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Supporters of reopening Harborside Park wonder about future amid Cardenas allegations

Harborside Park sign
Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 10:30:20-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Many people before and during Tuesday’s Chula Vista City Council meeting called for councilmember Andrea Cardenas’ resignation following an indictment against her and her brother alleging fraud, money laundering and other charges.

“We don’t trust her anymore. She needs to resign,” a speaker said.

“Remove her from the council, suspend her whatever,” another man said.

“I think that she should be removed nobody - so many of us - we don’t want her anymore,” one woman said.

But the person in the spotlight wasn’t at the Chula Vista City Council meeting on Tuesday.

As ABC 10News reported, Cardenas and her brother are facing allegations of fraud, money laundering and other charges. They’re accused of getting tens of thousands of dollars from fraudulent COVID relief loans.

“We ask her, ‘Andrea, it’s better for you to step down,’” Leticia Lares said.

“If she does not resign, which we don’t expect her to. She said she wouldn’t. Then censure her because we definitely do not trust anything that she says,” Delia Dominguez Cervantes said.

RELATED: Chula Vista councilwoman, brother face fraud charges over COVID relief loan

Although residents are calling for her resignation in wake of the indictment, there are some wondering what it means for the future of Harborside Park and its possible reopening.

“Being her in problems, we don’t know what is going to happen. Actually, yeah, we are frustrated because we don’t know. I’m here tonight to ask,” Lares, who supports seopening of Haborside Park, said.

“Now we’re wondering if the other city council members are wondering themselves, ‘Well, should we?’ They took their lead from Andrea. The park number one is in her district,” Dominguez Cervantes, who also supports reopening the park, said.

ABC 10News reported in May city staff gave a presentation which recommended reopening the park in phases, implementing the changes from a community survey.

RELATED: Future of Harborside Park in Chula Vista still undecided, park remains closed

But Cardenas asked the city to look into at other potential uses for the park, like affordable housing.

“We had a mixed emotions wondering, hoping maybe with her being in the middle of this legal battles maybe she’ll allow the park to reopen like it was supposed to,” Dominguez Cervantes said.

That wonder continues as the legal process unfolds for Cardenas and her brother for what’s beyond the figurative and literal fence around the embattled park.

“Maybe it’s for our advantage that she’s not going to be there. Or maybe it’s going to be in hold until she resolves everything, you know,” Dominguez Cervantes said.

There were also calls in the city council chambers Tuesday night to have Mayor John McCann replace Cardenas on the SANDAG board amid these allegations.

RELATED: Group calls on Chula Vista City Council to reopen Harborside Park