Imperial Beach Councilman Robert Patton shares News and his Views of what is Happening in Imperial Beach with Dig Imperial Beach and our Community!
Oct 29, 2015 12:25PM ● Published by Paul Spear
Greetings, my name is Robert Patton, also known as Bobby Patton by many, and I now have the opportunity to do an article on Dig Imperial Beach on a rotating basis with other council members who choose to do so.
I always like to know a little about the person I am reading, so I will give you a brief biography about myself… First, I have had the privilege of serving as an Imperial Beach City Council Member for three years now, I thank you for your trust in me as I take the position very serious. I have grown up in Imperial Beach, gone to local schools, lifeguarded on the beach from 1982-2012, and started the Imperial Beach Junior Lifeguard Program in 1995, a program that has served well over 2,000 of our local youth and is still going strong. In addition to this, I am married, have two young children, and I have been an elementary school teacher for 23 years.
When asked to write an article by Mr. Spears, I jumped at the opportunity, I love to write, and to write about our great city is a bonus. After much pondering, I’ve decided my theme for my first article, would be dedicated to the military.
It is no secret that Imperial Beach is a huge military town with countless active duty personal, retired members who have served our country well, and all of their families. I grew up here as a Navy dependent, my dad, Robert Patton Sr., who I love dearly, is now retired after a lifelong career in the Navy. We moved here in 1969 when he was stationed here and worked at Naval Training Center. I understand the tough, yet rewarding military life. Right here in Imperial Beach, we are so lucky to have three great clubs in which military members have exclusive accesses to, they are: The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Veterans of Foreign War (VFW), The American Legion. If you qualify, I urge you to become a member, volunteer some, and keep these clubs open forever. I’m an associate member for all three and try my best to pop in when I can. No matter the club, I walk in, am greeted to friendly faces and great service, great food and drink, and always a good story or two. If you are not a member, often these clubs are opened to the public for special events, stop by and check them out.
While I’m on the subject of the military, at our last city council meeting on 10/21, Captain Barnett, a newly assigned career Navy man, highly experienced, and very articulate, spoke about the US Navy Coastal Campus Base that is going to be built in our backyard starting next year. It will be located on the Strand between Imperial Beach and the Coronado Cays. The figures to be spent that were presented were huge 2015/16, 224 million to be spent, 2017, 276 million, 2018, 177 million, this goes on to 2021 + with a sum of over one billion dollars. This is a big deal. It is anticipated that 2500-3000 people a day will be going there and leaving there each day. Captain Barnett assures us that the Navy wants to be a good neighbor and will work with Imperial Beach to make as little impact to our city, I believe this true, however, people must speak their concerns in order to be heard. My concerns, as I told the Captain at the meeting, are many, one of the biggest is traffic. If you drive into Coronado in the morning, you know that you can wait in traffic up to 30 minutes to travel four miles down the strand as you near the Amphibian Base. We must make sure that this does not happen in Imperial Beach. Noise is also a concern we must be aware of, daily training and an indoor shooting range. Will we hear it? Silver Strand Blvd. gate must not be a main entrance/exit gate. Beach access, we must continue to have access to that pristine North beach past Carnation Ave. I know in Coronado, they closed off beach access to the general public in two different areas posting armed guards who block people from walking on the beach, that can’t happen here.
These are just a few of my thoughts, we must, as a community, be aware of potential issues now in order to prevent lifelong problems and a diminished quality of life. I believe we can all be good neighbors, if done right, the Coastal Campus could work and be a win-win for our community, we just need to be on top of it. I will certainly watching closely.
I’ll end today with information on Military Appreciation Day, presented by The City of Imperial Beach and The Port of San Diego to take place November 8, 2015 from 12:30-3:30 PM at IB Pier Plaza. This is sure to be a great event that is open to the public, if you have Military ID, bring it. Food and drink (Beer garden), bands, activities for kids, Toys for Tots drop off point, and recruiters. Come and show your appreciation to those who serve us so well. Hope to see you there!
Questions, comments, any feedback, or just want to say hello, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org