SOLANA BEACH — With family and friends by his side, Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts officially entered the race for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Jan. 10.
Until then, Steve Danon, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, was the only candidate in the running to fill the District 3 seat of Pam Slater-Price, who announced in September she would not seek a sixth term. Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard said he plans to enter the race this month.
District 3 includes parts of the city of San Diego as well as Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar.
“Everyone I talked to said they wanted a choice in this election,” Roberts said. “They wanted someone who could bring people together to create real solutions, not sound bites. They asked me to consider running.
“People said they are looking for a true consensus builder who has experience with the issues,” he said. “I’m hoping the majority of voters will agree I’m that person.”
If elected, he said his goal would be to build on the “great work” Slater-Price has done during the past 20 years.
“The county is in great financial shape,” he said. “I want to ensure we continue to make good decisions.”
The Board of Supervisors deals with a variety of county issues such as public safety, land use, parks and libraries — all areas in which Roberts has been involved. With experience at the local, state and national levels, he said he also has the background necessary to create jobs and promote economic growth.
Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and a graduate degree in public finance management from American University in Washington, D.C.
He came to San Diego in 1995 after being promoted to chief of staff for the health care business unit at Science Applications International Corporation, which he and his team helped build into a Fortune 500 company.
Since 2002 he has worked for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a nonprofit organization focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology and management systems for the betterment of health care.
Roberts is a federal appointee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Panel on Medicare Education focused on maximizing the cost effectiveness and delivery of Medicare, Medicaid and children’s health insurance programs.
He also helped create the military’s current health care system and is a founding member of the national Health IT Collaboration for Underserved Populations. He frequently spends time in Washington, D.C.
Prior to being elected to the Solana Beach City Council in 2004 he served on the Friends of the Solana Beach Library and Solana Beach Budget and Finance Committee and is past chairman of the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority.
As a councilman he has had various regional assignments, serving as a member of committees and boards such as North County Transit District and the San Diego Association of Governments.
“I’ve really enjoyed serving on the Solana Beach City Council for the past seven years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to taking that experience to the county level. It will be an extension of what I’ve been doing for the city and the region.”
In September 2009 Roberts entered the race for the 50th Congressional District, running against incumbent Bilbray.
Shortly after that the county child services department called to say the half brother and sister of his youngest and third adopted child had been removed from their birth mother and Roberts and his partner brought the children into their home.
He suspended his campaign that November to focus on his growing family.
Those two children were among those who accompanied Roberts to the Registrar of Voters Office when he filed the paperwork to enter the District 3 race.
“They loved going to the ‘meeting’ with us,” he said. “We explained how important it was and how it would keep me home all the time.”