NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — National City Mayor-elect Ron Morrison is no stranger to the public eye. The longtime politician has already served as a council member and mayor of National City.
After winning the race for mayor in the general election, he says he's ready to take on the position for the fourth time.
Morrison defeated incumbent mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and Jose Rodriguez. Morrison in a close race, won by about 70 votes.
"A little tighter than we thought, and a lot of that was over those late votes, which those late votes turned a lot of elections around all over the place," Morrison said.
He says the task ahead won’t be easy but he’s ready to address several issues the city is facing, including his plans to combat homelessness.
Morrison says he’s working to open a large shelter in the city, but that the county should step up to provide more mental health and drug addiction services.
"That all comes under health and human services. Different levels of government are given different responsibilities and the money that goes with it. Well, guess who has the money and the responsibility for Health and Human services? It's the county, it's not the city. And we've got to really push on the county. The county has to do a lot more," he added.
When it comes to crime in National City, which at one point was the highest in the county, Morrison says he’ll combat the issue through policies he says worked during his previous tenure as mayor.
"Crime has increased. We were the crime capital of the county and that was one of the big things that I worked on when I was mayor before and we worked for getting all of our departments together because it's not just a police issue, we pulled everyone, everyone together the community together, we pulled public works."
Another controversial topic is the lowriding cruising ban.
"This last Tuesday, we had it on the agenda, just to establish that this next year, we don't have all the details yet to basically do that as a city event. So we want to have enough control so that there's not the traffic problems, there's not the crime problems, but everyone gets to enjoy the cars," said Morrison.
He says the first order of business will be working with the council. He adds that the hardest obstacle to tackle will be the division within his community.
"We're seeing that everywhere and that is really what is keeping, I think, a lot of our communities from making any real progress is all of this division," he said.
Morrison takes office on Dec. 13.
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