Zapf diagnoses community’s health in first ‘State of the District’ speech, Jan. 25


District 2 City Council member Lorie Zapf delivered her State of the District address Jan. 25 at Mission Bay High School Auditorium to an audience consisting in large part of community volunteers and activists who have likely sought her help or gave her some over the years.

So instead of a formal speech, Zapf proceeded in the manner of a fireside chat with friends, giving a 20-minute verbal tour that highlighted accomplishments in 2017 and pointed to continuing struggles before culminating with her top priorities for 2018.

She opened her address with street paving and potholes. Noting that only 25 miles of roads in the entire City were being paved annually a decade earlier, her enthusiasm was as visible as it was audible when she proclaimed that 30 miles of roads had been paved and more than 6,500 potholes filled in the District 2 in the previous fiscal year.

“I’m going to make it a priority to continue to see that our potholes are filled and our roads are paved,” Zapf said. “After many, many years of neglect, the Mayor has made this his priority as well. And I intend to continue to be the squeaky wheel to ensure that streets in District 2 with the greatest need are done first.”

Judging from the audience’s response, one of her most popular points was her support for the recent City Council vote to raise salaries for the San Diego Police Department. Zapf asserted that the number of job applications to the department had increased in the few weeks since the pay hike, including former San Diego police officers seeking to return.

“This will make a tremendous difference in our neighborhoods by allowing officers to be more proactive — preventing crimes — instead of constantly having to be reactive,” she said.

Zapf next talked about the City’s response to the recent Hepatitis A outbreak and her ongoing efforts to oppose offshore oil and gas drilling since the Trump administration gave the green light to open up the entire U.S. coast, excluding Florida.

Turning to Pacific Beach, Zapf mentioned the removal of DecoBike rental stations along the Boardwalk and the return of PB Bike Bait, a police program that catches bicycle thieves by planting sensors on decoy bikes.

She also praised the PB Clean & Safe program, which employs homeless people to pick-up trash and patrol the business corridor, adding: “I am once again committed to helping fund this program for 2018.”

While listing a number of projects she supports, Zapf briefly touched one hot button issue that roused listeners. “I’ll continue to fight to end the abuse of short-term vacation rentals that is ... ,” Zapf started until thunderous applause interrupted before she could conclude, “that is reducing our housing supply but also diminishing the integrity of our neighborhoods.”

In the end, Zapf adroitly tied the two events together — her address and the Community Volunteer Awards — for a smooth segue into the presentations.

“It’s amazing to look back at 2017, what together a group of seven unique communities with committed volunteers have accomplished,” she told the audience. “Pretty amazing. And I look forward to continuing to work with all of you in the year ahead to make District 2 the best district in the best City — San Diego.”

2018 Community Volunteer Award Recipients

  • Marute Gardner Volunteer of the Year Award: Michael Snyderr
  • Pacific Beach: Chris Olson, BeautifulPB and Pacific Beach Planning Group
  • Clairemont: Jenn Ragusa, Longfellow Elementary PTA
  • Linda Vista: Albert Demoran, Kearny Mesa Kiwanis Club
  • Midway: Cathy Kenton, Midway Community Planning Group Chair
  • Mission Beach: Sarah Mattinson, Olive Cafe Business Owner
  • Ocean Beach: Wayne Simard and Jack Shaw, OB Elementary Safety Volunteers
  • Point Loma: The Mean Green Team, Point Loma Association