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General Press Releases

Frank Urtasun Sworn in as 2024 Port of San Diego Chairman - Commits to “Delivering on Our Promise”

2024 Executive Officers of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. Left to right: Vice Chair Danielle Moore, Chairman Frank Urtasun, Secretary Ann Moore

The Port of San Diego formally swore in its 2024 executive officers for the Board of Port Commissioners on Thursday, January 18. Frank Urtasun, Coronado’s appointee, was sworn in as chairman; Danielle Moore, one of three San Diego appointees, was sworn in as vice chair; and Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s appointee, was sworn in as secretary. This is Urtasun’s third time as Port chairman. He served twice while he was an Imperial Beach appointee from 1992 to 2002. The Coronado City Council appointed him to rejoin the Board in 2022. He is the first Commissioner in the history of the Port to be appointed by two different member cities.

During a ceremony held at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, Chairman Urtasun introduced his theme for 2024, “Delivering on Our Promise,” reflecting on San Diego Bay’s transformation since the Port’s founding and committing to a focus on parks, plans, and prosperity in the years ahead.

"For more than 60 years, the Port of San Diego's contributions to our region remain relatively unknown and unappreciated by locals and visitors alike. Since many, including many of the very same voters who supported the formation of the Port in 1962, know very little how the Port has changed our region, it's important to revisit the original legislation and promise made to our voters,” says Frank Urtasun, the 2024 Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "By revisiting this history, we are reminded of the Port's contributions, including approximately $2 billion invested in our region, a $21 billion annual economic impact, and 114,000 jobs associated with the Port's activities.”

“By revisiting this history, we all gain a greater appreciation of the value the Port brings to our community and continuing fulfillment of the promise made to our voters. And, we're not done. The Port of San Diego will continue to reinvest its earnings from tenant rents into our community for parks, environmental enhancements, and new venues for all Californians and visitors to enjoy the lands in and around San Diego Bay. Our promise to the voters has impressively, and continues to be, fulfilled without taxing residents. Lastly, we commit to continue improving our governance and operations.”

Projects and initiatives Chairman Urtasun highlighted include:

  • Parks:
    • Imperial Beach – the Imperial Beach Pier and Plaza area will see additional improvements, adding to similar enhancements made in the past few years.
    • Chula Vista Bayfront – Sweetwater Park is under construction now. This new, nature-inspired park will be unlike any other on our bayfront. Also, Bayside Park will undergo significant expansion, doubling in size and being renamed Harbor Park.
    • National City Bayfront – Pepper Park will get new features including the bay’s first splash pad. It will also be expanded in the coming years.
    • Barrio Logan in San Diego – Cesar Chavez Park will see some improvements to enhance its amenities and usability.
    • Embarcadero in San Diego – work will soon get underway to transform Navy Pier adjacent to the USS Midway Museum into Freedom Park to honor San Diego’s military history and veterans.
    • Coronado and Harbor Island – landscaping and other beautification efforts are planned or underway for Tidelands Park in Coronado and Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Island in San Diego.
  • Plans:
    • National City Balanced Plan – the Port anticipates completing this effort with the California Coastal Commission in 2024, which will allow the Port to expand Pepper Park and realign Marina Way to better separate public and commercial recreation from maritime and industrial activities. National City can then also move forward on its commercial development plans to generate more money for the city and its services for residents.
    • Port Master Plan Update – this water and land use plan, also known as “the future of the Port,” is anticipated to go to the Coastal Commission this year.
    • Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan – the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center is about 16 months or so from opening. This project makes the new Sweetwater Park and expansion of Bayside Park possible. Plus, there are other areas where the Port and City of Chula Vista plan to develop and add recreation and public amenities.
    • East Harbor Island – the Port anticipates making headway in planning for more parks and waterfront promenades along with the proposed Topgolf project and other to-be-determined “eatertainment” experiences. These improvements will activate an area that hasn’t been publicly accessible for 70 years.
    • 1220 Pacific Highway – announcements regarding redevelopment plans for the land at 1220 Pacific Highway (formerly leased by the Navy) are forthcoming.
  • Prosperity:
    • Maritime Clean Air Strategy – the Port’s two all-electric cranes and Crowley’s new electric tug will go into operation this year. Plus, the Port and partners continue working on multiple fronts to make zero-emission trucking a reality to reduce diesel pollution.
    • Nature-based solutions – the Port is working to create more opportunities to fortify and protect bayfront infrastructure while also restoring and enhancing the bay’s ecosystems and improving water and air quality. (Examples include ECOncrete and the Native Oyster Living Shoreline project.)
    • Harbor Police – securing more resources so the department can continue providing the highest quality of public service through crime prevention and homeland security on and around the bay.

Chairman Urtasun was sworn in by former Congressman Brian Bilbray. Vice Chair D. Moore was sworn in by her brother, Bryant Moore. Secretary A. Moore was sworn in by Port District Clerk Donna Morales. The Executive Officers are elected by the Board and will serve a one-year term.

2024 Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. Left to right: Commissioner Dan Malcolm, Commissioner Sandy Naranjo, Secretary Ann Moore, Chairman Frank Urtasun, Vice Chair Danielle Moore, Commissioner Rafael Castellanos, Commissioner Michael Zucchet.

There are seven Commissioners on the Board. In addition to the executive officers, Dan Malcolm serves as Imperial Beach’s appointee, Sandy Naranjo is National City’s appointee, and Rafael Castellanos and Michael Zucchet serve as the second and third of three San Diego appointees. Commissioners are appointed by the city councils of their respective cities for four-year terms and may be reappointed for additional terms. The Board of Port Commissioners is responsible for setting the policies by which the Port of San Diego conducts its day-to-day operations, under the guidance of its president and CEO.

The Port of San Diego manages San Diego Bay and 34 miles of its beautiful, natural waterfront for the people of California. The Port was established in 1962 under the Port Act and is charged with implementing the Public Trust Doctrine. Consistent with the responsibilities laid out in these documents, the Port and its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego – have worked together to develop and promote commerce, navigation, recreation, and fisheries on and around San Diego Bay for over 60 years. Self-funded, the Port contributes billions annually to San Diego’s economy, benefiting the community, local businesses, and employees. Businesses at the Port provide thousands of good-paying jobs, supporting individuals and families throughout the region, and millions of people enjoy a remarkable way of life offered by San Diego Bay and its waterfront communities.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.