The Chula Vista City Council signaled for financial rescue during a January 8 meeting, officially declaring the city is in a fiscal emergency. The reason for the declaration, according to newly appointed city manager Jim Sandoval, is twofold: it conveys to Chula Vista citizens the serious financial situation the city is in, and it positions the city for future federal funding, should that come available.
Mayor Cheryl Cox commented on potential help from the state or federal government. “We’re not harboring any ideas that we’ll be able to go to the federal government when the federal government is several trillion dollars in debt. And given the state of things in the state of California, we certainly don’t believe that we’ll be able to go to the state of California to get anything.
After several testimonials from the public, the council spoke to the resolution.
Councilmember Steve Castaneda likened the city’s financial predicament to the hot tub at his condominium getting shutdown because of disrepair. “The state came by and essentially told us to shut it down. It was drained and covered over, and I felt pretty bad about it.”
Castaneda continued, saying it wasn’t just the closure of the Jacuzzi, but other amenities, such as the workout room and the space for recreation. “People were concerned about the fact that if they tried selling their [condo] or renting it, that people wouldn’t want to live there because of all the amenities that were here are no longer here. There’s nothing to offer the residents.”
The second-term councilmember said that the same was true for the city. “If we allow our city to fall in a state of disrepair, we will never be able to climb out of it because we will never be able to attract the kind of investment that is important to this city to sustain itself.”
Mayor Cheryl Cox closed out with the special session: “This is just a hurdle. It will not define us, nor will it defeat us, and it won’t stop us from helping to continue to make Chula Vista the place that people want to live, work, and raise their families. And so with that, I move that this council adopt this resolution declaring a fiscal emergency.”
For more on Chula Vista’s search for financial rescue, go to ci.chula-vista.ca.us.