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Mission Hills Town Council update – May 8, 2015

Posted: May 8th, 2015 | Community Voices, Featured, Mission Hills | No Comments

By David Espinoza

The Mission Hills Town Council (MHTC) has been working to improve the experience of being a member of the community.

On Feb. 25, the MHTC and Mission Hills Business Improvement District (BID) jointly hosted a forum on the topic of crime and homelessness. More than 100 residents and businesspersons from Mission Hills and Bankers Hill met at the United Methodist Church along with San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria, who represents the district, and David Surwillo, a community relations officer with the Police Department.

This gathering was spearheaded in response to community frustration with recent occurrences of car break-ins, vandalism and homeless encampments. For 45 minutes, hands were raised and individual voices were heard regarding what is happening in the neighborhood. Councilmember Gloria took the floor and assured everyone that crime is down overall and that Mission Hills remains a “safe community.” Further, Gloria said, if people do not feel safe, the issue should be addressed. A brainstorming of solutions followed and the MHTC, BID and Neighborhood Watch continue to work together in this effort.

The Uptown Regional Bikeway project remains a top agenda item for the MHTC. This project of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has been presented at quarterly Town Hall meetings since 2013 to engage the community on this development. A portion of the bike path travels through Mission Hills on University Avenue, and the design for a one-lane closure from Front Street to Ibis Street was distributed throughout the community in mid-2014. The MHTC has supported, through a study commissioned by SANDAG, the effects of a complete closure of this portion of University Avenue.

The SANDAG Transportation Committee, chaired by Gloria, will hold a meeting on June 5 to review the current status of the project. Community meetings will be scheduled later, pending direction from the Transportation Committee. Please contact Beth Robrahn, AICP, project manager/assistant planner for SANDAG’s Active Transportation Program, to receive updates and agenda materials, at beth.robrahn@sandag.org.

More of the bikeway plan will be discussed at the May 14 MHTC Town Hall meeting, which is open to the public.

The Mission Hills Town Council is hiring. The MHTC is made up of a 15-member, volunteer-based board of trustees who reside and/or own businesses in Mission Hills. As the MHTC continues to grow its reach and involvement with the community, the need has arisen to hire an executive director. Among the key responsibilities of this position are the handling of operational and administrative details and the engagement of community communication through social media. This position requires a commitment of roughly 60 hours per month and pays $20 per hour. Resumes will be accepted until May 15 by email to: belindasmithsd@gmail.com.

The fundraising and summer concert series band lineup in Pioneer Park are nearly complete. Seven concerts are slated on Friday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., starting June 19. Kicking off the series will be the Neil Diamond tribute band, Diamond is Forever, and followed the next week by a Tom Petty tribute band, Petty Breakers. Over 500 concertgoers will gather on the lawn to picnic to the sights and sounds of a “small town” Friday night. The Events Committee has already raised over $22,000 from local business, residents, grants and government officials. Title, Supporting and Community Patron Sponsorships are still available. Sponsorships are a public or private opportunity to show support for events that create community. A list of the corporate sponsorship benefits is available by contacting the MHTC.

The Town Council encourages community members to attend the upcoming public Town Hall meeting at Francis Parker Elementary School at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 14. The voicing of opinions, information and priorities is encouraged. Several updates will be presented including: Mission Hills infrastructure, utility undergrounding, and an announcement by a coalition of Uptown Planners regarding the Uptown Regional Bikeway Project.

Town Hall meetings are often attended by elected officials such as Congresswoman Susan Davis, state Sen. Marty Block, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Councilmember Gloria and County Supervisor Ron Roberts and/or their representatives. For more information regarding the executive director position, the concert series or MHTC/Town Hall details, contact: info@missionhillstowncouncil.org or visit missionhillstowncouncil.org.

—David Espinoza is a Mission Hills Town Council board member.

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