By Jay Wilson
The Navajo Community lost a very dedicated community member and a very loyal friend of mine when John Pilch passed away on May 3. I worked with John for more than 20 years, beginning in 1995, when I was the Community Representative for Navajo while working for Councilmember Judy McCarty. In addition to working on many community matters, for 15 years we shared the privilege of placing the American flag along Navajo Road from the eastern half of the driving range to Bisby Lake.
Last week, Police Community Relations Officer John Steffen called to inform me of a substantial increase in home burglaries — 15 in the past month in Del Cerro. Again, entry was through open windows or unlocked doors. Lock your doors and windows and establish Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood. Steffen will help establish your Neighborhood Watch. His phone number is 858-495-7971 and his email address is JMSteffen@pd.sandiego.gov.
Councilmember Sherman updated us on District 7, Navajo Area, and Del Cerro in particular. The Del Cerro Boulevard median is a top priority for him. He recently held a meeting with city staff and SDG&E to resolve the matter. The weeds should be cut down by now. Next, a plan will be developed for replanting the median and maintaining it until the new vegetation is established. At the May Navajo Community Planners [NCPI] meeting, I introduced a motion which passed unanimously; NCPI urges that the city require SDG&E to replant the median with drought-tolerant native plants instead of ice plant as initially proposed by SDG&E. Sherman is working with Park and Recreation, Development Services, and the Public Utilities departments in addition to SDG&E.
Sherman outlined new city legislation he helped spearhead to promote community gardens. Property owners who agree to a community garden for a minimum of five years now receive a tax credit.
He added that infrastructure and improving community services is a priority; library and rec center hours have been extended; and 11,000 potholes have been fixed in District 7 in the past three years.
Since there was no current policy to incentivize employees, we developed a program that motivates employees to bring forth their ideas. If we adopt an employee idea, the employee shares in the savings. One will extend the life of the Miramar Landfill by 10 years.
Code enforcement is another issue, and as the chair of the Audit Committee, I requested an audit of Code Enforcement. The operation was antiquated so we have added staff and the entire system is being upgraded. There will even be a 311 app to report concerns.
Sherman emphasized that he and his staff are on-duty to help us, and if you have a city-related issue, call Liz Saidkhanian at 619-236-6677.
Our second guest speakers were Sharmaine Moseley, the executive director of the Citizens Review Board on Police Policies, and volunteer board member Kathy Vandenheuvel. Together they explained the vital role of their board, which reviews and evaluates serious complaints brought by the public against police officers; reviews all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths; and reviews and evaluates the administration of discipline arising from sustained complaints. Visit sandiego.gov/citizensreviewboard for more information.
Nicole Borunda, the Community Relations Manager for SDSU, announced a new website, community.sdsu.edu. She wants more people from Del Cerro to become involved.
Mark Rawlins, Chair of DCAC, gave a presentation on establishing a Maintenance Assessment District [MAD]. More information is available at delcerroactioncouncil.org. He urged everyone to get involved in order to fully understand what a MAD can do for Del Cerro.
—Jay Wilson is secretary of the Del Cerro Action Council. Reach him at email@example.com.