The Port of San Diego swore in its 2019 board of port commissioners executive officers this past week.
According to a statement from the port, Garry Bonelli, who represents the City of Coronado, was sworn in as chairman; Ann Moore, who represents the City of Chula Vista, was sworn in as vice chair; and Michael Zucchet, one of three City of San Diego representatives, was sworn in as secretary.
During his inauguration speech, Chairman Bonelli stated that his theme is “Renaissance on the Bay” and laid out four priorities for 2019 – clean water, the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU), the Chula Vista Bayfront project, and the Coronado Ferry Landing – and noted the progress the port has already made.
Bonelli reported that San Diego Bay is cleaner today than it has been in decades and will become cleaner still due to various port programs and campaigns, as well as partnerships with many private organizations and public agencies. For the PMPU, public and stakeholder outreach continues in 2019 as port staff prepares draft policies that are already becoming visible with greater innovation and sustainable development.
Launched in 2013 by Commissioner Ann Moore, the bay-wide planning effort, is often referred to as the “future of the port” and will set a blueprint for developing the bay for decades to come.
Public review of the draft PMPU and environmental impact report is anticipated for 2019. On the Chula Vista Bayfront, Bonelli shared visible progress: construction is anticipated to start on a new RV resort and a bike and pedestrian path; design will be finalized for two new parks; and work is on track to begin at the site of a resort hotel and convention center project. For the Coronado Ferry Landing, Bonelli would like the port to consider partnering with the City of Coronado and port leaseholders to re-imagine the retail and restaurant development to offer residents and visitors an even more special experience.
Outgoing 2018 Chairman Rafael Castellanos, one of the three City of San Diego representatives on the board, recapped his 2018 theme of “Ocean Optimism” to highlight the importance of the water to the port’s social, economic and environmental future. He noted that the port welcomed two new major cargo business customers and that the port celebrated its strongest cruise season in seven years. Castellanos also affirmed the port’s commitment to the Blue Economy and furthering new water-dependent business ventures.
There are seven commissioners on the board. In addition to the executive officers and the outgoing chairman, the other board members are Commissioner Dan Malcolm, representing Imperial Beach; Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, representing National City; and Marshall Merrifield representing San Diego. Commissioners are appointed by the City Councils of their respective cities. They are appointed for four-year terms and may be reappointed for additional terms by their City Councils. The board of port commissioners is responsible for setting the policies by which the Port of San Diego conducts its day-to-day operations, under the guidance of its president and CEO