Summer 2021 Newsletter
Ray Sweeney Appointed New Chief of Police
After conducting an extensive nationwide recruitment, La Mesa City Manager Greg Humora appointed Ray Sweeney to serve as La Mesa’s next Chief of Police, effective immediately. Prior to this appointment, Sweeney served as a Captain with the La Mesa Police Department since 2015. Before joining the La Mesa Police Department in 2001, Sweeney served in the United States Army and subsequently, in the California Army National Guard. Sweeney holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Management (Union Institute & University) and a Master of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership (University of San Diego).
Chief Sweeney will be launching a community engagement series to meet residents from throughout our City in the coming weeks to ensure all residents have a chance to meet him personally and share their views on the La Mesa Police Department. With the pandemic subsiding, the Chief plans on holding in-person meetings to emphasize his sincere interest in providing personal service in a professional, respectful, and effective manner.
Chief Sweeney developed a “Six Step Action Plan” that addresses a range of policy initiatives for the La Mesa Police Department. Concurrent with the Chief’s appointment, the City has released his plan, and the Chief will be discussing the details with the community at the upcoming community meetings.
City Awarded Grant for La Mesa Boulevard Complete Streets Plan
The City of La Mesa applied for and was awarded a $240,000 Sustainable Communities grant from the State of California Department of Transportation to prepare a Complete Streets Plan for La Mesa Boulevard from 4th Street to Jackson Drive, and University Avenue from Spring Street to Memorial Drive. The purpose of the Complete Streets Plan is to create a street that accommodates for all users (pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motor vehicle drivers) as well as provide improved connections to key destinations including parks, transit stops and stations, businesses, and neighborhood services. This corridor is also located along San Diego Transit Bus Route 852, which provides direct access to both the Grossmont and La Mesa Village Trolley stations. Community members will have multiple opportunities to be involved in development of concepts for the corridor, which will include workshops involving the public and local businesses, presentations to community groups, participation at La Mesa community events, online surveys and a demonstration project for potential corridor improvements.
The City of La Mesa’s current resident request system YourGov is scheduled to be upgraded to SeeClickFix starting the week of July 19th. The SeeClickFix app will be available in the iPhone App Store and the Android Play Store. SeeClickFix will allow for better accuracy, common requests to be grouped together and improved communication between City staff and the requester.
Sundays at Six and Movies in the Park
Community Services is excited to announce that the Sundays at Six Summer Concert series will be returning this year. Five concerts will be hosted at the beautiful Harry Griffen Park Amphitheatre on June 20, 27 and July 11, 18, and 25. Check out the event and lineup of bands.
Community Services and the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation will host three free Movies in the Parks on the following dates:
- Dive-In Movie at the Municipal Pool – July 30, Raya and the Last Dragon
- MacArthur Park – August 13, Jumangi, the Next Level
- La Mesita Park – September 24, Soul
La Mesa Safety Fair
Please join the La Mesa Police Department for the 2021 La Mesa Safety Fair, on Saturday August 14th from 9 AM to 1 PM in the station parking lot at 8085 University Avenue. Members of the La Mesa PD and Heartland Fire and Rescue will be on hand to answer questions, including members of the PD’s Special Response Team (SRT). This FREE event will also host several community resource booths, music for the whole family, and giveaways. We are excited to connect with our community again in person and hope to see you there!
Summer Preparedness and Fire Prevention
Summer is here, and drought conditions have made the wild vegetation on the hills that surround us extremely dry. Wildfires are the most frequent disasters that occur in our county. And there is also the ever present danger of earthquakes. These are the risks we all accept when we live in Southern California. We also know that it’s not a matter of if wildfires or earthquakes will happen, but a question of when will they occur again. These risks are real and while we should be aware of them, there is no need to feel anxious about them. You can reduce your risks and your anxiety level by planning ahead. Here are the three main things you need to do to be better prepared:
- Make a plan – What will you do and where will you go? Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact simple is best. Once you’ve written your plan, practice it.
- Build a kit – You don’t have to put your kit together all at once or spend a lot of money to put it together. You can build it piece by piece. Add one or two items per week and soon your kit will be ready to go. The most critical item in your kit will be drinking water. You’ll need one gallon of water per person per day. If possible, have a 14 day supply on hand. In this case, better too much water than not enough. The same applies for your pets.
- Stay informed – It can be television, the internet or old reliable radio. Have more than one way that you can keep up to date with the latest disaster information. You can also register your cell phone with Alert San Diego and receive notifications about emergencies in your area no matter where you happen to be: https://www.readysandiego.org/alertsandiego.
There is a lot of free information on how you, your family and your friends can make yourselves ready for the next emergency. All it takes is a little time and research. The following is a short list of websites to help you get started:
Here are some tips to establish defensible space around your home:
- Create a fuel free zone 0-5 feet from all structures with no combustible materials
- Clean your roof/gutters of leaves and needles
- Clear dead wood and dense combustible vegetation near your home
- Remove all dead and dying vegetation including weeds, tree limbs, and branches from property
2020 Climate Action Plan Annual Report
Since the adoption of La Mesa’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2018, City Council, City staff, and the La Mesa community have been busy putting the CAP into action. The City of La Mesa has recently published the 2020 Climate Action Plan Annual Report. This second annual report highlights progress since the 2018-2019 CAP Annual Report and showcases efforts in energy, transportation, solid waste, green infrastructure, and water.
Notable accomplishments include receiving an award and additional funding for the DIY Energy Saving and Sustainability Toolkit, starting construction of the La Mesa Community Garden, and preparing for the launch of San Diego Community Power, which will provide 100% renewable energy by 2035 to La Mesa residents and businesses. In addition, La Mesa expanded education and outreach efforts in preparation for organic waste recycling service and tree planting program.
The 2020 CAP Annual Report also includes the 2018 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory from SANDAG, which provides a snapshot of La Mesa’s GHG reduction community-wide efforts and progress. The City continues to reduce GHG emissions and will receive their 2020 inventory at the end of 2022.
To read the 2020 Climate Action Plan Annual Report and Appendix, please visit https://www.cityoflamesa.us/1488/Climate-Action-Plan.
San Diego Community Power's Power100 Program
The City of La Mesa is taking action and opting up to San Diego Community Power’s (SDCP) 100 percent renewable Power100 program for its municipal accounts. Power100 energy is clean, carbon-free, and cost-competitive with local utility rates. This decision will enable La Mesa to achieve the ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals in our 2018 Climate Action Plan (CAP). The goal is to reduce community wide GHG emissions by 53% by 2035, and the opportunity to rely on completely renewable electricity is a key improvement for the city. As one of SDCP’s founding cities, La Mesa City Council voted to create SDCP in partnership with Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, and San Diego on Sept. 10, 2019. The cities of Encinitas, San Diego and Chula Vista also opted-up to the Power100 program.
SDCP began enrolling municipal customers on March 1 and commercial and industrial account holders on June 1. SDCP is now providing reliable clean energy for nearly 72,000 commercial and industrial accounts representing nearly 60% of its forecast energy load. Residential service will begin to roll out in early 2022. SDCP is a not-for-profit Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) committed to providing municipalities, businesses, and residents in its five member cities with clean, renewable energy at competitive rates. CCA programs were enabled by state legislation as part of the solution to the 2001 energy crisis, allowing local communities choice and control of the energy they buy.
San Diego Community Power offers many key benefits:
- Customer-Driven Choice: CCAs were created to advocate for ratepayers by providing choice for the first time and shifting control of local energy decisions from profit-driven, investor-owned utilities into the hands of residents and businesses. Competition supports lower rates, increased transparency, and a better overall customer experience.
- Future-Focused: SDCP will offer tiered programs that provide cleaner energy for competitive rates, helping reach climate action goals and support healthier communities today and for the future.
- Proven Path to Saving Money and Our Environment: There are currently 23 successful CCAs operating in 200 communities around California. As the second largest in the state, SDCP will provide the same reliable, affordable energy service as other CCAs from cleaner, sustainable sources.
- Local Management, Investment and Jobs: As a locally controlled not-for-profit energy provider, SDCP will never be taxpayer funded and will support economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at competitive rates and funding local renewable energy projects. Clean energy employs more than half a million people in California; that’s five times more workers than all fossil fuel industries combined.
La Mesa residential customers will receive additional information prior to the launch via direct mail and SDG&E bill inserts. When service launches, customers will continue to get the same, single bill from SDG&E with a new line item for electricity generation from SDCP. SDG&E will continue to deliver power, customer service, and provide ongoing system maintenance. For more information, visit https://sdcommunitypower.org/.
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