Candidates enter campaign fray for District 2 council seat
by ADRIANE TILLMAN | Beach & Bay Press
Published - 08/06/09 - 02:08 PM | 3666 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patrick Finucane is running for the District 2 council seat in the 2010 election.
Patrick Finucane is running for the District 2 council seat in the 2010 election.
Ian Trowbridge is running for the District 2 council seat in the 2010 election.
Ian Trowbridge is running for the District 2 council seat in the 2010 election.
Patrick Finucane, 32, is a Pacific Beach activist with a career in mechanical engineering who believes the city must bulk its police department, upgrade the Point Loma sewer facility, repave the roads instead of filling potholes and revisit the dilemma of moving Lindbergh Field.

Finucane registered in June to run for the District 2 City Council seat in the November 2010 election.

“I believe District 2 needs a representative that is interested in helping out the neighborhoods and not just buying time because he’s running for higher office,” Finucane said.

Finucane believes the city has been misgoverned for years and that politicians are not willing to tackle major issues. He lamented the fact that the city has repeatedly applied for waivers to stall upgrading the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant that doesn’t meet federal water-pollution standards. Finucane said the city must be committed to repaving streets.

He spoke about e-mailing the city to fix a pothole on Lamont Street. Finucane said the city responded by pouring asphalt into the hole but that the same pothole reemerged two months later.

“It’s ironic that we live in a beautiful, mild climate where it hardly ever rains and doesn’t freeze but the streets are full of pot holes because the city repairs pot holes on the cheap,” Finucane said.

Finucane believes the District 2 councilmember must develop partners in the region to formulate a solution for Lindbergh Field, instead of adding more gates to the airport.

“Nobody has a good plan for it,” Finucane said. “All they’re really doing is adding more flights, bigger airplanes and louder airplanes that will affect District 2 a lot. Voters didn’t want to put the airport in Miramar but we need leadership because 5 or 10 years down the line something needs to happen.”

Finucane also advocates for turning the city’s water reuse pilot program into a reality. Finucane believes the public is misinformed about the safety of recycling wastewater.

“I’m running because these problems are not going away and if we wait four more years they will be worse,” Finucane said.

Finucane graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a degree in mechanical engineering, and moved to Pacific Beach in 2001. He took graduate classes at San Diego State University, joined the crew team and worked for Stage Three Technology, a start-up company that produces mufflers for older jets. Finucane currently works as a mechanical engineer at General Atomics in La Jolla.

In Pacific Beach, Finucane sat on the Pacific Beach Town Council for three years, served as vice president and the residential representative for the Pacific Beach Community Parking District for three years. He is also a volunteer for the Beach Area Community Court.

“By working together, we can prevent special interest groups from controlling local government, demand accountability from city hall, and set up the long term planning that will improve and protect San Diego’s future,” Finucane said.

Ian Trowbridge, 62, is a returning candidate for the District 2 seat who wants to see the city develop San Diego Bay with interconnected parks, open space and good architecture – not hotels that block views of the bay.

Trowbridge, a Mission Hills resident for 17 years, believes the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) and Unified Port District have no vision for the bay front and that District 2 City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer works hand-in-glove with the hospitality industry.

“The idea would be to make [the embarcadero] a real gateway to San Diego with world-class architecture and planning,” Trowbridge said.

Trowbridge co-chairs the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition that successfully sued Manchester Pacific Gateway LLC for not properly noticing the public about the environmental impacts of redevelopment.

“The ultimate goal is to get that land returned to the city, and certainly not to Miami-ize the waterfront with just hotels and office buildings,” Trowbridge said.

Trowbride said the city must exercise fiscal responsibility. He opposes the city’s plan to build a new downtown library with upper floors to be used as a school.

“I think it was cobbled together, and just not the right place particularly when branch libraries are short of books and have limited hours,” Trowbridge said.

Trowbridge said the city must stop what he calls “corporate welfare.” Developers must pay their fair share of infrastructure costs, said Trowbridge, who opposes the expansion of the convention center that he believes the hospitality industry should fund. Residents should also pay their share in fees and taxes. Single-family homes should pay for trash pickup like rentals do, according to Trowbridge.

“In a sense, I agree with Carl DeMaio on many of his positions on fiscal responsibility except that I’m a progressive democrat and am opposed to outsourcing of jobs,” Trowbridge said.

When it comes to the airport, Trowbridge doesn’t envision relocating it, but suggested a separate airport should accommodate short flights, and Lindbergh Field should only be used for international travel. He does oppose building a parking structure on the east side of Harbor Drive, however, which calls a “disaster.”

Trowbridge is a retired scientist. He worked at Salk Institute in La Jolla from 1972 to 2003, where he chaired the Department of Cancer and Biology for 27 years. He grew up in a small mining community in England and received his Ph.D in immunology at Oxford University.

As an activist, Trowbridge is most proud of successfully suing the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation for not openly discussing the severance compensation for fired president Carolyn Smith who, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, was to receive $100,350 in severance pay.

Trowbridge believes his experience as an immigrant and his science background will be an asset to city council.

“Kevin [Faulconer] personally is a nice guy, but he is trained as a PR person and I’m trained as a scientist, and so is Patrick [Finucane] for that matter,” Trowbridge said. “Frankly I think we are much better at not shading the truth.”
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