I was born and raised in Vista, and I love this town. My wife and I are small business owners with our first baby on the way. The reason I decided to run for Mayor is because I wanted to make sure that all the aspects that I grew up loving, and still love, will be there for my baby girl as she grows up. My background in construction and real estate has given me the insight and knowledge that it takes for a community to grow and prosper. The three main issues that I will be focusing my campaign on are traffic, the homeless population, and tourism.
Growth and development for a city is crucial. But I feel that to effectively promote sustainable growth, Vista first need to improve its streets and infrastructure. Traffic in Vista is already a huge problem for its citizens. To go in retroactively and try to solve the traffic problems that result with more cars on the road will require an exponentially larger effort and cost. With the current economy and real estate market, the City of Vista has a great opportunity to modernize streets and infrastructure. Increasing traffic impact fees for developers of a certain size can greatly help fund the modernization and widening of Vista streets. The best way to invest in Vista, is to have these developers invest in the entire community, and not just the specific number of houses or apartments they are building.
With growth comes more people, and inevitably more homeless people as well. Vista’s homeless population is a growing problem for the community. Anyone released from the Vista County Jail is released in Vista, not the city they were arrested in, which add to the Vista homeless population. Devoting funds to a shuttle to return these people to their last known addresses or to the city where they were arrested, would help alleviate the growing homeless population problem. In addition, a joint venture plan with the County is necessary to help rehabilitate the homeless population. Housing, mental health care, and addiction treatment are the primary needs of this collaborative effort. Ignoring this growing problem will undeniably prevent Vista from attracting new businesses and tourism.
Tourism will continue to grow for Vista if the city can attract more business and protect its citizens. Downtown Vista is attracting brewery tours, theater goers, shoppers, and more. But it also attracts pandering homeless people and gang members. Vista needs more County Sheriff deputies and patrol cars to protect the growth of Vista. An increased police presence would not only help protect the citizens of Vista but the future growth of Vista as well.
My focus is on these three heavily intertwined issues of traffic, the homeless population, and tourism to ultimately promote sustainable growth for the Vista community. We need to have the foresight to address these problems now. It will be far more expensive and difficult to combat these issues after a substantial population increase.