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A Year after being Elected Mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina talks with Dig IB about first Year in Office and goals for 2nd Year!

Dec 16, 2015 05:55PM ● By Paul Spear

A year after being elected mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina talks with Dig Imperial Beach's Editor Paul Spear about his first year in office and goals for his second year!

With a year gone by since the election, I asked the City of Imperial Beach Mayor, Serge Dedina, If I could have some of his time and discuss things in the city a year after he was elected mayor. He was nice enough to take some time out of his busy day and review were the city was at and where he wanted to see it going.

In what has to be seen as a successful first year, it was not without it bumps in the road.  A roundabout that was put in at 9th and Donax Avenue that was put in on a trial basis and then torn out after an unsuccessful trial run, did show that he and the city were willing to listen to the people and make changes if they were call for.

The fact that I was interviewing him a day before a very successful Alley Project Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was to take place was not lost on me. In his first year, he and the city had just finished the first part of the “Alley Project’ a project that was very much cried out for by the community and very much needed! At the Ceremony that took place the next night at Central Elementary School and the Alley behind the School at Ebony they celebrated the completion of the first half of the alley paving project and announced they had the funding in place for the second half of the Alley Project and to have all the alleys in the city paved by about this time next year.

With the first phase of the City of Imperial Beach's Alley Project being completed. The city paved just under a mile of dirt alleys at a cost of about $1.2 million and used a special cement that will help cut the pollution during rains as well. The City has funded to complete the balance of unpaved alleys in the rest of the city and that should be completed about this time next year.

Projects like the Alley Project are the in line with the types of projects and goals that are on the top of Mayor Serge Dedina's list of what he would like to see happening in Imperial Beach. The alley project that will be done this next year will be done on the north side of Palm Avenue near Bayside Elementary School, which is an area he said has been neglected, and so he is working on improving the area with projects like the alley project.

Another area where he sees a need for improvement is the 13th Street area. If things go the way he would like, he would have a crosswalk put in at 13th and Fern. South of Imperial Beach Boulevard, he would like to bring the street down to two lanes—one in each direction. His thoughts are that there are way too many children and mothers with young children having to cross the streets there to get to school and the only large vehicles that should be on that street are the Navy's vehicles, which don't have a choice. So taking the street down to two lanes in that area should do a lot to improve the safety for all the pedestrians who are having to cross 13th Street to get where they need to go.

The mayor would also like to see the community become more active in removing blight from our city. He believes they are already starting to do that. At the end of September, he and a few other city employees tried to set an example when they jumped a chain link fence that was filled will beer bottles, cans and other assorted trash that had been dumped there over time and accumulated into an awful looking sight in our community. They jumped the fence and got in there and cleaned up the entire lot. They are working on a law to get all the chain link fences removed from empty lots so that they won't become trash dumps and are working on a way so that they, the owners of the lots, are made to keep them clean so they won't become a blight on the community.

The mayor, Serge Dedina, can be seen at almost every public event.  He wants to show the community that the city is there for them and in turn hopes they get more active in the government of their city. He hopes that when someone sees something wrong that they just don’t complain about it, he wants them to become active and call the city and let them know what they see is wrong so something can be done about it.

In his campaign to see the community become more proactive, he encourages people to call the city any time they see something that isn't right and needs to be taken care of. We have a graffiti hotline that usually has the graffiti removed in 24 hours. If you see large trash dumped in alleys or places it shouldn't be, please call the city. Just basically, if you see something going on that isn't right, please call the city.

He is also looking forward to the new condominiums being put in at 7th and Palm and the Breakwater Development starting construction after the first of the year. We have the new hotel at IB Blvd. and SeaCoast Drive that will be moving forward. He sees these events as producing job, income for the community, and improvements that are very much needed in the community.

The mayor, Serge Dedina, says he believes we have a great community that has a lot of spirit and he wants to make things fun for the community. He said he makes an effort to be at all the events he can and he tries to show the community that working with the city can be fun. He tries to bring in different groups to the city council meetings to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and show them that the city is interested in what they are doing.

Lastly, and one thing big to his heart and that the mayor has been working on long before he took office, is working on cleaning up our ocean water and water getting into the Tijuana Slough. He, the Mayor Serge Dedina, will be working with US Senator Feinstein and Congressman Juan Vargas in the US Senate and House of Representatives as well as other Washington DC leaders to try and get the water pollution problem fixed here in Imperial Beach. Of course this will also come via all the different groups he works with towards achieving this goal.

In all he has had a lot on his plate. He got a lot of needed things done and is mving forward on lots of problems. Some of them like the Alley Project, will be finished in the next year but others like our ocean water cleanliness will take longer. I believe the mayor, Serge Dedina,  has shown the energy, stamina,  excitement about our city, and leadership that by this time next year we will be talking about an improved city and further along in our longer term goals for the city. I am excited about the prospects for Imperial Beach moving forward. There will be mistakes made but if people in the community show the wiliness to speak up about it, he and the other city employees have shown they will listen and try to make things right.

I want to thank they mayor for taking the time to sit down and talk with me. A lot of us forget that they do this as a second job and put in a lot of extra hours of work each day to make our city a better place. The mayor, according to cit records makes $1,100 a month and the city council gets paid $300 a month. At that pay it obious they do a large part of it out of their love for the city and people of Imperial Beach.

Thank you for your service!

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