By Mayor Gene James
This week, I have the honor of presenting the State of the City for 2022. As we look into the future, the state of the city is strong, and our future is bright.
In a recent independent poll of San Clemente residents, 95% of residents rated the quality of life in our city as either excellent or good. That is a number that we should all hold with great pride.
One topic that has been of interest is the future of health care in San Clemente. Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan and I have hosted two community roundtables to receive input from first responders, medical professionals, health care administrators and our citizens.
We learned that 40% of all hospitals in Southern California operate at a loss, the cost to build a hospital would be in excess of $200 million to the taxpayer, and health care payers are moving away from inpatient care.
As we move forward, our emphasis needs to be on all of the innovations being provided by the health care industry.
As we consider the strengths of our city, we must look at our blessings to live in the greatest nation in the history of mankind while being citizens of its most magnificent city. San Clemente is a very special place to call home.
The city is currently paying down its $49 million in unfunded pension liability with a plan to be funded at 90% by 2024. Recently, City Council codified and mandated a fourth firefighter on each fire engine and truck in the city; this addresses firefighter safety and ensures an adequate response to emergency situations.
I thank Sheriff Barnes for OCSD’s recent response to a demonstration in our city; they deployed with a full complement of deputies trained, equipped and prepared to address any contingency.
I would also point out the dedicated city staff who so diligently serve our citizens 24 hours a day; without their commitment to the city, we would simply grind to a halt.
We still have to keep a close eye on those hell-bent on building a toll road through the middle of our city.
Additionally, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has plans to double track the railroad going through San Clemente in its Pathing Study. Hopefully, this is a battle we will not have to fight, but if we do, we stand ready. Please, study its intentions; it is a very frightening scenario.
One of our city’s greatest treasures is our beach; we are committed stewards of preserving and repairing our beach. Cliff erosion is a byproduct of the loss of sand, so we are proud that sand replenishment is finally coming to San Clemente in 2023.
The city worked for more than 20 years with the Army Corps of Engineers, Congress, and the State of California in securing more than $12 million for the project.
Finally, I am extremely grateful and very proud to serve as your mayor.
Our future is bright, and life is very good in San Clemente.
Gene James, who was appointed to the role of mayor for 2022, was elected to the council in a 2019 special election and reelected in 2020 for a full four-year term.
Discussion about this post