In 2012, Morro Bay elected a new City Council majority. We knew that there were entrenched positions and the road to change would be as bumpy as many of our city’s streets. We also knew that Mayor Jamie Irons would need support to turn the tide and establish policies for all of Morro Bay’s citizens instead of focusing exclusively on Embarcadero businesses and the friends of council members and staff, as his opponents cynically promoted fear and rebellion.
Since his election, Jamie Irons has worked doggedly to improve the daily lives of Morro Bay citizens. He resigned his job to devote more time to the challenges of setting a bold and courageous new course for the city’s next 50 years. He addressed aging infrastructure, initiated acceleration of the timeline for the water reclamation facility that had stalled in a stand-off with the Coastal Commission, took steps toward updating the city’s decades-old general plan, addressed drought-related issues, and asked the always controversial question: Do we have the right people in the right positions to be successful? Which the majority of the council answered: “No.” Doom and gloom were predicted at fever pitch, but months later, no disruption of city services has occurred.
Mayor Irons endured personal attacks and a recall attempt that was loud and bitter but did not have enough supporters to even reach the ballot. Through it all, he never attacked his opponents, and carried on the city’s business with grace and dignity. Only 18 months into his tenure, we are well on the way to identifying a new site for the water reclamation facility, a grant has funded the first steps toward general plan update, the bridge and harbor walk extension cleared the Coastal Commission, and streets all over Morro Bay have been repaired. We have a new contract city attorney, a well-qualified interim city manager, and the sky has not fallen. Jamie Irons has earned the opportunity to finish what he started. He has my vote, and my gratitude.
-- Jane Heath - Morro Bay