By Jeff Pack

Mayor Naggar puts spotlight on love at State of the City address


Last updated 6/7/2019 at 2:04am

Jeff Pack photo

Mayor Mike Naggar speaks to the nearly 700 attendees of the 2019 State of the City address Thursday, May 30, at Pechanga Resort Casino.

In his fifth Temecula State of the City address, Mayor Mike Naggar spoke a lot about love – the love between citizens that he said binds the city, the love that he said is in every project and development and the love he has for the community.

"We have a lot of love happening here in the city – this city is a city full of love," Naggar said. "Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, it is perfect."

Over the course of the morning address held Thursday, May 30, at Pechanga Resort Casino, Naggar spotlighted several important projects have been completed or are on the way, including the announcement of plans to improve a major traffic headache in the city – Interstate 15.

"We have some exciting plans in motion with Caltrans," Naggar said. "They are fast-tracking auxiliary lanes to be added between every onramp and offramp in Temecula."

Naggar said the project is a result of the work of the I-15 Task Force initiated by he and city councilmember Matt Rahn in conjunction with several local and regional agencies.

"This $30 million project will start with Temecula taking the lead on the first leg, northbound I-15 from Temecula Parkway to Rancho California Road," Naggar said. "We are grateful to Caltrans for their partnership and cutting through all the bureaucracy and getting the job done."

Naggar reminded the audience that I-15 is a federal road.

"This should not be a city project, nevertheless, we've submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for a nationwide competitive plan requesting $50 million of this $112 million project," he said. "If it's approved, we will go out to bid in 2020.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we feel good we're going to get that $50 million."

Naggar asked that everyone in the audience go to and support the city's bid.

He highlighted the expansion of Michelle's Place, the city's Cancer Resource Guide, published in conjunction with Reeder Media, and another big announcement.

"After opening less than six years ago and expanding more than 30,000 feet just last year," Naggar said. "Our award-winning Temecula Valley Hospital will be the primary teaching site for two new accredited residency programs to start July 1 of this year, including internal medicine and family medicine, supporting a total of 26 resident physicians per year."

Naggar explained that it means more physician choices and support of medical jobs in the region.

"To prove a point, five of these resident medical doctors have already purchased homes in Temecula," he said.

He also mentioned the upcoming construction of Temecula Health Center, a skilled nursing and memory care center and nearby medical office center under construction and another collegiate medical training center coming to the area.

Naggar welcomed a special guest to the event in Kodi Lee, the young man who just days before was awarded the Golden Buzzer by "America's Got Talent" judge Gabrielle Union.

"Your musical talent, Kodi, is inspiring the world," Naggar said. "Do you want to say anything?"

"Thank you, everybody," Lee said. "I love Temecula."

The event includes a Nonprofit Expo featuring some 40 local nonprofit organizations showcasing their offerings.

Naggar summed up the program with a short statement.

"Our city is fiscally sound, our local economy is vibrant and our future is bright and just full of love in every sector," he told the crowd of close to 700 attendees. "That's the state of the city, folks, I love you all."

After he came down from the stage, he doubled down on his profession of love for the city.

"It's all about heart. I love this town," Naggar said. "I could never have imagined I would love this city and its people when I moved here. So, for me, I'm overwhelmed."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

Jeff Pack photo

The Great Oak High School drumline welcomed attendees to the 2019 State of the City event.


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