some sort of Tourette’s syndrome outburst? Do you have a point to your babbling nonsense beyond the top of your empty head? As has already been established, being triggered is a woketard phenomenon, not one conservative thinkers suffer from.
    Has sloppy Joe’s disastrous reign of incompetence and buffoonery driven you to your cry room? Let me get you a tissue and a teddy for you to hug.

  • Zzzzzzzzzz— yet another triggered rant by Mr. Davison……………He’s easy to spin up.

comments (11)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>