Ann Gardner | Via Latina
|from left: Don Mosier, Al Corti, Sherryl Parks.
Composite photo Virginia Lawrence with photos from City Council streaming videos: www.delmar.ca.us/Pages/vod.aspx
The three Del Mar City Council candidates, Don Mosier (incumbent), Sherryl Parks, and Al Corti, are running unopposed for the three City Council seats opening up in December. Carl Hilliard and Mark Filanc whose terms expire at the end the year are not seeking a second term, and Councilmembers Lee Haydu and Terry Sinnott’s terms of office run until 2014. But Mosier, Parks and Corti are not “sitting out” the election and will be reaching out and listening to residents during the next 30 days as if they were in a campaign. They realize they will be representing everyone and want to listen to as many concerns and ideas as possible. In the meantime, here are their responses to some initial questions:
What perspective will you bring to City Council?
Corti: As a business executive and business owner, I learned early in my career that you succeed or fail based on your decisions. I will bring a pragmatic approach to address problems and work with my fellow council members and city staff in setting appropriate objectives and priorities. Listening, analyzing and making informed, smart decisions is my strength and I will use these strengths and skills as a council member to help guide the City during the next four years.
Parks: I have lived in Del Mar for almost 40 years. I raised my two sons here, volunteered on various boards including the Del Mar Foundation, Friends of the Library as well as the Design Review Board. I have leadership roles at St. Peter’s Church. I know many long-time residents. Watching hours of Council meetings helped me learn “the ropes.” I look forward to planning the future while preserving our past.
Mosier: As a current member of the City Council, I believe I understand the issues the City needs to address. As a longtime resident of Del Mar, I truly appreciate the unique quality of life that we all enjoy here, and I am committed to protecting that quality of life. I will also continue to do my best to represent the interests of all residents advocating for a fair and impartial analysis of each issue that comes before the Council. As a scientist, I am concerned about environmental issues that impact our health and welfare, and I will continue to advocate for better transportation options, more open space, and better regional planning.
Do you have specific priorities?
Corti: Make our downtown a more pedestrian friendly, economically sustainable and vibrant center of our community. I became involved in the Village revitalization effort after reading the Kennedy Smith report and got involved in the sidewalk cafes. Serving on the Form Based Code Committee, Design Review Board and Traffic Parking Advisory Committee has given me much administrative and community knowledge which will help me to assist the City to implement a revitalization effort to benefit the entire community. I am committed to the Community Plan and would never take any action that would compromise its principals.
Parks: I am concerned about our public views. I see that vegetation and trees have overgrown much of the City’s property blocking what were once beautiful ocean and canyon views. I want to help neighborhoods restore these public views.
Mosier: I think our priorities as city are: downtown revitalization, a new city hall, a master plan for the Shores park, and a comprehensive, city-wide parking plan.
Given our emphasis on a pedestrian downtown, what are your favorite places to be in Del Mar?
Corti: Any of the sidewalk cafes and public plazas where the community can appreciate the attributes of Del Mar are my favorite places.
Parks: My favorite spot is the Del Mar Library Wall designed and completed by Pat Welsh and Betsy Schultz. I remember how hard they worked to collect the odds and ends that make it so unique. To fund this wall, we at the Del Mar Foundation raised grant money. Kids and adults volunteered to actually build the wall; everyone kneeling with dirty hands, pushing the objects into the wall. The wall represents a community working together to build something permanent and unique.
Mosier: I like walking in my North Hills neighborhood, and then West to the beach. I also like walking on Camino Del Mar where some of my favorite spots include Café Secret, Zel’s, En Fuego, and Rendevous. At the north end of town, I like Pacifica, Sbicca’s, and Jake’s, all of which are in walking distance.
In an informal survey, the most frequently asked question for City Council candidates was “What is their vision for the City Hall property?” What is your response?
Corti: Del Mar citizens and employees deserve a civic center we can all be proud of. Our current City Hall should be redeveloped immediately. Its design should be compatible with our two-story, low density development with public plazas and wide sidewalks. The components should be determined by the community but public parking is essential.
Parks: City Hall is such an eyesore. We deserve a better place to do our City’s business. I want it to be a cutting edge eco-friendly green building(s). I want the architects to use the most exciting materials that suit our coastal community. We want to strive for the highest LEED standard and our planning department is qualified to help make that happen.
Mosier: I believe the City Hall property could be developed as a gathering space for indoor and outdoor community events, offices for city staff, restaurants and shops that could generate revenue. A partially underground parking garage would fit well on the property. It might even be possible to blend the old and the new by incorporating the historic Alvarado House into the design.
How can the Council best go about developing a Citywide Traffic and Parking Plan that addresses the impact of current and potential traffic on residential streets?
Corti: Traffic is all about design capacity. Camino Del Mar is over capacity and forces traffic into the residential areas. It should have been fixed years ago and I am glad that the Village Specific Plan is suggesting a means of improving the situation. Parking is all about supply and demand and I am in favor of more public parking and putting it in the right places. Community feedback has been very strong for many years that we should build a public garage on the City Hall property. I believe the sooner we accomplish this, the sooner that Del Mar merchants, property owners and neighboring residential areas will be better served.
Parks: No more studies on this issue. We have spent thousands of dollars on consultants. There are Coastal Commission guidelines that residents at the beach must comply with for parking. Residents, like myself, who live up on the hill, do not fully appreciate the challenges that those living near town or the beaches have each and every day. Getting more people involved in the discussion could result in some creative solutions. Talk of a parking structure on the City Hall lot has been discussed for years and years.
Mosier: Everyone agrees that we have parking problems, but we don’t seem to have any real consensus on solutions. We don’t want beachgoers and shoppers clogging our streets, but we do want free parking for friends when they visit. Traffic is also a problem that is likely to get worse with more development in Carmel Valley. A logical next step would be a series of community workshops to explore all the options and to reach compromise solutions that work best for the majority. Then we will have to convince the Coastal Commission that we have the right approach.