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The race for mayor

Port Tenants Association throws support behind DeMaio

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Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio won the support of the Port Tenants Association for his detailed plans to improve San Diego and create jobs in the region.

“Carl DeMaio has been one of the leading supporters of the Convention Center expansion, maritime trade, tourism and business development in San Diego,” said Jim Unger, chairman of the Port Tenants Association. “We are proud to stand with the businessman who has the detailed plans to improve San Diego’s economy and create jobs for our region.”

Businesses and industries on the San Diego Bay make up the Port Tenants Association, which is dedicated to enhancing trade, commerce and tourism along the tidelands, while protecting the area’s environment, said Unger.

DeMaio’s “proven track record of results” is why Sharon Cloward, president of the Port Tenants Association, said the association supports him as the next mayor of San Diego.

“He gets things done while he has an ambitious vision for the Port and the San Diego economy as a whole. He is the only candidate to see these visions get done,” said Cloward. “We appreciate the level of detailed knowledge and business acumen that Carl DeMaio has shown us. We need someone in city hall who is a businessman who understands the reality we are facing in our economy.”

The Port offers an opportunity to expand job creation in the immediate term and long term, said DeMaio. One of the main strategies of his jobs plan, “Pathway to Prosperity,” is to maximize the use of the Port as part of job creation.

With many unemployed and underemployed San Diegans, DeMaio said economic strategies are needed to create quality, middle class jobs. And the Port of San Diego offers the opportunity to expand job creation in the immediate term and long term, he said.

“It’s a diversity of jobs we’re talking about. I think the discussion should be less on what jobs we don’t want to have and more on, ‘Hey, let’s just create a diversity of jobs in San Diego, paying a number of different salaries.’ Because I think one thing we can agree on is San Diegans need more jobs,” said DeMaio.

His administration will conduct a performance audit to ensure that taxpayer funds are properly spent and the potential for job creation is maximized, he said.

“We ought to have a signature waterfront that is accessible for recreation, tourism, maritime shipping and general enjoyment for all San Diegans and visitors. These are important projects and it’s going to take a mayor who can bring people together to get the job done, more than just a clear plan, but proven record of getting things done,” said DeMaio. “And that is why I’m so pleased to have the support of the Port Tenants Association. These are the individuals who know firsthand what it takes to maximize the economic potential of our port, to create jobs along the port, to protect our environment and to open up our port to more recreation uses.”

Unger said DeMaio’s thinking is “refreshing,” he is “tackling the tough issues” and has a plan about how he wants to go about business.

“Jerry Sanders did a great job. Carl is the natural following to continue what’s already great steps to fiscal responsibility and sustainability,” said Unger.

DeMaio plans to pursue public/private partnerships, find ways to enhance tourism — such as the expansion of the Convention Center — and by expanding and rebuilding the cruise ship business in San Diego. His administration will also pursue dual permitting to create a “one-stop shop” for businesses, he said.

“We’ll look for ways to improve efficiencies between the Port, the county and the city of San Diego so that we can reduce costs and run more like a business. And finally, we will make sure we will pursue a waterfront that San Diegans can be proud of by completing the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan,” said DeMaio.

Congressman Bob Filner, who is running in part on a promise to expand the Port's operations, minimized the relevance of the endorsement.

“I'm glad Carl finally agrees with me that the Port is an important regional asset and a key to growing our local economy. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Filner said in a statement.

Despite endorsing his opponent, Filner said he looks forward to working with the Port Tenants Association if he is elected. And he has the support of a majority of the Board of Commissioners in his efforts to modernize the Port, he said, including Port Commissioner Lee Burdick.

"Bob Filner is the only mayoral candidate who fully appreciates the Port as an important and significant economic engine for our region,” Burdick said in a statement. “More importantly, he understands that to be a successful driver of economic prosperity it requires local, regional, federal and international collaboration and partnerships. I am delighted that Bob has taken up the challenge to make the Port of San Diego the best it can be."

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