By Bill Brough, State Assembly 73rd District
Fellow residents, thank you for the honor and privilege to serve as your Dana Point city councilman. Serving and working with the great people of our community has been rewarding and I consider it one of my highest honors.
Before continuing to work for you as your state representative, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts and highlights about our great city. Over the last four years, I believe Dana Point has experienced some of the most productive times in our city’s short history.
When facing economic challenges during the economic downturn, we rose to meet them by taking decisive measures like reviving Town Center, creating better transportation solutions and enacting tougher safeguards to protect our beaches, which are part of the backbone of our economy and quality of life.
In my opinion, the council’s failure to act on these challenges would have created more harm than good for our city, which is why I commend my council colleagues for all their hard work and dedication. Here are a few highlights of our accomplishments:
Town Center—The council revived our Town Center plan, which had sat dormant since 2008. In 2013, we re-engineered the plan, saving millions by removing recycled water lines and installing drought tolerant date palms. The change also meant that we did not have to jack hammer 18 inches of concrete from under Del Prado.
The PCH phase was completed this year—under time and under budget—without having to borrow or bond. Although Town Center is a $17 million investment, we kept our designated reserves intact and still have a half a year’s budget in our savings. I am proud to have worked with Councilmen Carlos Olvera and Steven Weinberg to get Town Center done. As a result, property owners are investing in their property and the vision of new shops and restaurants is happening.
Town Center Parking—Our consultant found that there is not a lack of parking, with 1,200 spots available on our busiest day. We adopted an in-lieu parking program and are working with property owners to coordinate parking. The city continues to work with the coastal commission to finalize the plan.
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY AND BEACHES
Redistricting—The original plan split our community in half. We were successful in persuading the commission to keep our city whole. This important action helped protect our city.
Doheny Beach—After years, we have made significant progress and have been successful in addressing the bacteria problem.
Quiet Zone—We implemented the Quiet Zone at the Beach Road crossing.
Vacation Rentals—After seven years of discussion, the council adopted an ordinance that allows people to rent their private property, which had previously been prohibited. It included allowing home owner association rules to supersede the ordinance.
Homeless Task Force—A group of business representatives, religious leaders, non-profit organizations, and social advocates that were assembled this year have worked hard on solutions to the homeless issue; and, there has been significant progress.
It’s been a productive four years, but there is more we can do. As government and community leaders, we must never fall under the cloud of complacency. As a public servant, I have and will always believe, it’s not just about starting projects, it’s about finishing them.
Moving forward, we must always continue to hold our government more accountable with higher transparency and the highest level of community involvement possible.
As the new city council begins their term, I am confident the right people are in place to get the job done.
Although I now will be working for you in Sacramento, Dana Point is our home. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. Happy holidays, and I’ll see you around town.
Bill Brough was elected to the Dana Point City Council in 2010. In November he was elected to serve on the State Assembly representing the 73rd District, filling the seat vacated by Diane Harkey, who termed out.
PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the Dana Point Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the DP Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org