Padilla returns

Robert Moreno

Fri November 25, 2016 11:54am

Former Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla gets his chance to serve the city once more after nearly a decade away from office.
The former port commissioner becomes the first person elected to represent Chula Vista’s southeast district that mainly encompasses the Otay Ranch community.
Padilla earned his seat on the dais by defeating Jason Paguio in November’s general election. Padilla received 8,296 votes or 55 percent.
“It’s humbling and I’m excited about the opportunity to serve again,” he said. “To play a part and do my part to help represent our neighborhoods and to move the whole city forward as a whole.”
Padilla said he has big plans for the community, including making the residents of Southeast Chula Vista more engaged at City Hall. He said he wants to give them a feeling that they have a little shorter distance to travel between them and their representative.
Padilla believes he resonated with constituents in District 3 because they were able to see his leadership ability.
“I think they respected the know-how,” he said. “I think they respected that I had a proven record of delivering results and they valued that.”
Although Padilla will represent District 3, he will also be responsible for voting on policy that will shape the future of the city.
Padilla said he would like to see Chula Vista bring in more jobs for their residents.
“We need to find people who can invest and bring job centers here for us because one of our biggest challenges, I think, is we need to have people have the ability to work here, not just live here,” he said.
Padilla said overall, District 3 residents are happy with the way things are in the city, including having confidence in their city government. Padilla said although residents appear to have more issues with their local HOA instead of city ordinances, he still wants to do what he can to constantly improve the district.
Padilla has lived in Chula Vista since the age of 5 but has lived in southeast Chula Vista off-and-on for six years.
He said one of the reasons he moved into the district is for its diversity.
“District 3 is a special district,” he said. “It’s economically diverse, it’s culturally diverse, and it has a good balance of housing as well as commercial.”
Padilla said by electing him, residents know he is ready to work.
“I think that they saw that I was prepared and ready to move things forward,” he said.