Five Burning Questions

Last week, The Coast News sent each of the candidates in the District 3 Supervisor race five questions of importance to voters in the upcoming election. Each of the candidates submitted their responses, which are printed in full below. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

 

Sam Abed

Sam Abed

Sam Abed:

1) Where do you stand on the Lilac Hills Project and how would you balance housing needs with environmental and regulatory requirements throughout the county?

I don’t have all the information to take a position on this particular project. My general position on development is that all projects have to comply with all the local, County and State laws, also mitigate all significant impacts of the projects and provide amenities to benefit the community.

At the same time we need to provide affordable housing for our residents and to grow our economy. According to SANDAG the population and job growth in the county is growing at a faster rate than the availability of homes making the affordability much worst.

2) Where do you think the county can improve in its delivery of services to its constituents? 

Better infrastructure for roads, water quality and availability, public safety, streamline regulations and increase efficiency.

3) Do you support the SANDAG half-cent sales tax measure? Please explain your support or lack thereof?

I voted against it. It does not provide a funding balance between freeways, local roads and public transportation. The balance is needed to provide an efficient transportation system today and in the future.

4) How do you feel the county is doing in terms of public safety and the impact of Proposition 47 and Assembly Bill 109 has had on the region, and what would you do differently, if anything?

The county should demand from the State to fund drug and alcohol and mental health implication as promised under prop 47.  AB109 is a result jail overcrowding and the State failure to address their financial situation.

The County of San Diego has not seen yet the full impact of AB 109 and Prop 47. I would find millions of dollars in efficiency and fully fund public safety to mitigate the increase in crime in the county of San Diego.

5) Why do you feel you would be the ideal person to represent District 3 on the Board of Supervisors?

I am the most qualified candidate with 28 years of executive experience in the private sector and San Diego County. I have served on SANDAG board of directors (the only candidate), NCTD, San Diego Economic Development Corporation, San Diego Workforce Investment Board.

I am also the Co-Founder of the “Innovate78” a collaborative effort between the five mayors of North County to create a regional economy. I am the past Chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and had a successful career with IBM in engineering, marketing and management.

Experience is critical to manage the fourth largest county in America with $5.4 billion budget. I am the only candidate with experience, integrity and leadership.

 

Kristin Gaspar

Kristin Gaspar

Kristin Gaspar:

1) Where do you stand on the Lilac Hills Project and how would you balance housing needs with environmental and regulatory requirements throughout the county?

It is important to understand that I will serve in a quasi-judicial role on the Board and therefore can’t take a position specifically on Lilac Hills. Overall, San Diego County has both an affordable housing crisis and a dwindling amount of precious open space. I will support quality development projects that balance the need for diverse housing and services while protecting the environment and community character.

I will continue to bring an open mind to land use, making informed decisions on a case-by-case basis. I have always stressed the need for protecting and promoting private property rights, both locally and throughout the State of California.

2) Where do you think the county can improve in its delivery of services to its constituents?

Public Safety: It is incumbent upon elected officials to ensure we have adequate levels of public safety on a cost effective basis while preserving our ability to recruit and retain topnotch talent. We must improve fire service response to the most vulnerable unincorporated areas of the County. By keeping public safety a top priority, we will maintain our focus on drug prevention, decreasing criminal activity and managing the side effects of the implementation of the Early Release law.

Economic Development/Job Growth:

Attracting good paying jobs is the key to a sustainable economy in San Diego. We must work closely with the private sector to ensure a strong and diversified local economy. We must promote economic growth by balancing environmental protection with long range planning to develop programs and incentives that create good paying jobs, strengthen our economy and help small businesses grow.

Mental Health Services/Homelessness:

Work done to end Veteran Homelessness in other jurisdictions suggests that with the right plan in place, and a government investing in the proper solutions, we can drive change. The growing homeless population is a quality of life issue shared by all that is solvable with the right leadership, approach, and commitment. I am proud to have brought forward a plan in Encinitas, becoming the first community in North County actively working to combat Veteran Homelessness.

3) Do you support the SANDAG half-cent sales tax measure? Please explain your support or lack thereof?

I oppose the SANDAG sales tax increase. Despite generating billions of dollars, the plan falls short of providing a balance between traditional and alternative transportation modes in District 3. This is evidenced by the strong opposition from interest groups and many elected officials throughout the region. I encourage voters to closely examine the projects that are guaranteed in the proposal versus available through a competitive grant process. North County cities receive a disproportionate amount of guaranteed benefits in this proposal compared to the downtown region. Traffic congestion in the area is a pressing issue that impacts daily quality of life, requiring proactive solutions and effective leadership. I will continue to be supportive of a full complement of traditional and alternative transportation modes that protect our taxpayers and local economy while improving the flow of traffic in our County.

4) How do you feel the county is doing in terms of public safety and the impact of Proposition 47 and Assembly Bill 109 has had on the region, and what would you do differently, if anything?

AB109 and Prop 47 have placed criminals back onto our City streets creating a tremendous new burden on our local law enforcement agencies — absent funding from Sacramento. W

e need to work closely with law enforcement to understand the impacts on our County and ensure they have the resources needed to keep our residents safe. As a result of these legislative changes, I have significant concerns that the County is getting behind on providing sustainable solutions for our growing homeless population. Now more than ever, we need to evaluate the effectiveness of County programs, making certain that they meet our short, medium, and most importantly long term goals as a region.

5) Why do you feel you would be the ideal person to represent District 3 on the Board of Supervisors?

We need to return ethics, accountability, and transparency to county government. It’s this simple: we should be getting the services we pay for, county government should be protecting our quality of life, and we need to put a stop to elected officials using political office for personal gain at the expense of the taxpayer. I am the Mayor of Encinitas, CFO and small business owner of a company with more than 100 employees, and a mother of three young children.

As Supervisor, I will bring real-world small business experience, practical local government knowledge, and a determination to make government work for our families.

 

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts:

1) Where do you stand on the Lilac Hills Project and how would you balance housing needs with environmental and regulatory requirements throughout the county?

I have fought to protect our county’s General Plan to stop overdevelopment of our neighborhoods, rural lands and protect our coastline. I led the effort to preserve 5,600 acres of open space in North County and to extend the San Dieguito River Park agreement for another 50 years. I successfully fought to protect Carmel Valley neighborhoods against the poorly planned One Paseo proposal.

I strongly believe the General Plan serves as a framework for development and strongly believe each project should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

As a member of the Board of Supervisors, and a decision maker on the Lilac Hills Project, I am precluded from taking a position until this item comes before the board in a public hearing since this application is currently on file with the county. Recently, the county was notified that the applicant for this project intends to place this matter before the voters of San Diego County. Pending certification of the required signatures, we may see this project on a countywide ballot as early as November 2016.

2) Where do you think the county can improve in its delivery of services to its constituents? 

Since I joined the Board of Supervisors in 2013, San Diego County has received numerous state and national awards for excellence in customer service to our constituents.

During my first term as your Supervisor, I have worked to maintain and improve services that our most vulnerable residents rely on. Just today (Tuesday), I was recognizing the 10th Anniversary of Angel’s Depot, which provides a box of nutritious food to hundreds of our neediest seniors.

I helped implement needed reforms in the county’s foster care system, and worked with leaders throughout our region to prevent the Palomar Forensic Health Center, which provides care to abused children and sexual assault victims, from closing its doors. I worked to secure $1.6 million for additional Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams to assist law enforcement to defuse critical situations. Additionally, the county has opened a residential facility that provides short-term housing in the North County to assist people in crisis.

Over the next four years, I plan to continue to ensure that our most vulnerable residents have access to the services they need. This includes continuing my work on the Alzheimer’s Initiative to ensure that the 60,000+ residents and their families have the services they need to combat this terrible disease.

3) Do you support the SANDAG half-cent sales tax measure? Please explain your support or lack thereof?

Over two-thirds of our voters asked that a second sales tax measure be put before the voters to address critical quality of life issues. Having done some preliminary research on this new measure, I believe that it includes several worthy public infrastructure projects that greatly benefit North County and provide substantial funding for increased transit. I am also pleased to see that this measure, if approved, includes funding for critical habitat restoration. I am continuing to solicit input from my constituents and am reviewing the current draft version of the proposal that will be coming before the SANDAG Board of Directors for final approval. As with any proposal, I will fight to make sure that it benefits not only the residents of my district but the entire county of San Diego.

4) How do you feel the county is doing in terms of public safety and the impact of Proposition 47 and Assembly Bill 109 has had on the region, and what would you do differently, if anything?

As the First Vice President of the California State Association of County Supervisors, I have seen firsthand how Proposition 47 and Assembly Bill 109 have created challenges for the law enforcement community throughout the entire state of California. San Diego County has outstanding collaboration between the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s office and the San Diego County Probation Department, which has made the implementation of these state mandates as seamless as possible. We have also worked tirelessly to ensure that we receive state funding promised for these efforts.

In the past several years, the county has received numerous national awards for getting out in front of these challenges and becoming a statewide leader.

Public safety is my top priority and that’s why I have earned the strong support of first-responders who keep San Diego County safe including the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, San Diego City Firefighters and the San Diego County Probation Officers Association.

Finally, I am proud to demonstrate my personal commitment to public safety by being a trained Community Emergency Response Team member for over a decade providing service as a worker in our communities during disasters.

5) Why do you feel you would be the ideal person to represent District 3 on the Board of Supervisors?

For the voters of District 3, I listen to what they tell me, to gain a sense of the issues they are concerned with throughout the district and the county. Protection of our environment and our quality of life are very important to them and I fight hard for those issues. We cannot take our beautiful open space environment for granted and it takes all of us to watch over it.

I am of the mindset that development must be integrated into communities so that it does not change our way of life. Our rural communities must be protected, too.

I will fight for these values, just as I have since being elected as District 3 Supervisor.

Throughout my time in office, I have been a champion of the environment. Most everyone in our county uses our beautiful beaches and I will continue to fight to keep them clean and healthy for our residents. I have also been vocal in my opposition to the Gregory Canyon Landfill as there is no reason that landfills should be built on the banks of our rivers. Gregory Canyon Landfill is proposed to be built on the banks of the San Luis Rey River that carries water to the City of Oceanside and North San Diego County and that is wrong.

Finally, I strongly believe that animals bring a sense of peace and well being to many of our county residents and I will do everything I can to protect them by fighting to reduce pet overpopulation, prohibiting the sale of puppy mill dogs and to ensure the timely reconstruction of the County Bonita Animal Shelter.

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