Cheryl Cox, Mayor Of Chula Vista
Cheryl Cox was sworn in as Chula Vista’s 39th mayor on December 6, 2006. In her first year, Mayor Cox initiated an Independent Financial Review that identified the reasons behind the city’s fiscal problems and offered recommendations to ensure a sustainable approach to budgeting in future years. Today, the city is positively positioned for business investment and economic growth.
In a city with great opportunity, Mayor Cox encourages progressive planning with an emphasis on sustainable development. In her first term, Mayor Cox endorsed the Urban Core Specific Plan, a zoning document that lays the foundation for revitalization and redevelopment in the northwest area of the city. Following City Council approval, the Plan, which promotes green building standards and provides for mixed-use development, a modern public transit system and walkable neighborhoods, was singled out for an award from the Urban Land Institute. The Eastern Urban Center, 210 acres of yet-undeveloped property east of SR-125, was unanimously approved by the Council in September 2009 for mixed use residential and commercial purposes.
As a long-time Chula Vistan, Mayor Cox is dedicated to helping Chula Vista’s bayfront reach its potential as a world-class waterfront property. At her urging, the Port demolished vacant industrial buildings along H Street, west of Interstate 5, in 2007. This project helped expose more of H Street’s view corridors from east to west. More improvements followed in fall 2009, as SDG&E cleared the waterfront’s skyline of its electrical transmission towers. In February 2010, a significant land exchange agreement was reached to further the first mixed-use development around the port’s existing marina while protecting the bayfront’s wildlife preserve.
Mayor Cox supports civic engagement and promotes local business. She regularly hosts a Citizens’ Leadership Academy to educate residents about city government and operations. To help retain Chula Vista’s sales taxes within the city, the Mayor launched the Shop/Dine Chula Vista campaign in cooperation with the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, thereby encouraging Chula Vistans to support local business and spend locally.
Prior to her election, Mayor Cox was a local teacher and school principal. She served six years on the Chula Vista Elementary School District Board of Trustees. Mayor Cox maintains her educational roots by serving on the Governor’s Roundtable for Education and is a strong advocate for attracting career training and higher education to Chula Vista. By 2013, over 375 acres east of SR-125 will be owned by the City, to become the site for a long-anticipated University Park and Research Center.
During 11 years as a member of Sharp Healthcare’s Advisory Board, she worked on plans to improve and expand hospital outpatient and emergency services. Mayor Cox served on the City’s Charter Review Commission and ad hoc Committee for Campaign Finance Reform. For several years, she was a governmental relations and education consultant.
Mayor Cox received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego, a Master’s of political science from San Diego State University, and a Doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.
In 2007, she received the San Diego Urban Corps’ Kate Sessions Environmental Award, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership and Involvement Award, and was selected for Hilltop High School’s Hall of Fame. In 2008, the California Women’s Leadership Association recognized Mayor Cox with a Trailblazer Award, and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) recognized her as their 2008 Public Official of the Year. She received the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce’s Presidential Award for 2009.
Mayor Cox is the daughter of retired Navy officer John Willett, who is currently the Chair of for Otay Valley Regional Park advisory committee, wife of San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, and mother of two adult daughters.