By Debra Lewis
Hello and Happy New Year! I am very excited to be starting 2017 as a new City Council member and your new Mayor.
It is in that same spirit that I asked the Dana Point Times to try something new with the City Council. Matt Cortina, the Group Managing Editor, and Kristina Pritchett, the Dana Point City Editor, enthusiastically embraced the idea, for which I thank them.
We all live or work in Dana Point. We shop at the same stores. We eat at the same restaurants. We take our clothes to the same dry cleaners. But because we are all living our busy lives, we really don’t get the chance to talk to one another. This year I plan to remedy that and one of the tools to do so will be this column, which I call Council’s Corner. This is the Council’s chance to reach out to you and hopefully get your thoughts and feedback.
Throughout the year, important issues will be coming before the Council. I know that many of you would like to attend the meetings, but understandably just don’t have the time on a Tuesday night to come down to City Hall. My plan is to use our local newspaper, the Dana Point Times, as a great opportunity to share our thoughts and actions in more detail directly with you and give you a better understanding of our decision-making process.
For example, many of you have asked me what is happening with the various development projects. I would like you to understand the meaning and long-term implications of “form-based codes” being proposed for Doheny Village. Of course, the ubiquitous question of parking looms large. Police patrols and police presence is another important topic. I also believe you have the right to know where our money comes from and how the city is spending it. Other Council members have their issues and projects they will want to talk to you about.
In making my decisions, I operate from some core principles. Is this best for Dana Point? How do the residents feel? Can we afford it? Is it practical? The more we know about each other, the better I can answer those questions.
So please, tune in and more importantly, reach out. Send your responsive, but of course always respectful, letters to the editor. Send questions or topic requests to the Dana Point Times for future columns. You can contact me directly at email@example.com. All the other Council members have city email accounts as well. Talk to me on Facebook at Debra Lewis for Dana Point City Council. Get to know me. Please feel free to stop me and say “hi” when you see me around town.
If you get the chance, join us at City Hall on the first and third Tuesdays at 6 p.m. There is a public comment portion where you can tell us what is on your mind. We will listen respectfully. Please understand we cannot comment on items not on our agenda, but be sure you know your voices are being heard.
I look forward to talking with you and meeting many of you in the coming year.