TIJUANA- Interim mayor Todd Gloria traveled south of the border this week, his third trip to Baja, to attend the last "state of the city" adress by outgoing Tijuana mayor Carlos Bustamante.
"This trip is important to continue are binational relationship with Tijuana and Baja California. Obviously Carlos Bustamante has been a wonderful friend to San Diego, the least I can do is to be here today... and I'm interested in making sure that San Diego is doing its part in this binational relationship," commented Gloria. He has previously held a meeting with Bustamante and was present for the swearing-in ceremony of Baja California governor, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid.
Also, he confirms he has talked with the San Diego mayoral candidates, council members David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer about the importance of continuing with the efforts of improving binational ties and, "both are very supportive of continuing a positive relationship with Mexico. I think that either candidate who wins will continue to make this a priority, and I'll continue to be City Council President after March, so this will remain a priority for the legislative branch. But I expect it will also be for the executive branch, no matter who's elected mayor."[p]
Both of them will visit the city in the coming weeks he says, as part of the mayoral campaign and as a continuation of the work started by former mayor Jerry Sanders, then Bob Filner and now himself of having closer ties with Mexico. Now, he states, "it is expected that the mayor of San Diego come to Tijuana... And I believe that both of these gentlemen understand that if they expect to succeed and to lead a city with such a sizable population of Latino's, and a community that it immediately adjacent to Mexico, they need to show that they understand these issues."
On the issue of relationships with the incoming mayor and his administration, that of Jorge Astiazarán, he confirms that there has been "close communication since his election and we'll expect that to continue even in a more rapid pace when he becomes mayor. I've actually really been charmed by him, I think he seems like a really cool guy...We've set up regular meetings between San Diego's planning staff and the Tijuana staff in order to make sure that we're collaborating on issues that make sense in terms of how our cities grow." He adds that, even when he was a boy, he remembered the difficulties between the San Diego and Tijuana relationships but believed that they have gotten passed that stage and now, both cities understand each other well, so "we can work better on this relationship and make sure it works for both of our peoples."