Coyote Radio was able to sit down with the Mayor of San Bernardino, Carey Davis, and take the time to ask him a few questions about the city. Davis has been in office since 2014 and even received his master’s of business administration from CSUSB.
Mayor Davis gave insight on developmental plans and future projects for San Bernardino, as well as the city’s participation in the L.A. County Fair.
Q: Mayor, what is the most exciting thing you and your team are working on?
One of the things we are very excited about is the revitalization of the carousel mall. It’s a decades-old monument in San Bernardino. But, unfortunately, as you’ve seen retail go through the bust that it has in the past several years, we see a need to be able to take that mall, and convert it into a mixed-use facility. We’re very happy to have that opportunity; it won’t be very long before we’re able to see some remnants of the revitalization of our Carousel Mall.
Q: Does it feel like things are getting better in San Bernardino?
Absolutely, I think we are seeing an opportunity for overcoming many of the challenges that San Bernardino has faced over the past several years. One of those has, of course, been our bankruptcy, which in June we were successfully able to exit. But, also, we’re able to overcome some of the management that we faced as a result of the downsizing of the city. We’re also seeing a great rebound in not only overcoming our challenges, but also meeting some of the priority goals that we established with the community back in 2015.
Q: What were some of the goals you established?
One of the goals was to make sure the city was fiscally sound and we’ve been able to do that. Back in 2012, the city was looking at a 45 million dollar deficit and currently, now, as of the end of the 2016 fiscal year, we now have about a 33 million dollar reserve.
Q: What is your vision for the future of San Bernardino, for the kids like us who are in school or college?
Well, you know, if you take a look at San Bernardino, this is really a great city to be involved in. I can’t think of too many cities that we’re on the rebound and students and adults, people like yourselves, can really make a difference. Your voices can be heard, we’ve collaborated with many of the youth in our city, together with the adults.
Q: In all seriousness, you’re pretty excited about San Bernardino’s participation with the upcoming fair. Tell us about that.
Evelyn Estrada, executive secretary for the city, she had this idea of being able to reach out to the LA county fair. They have, what they call “special days”, and San Bernardino day was started about a year ago. This year we have the opportunity, once again to showcase on of our local heroes, and that’s Margret Hill. Margret Hill is such a deserving honoree for this opportunity to showcase one of those people in San Bernardino that puts their heart and soul into everything they do.
Q: What do you have in store for the next few months? what are some of the bigger projects you’re going to be working on?
Well, as I mentioned, one of the things that we’re doing is trying to revitalize is the Carousel Mall and in addition to that, there’s theater square. Theatre Square is one of the assets of the city, we’re trying to monetize that so we’ll be able to have a catalyst and the financial wherewithal to be able to start the redevelopment of the carousel mall. One of the things that we need to do is that we have to demolish the Carousel Mall, to be able to do that, we have to have the resources available for the city. So, the Theatre Square is one of the assets of San Bernardino, and we hope to be able to sell that to have the initial capital to be able to start that project. We already have interest from developers that want to come into downtown and revitalize it. As you know, we have this transit hub, they’re at E and 2nd St., later this year we’ll see the Metrolink coming into the downtown, so you’ll have a transit hub there where you’ll be able to get through anywhere in Southern California without having to drive a vehicle.