Ed Harris, San Diego’s newest City Council member, doesn’t want the fate of the coastal communities he represents to be anything like what he witnessed growing up in Orange County.
“It was all wheat fields and orange groves when I was a kid, and then they developed everything to the point where traffic was so bad it took an hour and a half to get to the beach,” Harris said this week during an interview in his 10th floor City Hall office. “We can’t let that happen here.”
Harris, who was appointed April 7 to serve the final eight months of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s council term, won’t have much time in office because the city charter prohibits him from running for election to the seat…
Gretchen Kinney Newsom, president of the Ocean Beach Town Council, said Harris is already making himself well-known in the community by attending meetings and offering valuable insight.
Harris attended a community forum this week on proposed upgrades to OB’s Saratoga Park.
“He was able to provide input about what’s worked in other areas,” Newsom said. “He also kept many of the staff, so we get to see some friendly faces and we benefit from their institutional memory.”
…Harris considers himself old-fashioned when it comes to protecting neighborhoods and quality of life. He said he opposes intense development in the communities he represents.
“My personal opinion is that density belongs downtown — that’s why we have downtown,” he said. “If you make the beaches look like downtown, people won’t have a choice any more of what kind of community they want to live in.”
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