San Diego County Supervisor, District 2

October 7, 2020

Two candidates are competing for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ District 2 seat held for 28 years by Dianne Jacob: former state Sen. Joel Anderson, who represented the 38th Senate District, and Steve Vaus, Poway mayor and business owner.

Joel Anderson

Joel Anderson grew up in East County where he and his wife, Kate, raised their their children. Anderson served East County San Diego in the State Assembly from 2007-09 and in the State Senate from 2010-18. Prior to that, he served on the Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

Throughout his legislative career Anderson received 28 Legislator of the Year awards from prestigious organizations such as the California State Sheriff’s Association, California Rifle and Pistol Association, Crime Victims United, San Diego Off Road Coalition and the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce.

For his efforts to restore veteran benefits, Anderson received numerous awards honoring him for his work toward improving veterans’ lives in California from such organizations as the VFW, The American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, American GI Forum, California State Commanders Veterans Council and Blue Star Families.

Never straying from the principles he was elected to uphold, Anderson was named one of California’s most independent leaders because he worked with both parties on important reforms.

During his time in the Legislature, Anderson received top ratings from: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Taxpayers Association and the California Chamber of Commerce.

Is the proposal to widen state Route 67 to four lanes from Lakeside to Ramona necessary and worth the cost?

As taxpayers, we have been paying a half-cent sales tax increase for 15 years to pay for these promised road and safety enhancements. I know that in Alpine, where I live, we want the road and safety improvements we were promised, not smoke and mirrors compromises or more money spent on environmental studies with no new construction. I’m tired of politicians at SANDAG selling out the taxpayers and it is time that we push back and demand to be treated fairly.

Are Ramona and the backcountry adequately prepared for wildfires?

Living in Harbison Canyon for 30 years and having witnessed first-hand the devastation in my own community caused by the 2003 Cedar Fire, I am painfully aware of the need for major investments in fire prevention and suppression. As your county supervisor, I will continue to push for innovative ways to help homeowners manage defensible space and harden their homes, as well as ensuring our local fire agencies have the resources they need to effectively respond in emergencies.

Will the Mt. Woodson parking plan to add roughly 200 spaces be sufficient to ensure pedestrian/driver safety?

The Mt. Woodson parking plan has undergone significant public input from the community planning group and other stakeholders and from what I understand construction could begin as soon as the summer of 2021. As your senator, I had an open door policy and this would continue as supervisor. If we need to reevaluate certain aspects of the project to ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers, I’d be happy to discuss what those solutions could be. Safety should always be our goal.

Has the San Diego County Board of Supervisors responded well to the coronavirus pandemic? Can anything else be done to support businesses affected by it?

I think the real question isn’t choosing between business or human health. The real question is whether we are using medical science or political science to fight COVID. I believe if we start using medical science, we can open more businesses in less time while protecting at-risk vulnerable populations. The San Diego Medical Society has endorsed me because I have a plan. Arbitrarily closing businesses hurts all of us. I’d review ordinances with a “can do” attitude instead of assuming all business shouldn’t open.

What are possible solutions to providing affordable housing to county residents, particularly the senior population?

The cost of living is just too high. When our starter homes are priced well over $450,000 and with 40% of the cost of a home due to government regulation, it is no wonder housing is not attainable for our seniors and families. Expanding housing opportunities for San Diegans is encouraged by cutting government red tape and building where it makes most sense. We shouldn’t have to visit our kids and grandkids in Texas, Arizona, Utah or Idaho.

Explain how you are up to the challenge of replacing longtime Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

I grew up in East County and I currently live in Alpine with my wife of 31 years. We raised our three children here and that’s why I’m running for supervisor, to ensure that my children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same opportunities my wife and I had raising a family in San Diego County. Lack of county leadership has led to a mental health and homelessness crisis, out-of-control housing costs, too many taxes and fees, traffic gridlock and dumping of sex-offenders in East County.

As your state senator, it was my goal to make government work for you. I never forgot that you were my boss and I worked hard every day to fight for you. Every year my office solved over 1,000 cases for those who were having trouble with onerous state agencies like the DMV or the Franchise Tax Board. I’m grateful for the support of over 3,000 citizens that have endorsed my campaign because they know that I’m an independent leader and tax fighter and I’ve worked with both parties to pass reforms. This election is important for the future of our county and we need a voice that will fight for East County and our quality of life.

Steve Vaus

Award-winning small business owner and two-term mayor of Poway. Steve’s family has been in East County for three generations. He and his wife, Corrie, have four children and six grandsons.

Is the proposal to widen state Route 67 to four lanes from Lakeside to Ramona necessary and worth the cost?

It’s certainly necessary for the safety of folks that drive on state Route 67 each day, but these improvements are critical for the evacuation of Ramona during a wildfire, and also very important for getting first responders in while residents are getting out. We’ve seen 67 become a parking lot as folks tried to flee Ramona. That can’t happen. These improvements have been planned for years, but the Sacramento politicians have failed to deliver for Ramona residents. Our local tax dollars are now being used to fix a state responsibility. This is a perfect example of elected officials in Sacramento not prioritizing a local need.

Are Ramona and the backcountry adequately prepared for wildfires?

The region has come a long way since the massive wildfires in 2003 and 2007. The County created the San Diego County Fire Authority and over $500 million has been spent on fire engines, helicopters, staffing, fire stations, equipment, communications and brush removal. Ramona receives fire protection through a contract with CAL FIRE, so it’s part of the same unified command as the Fire Authority. I’m sure many folks in Ramona remember that the surrounding areas were on their own before the creation of the Fire Authority. That has all changed, and we saw those resources and unified command on display during the recent Valley fire.

This doesn’t mean that nothing else needs to be done to improve fire preparedness and response. Staffing can be enhanced in the backcountry, and our surge capacity should be increased. Our Citizen Emergency Response Teams should be bulked up with more volunteers, resources and authority. The fire code for new homes is top notch, but older homes in high fire risk areas would benefit from retrofitting to protect them during a fire. I believe the County should offer a grant program to help with the cost of such retrofitting. Evacuation routes need to be fully secured, improved and communicated, including state Route 67. Given the expertise and resources in this region, we should be leading the nation with technology and mapping. Quick and accurate information will help save lives and better respond to a threat.

Will the Mt. Woodson parking plan to add roughly 200 spaces be sufficient to ensure pedestrian/driver safety?

This was an important action by the County and the spaces can’t come soon enough. We don’t know yet if it will be sufficient, and we will likely need Caltrans, the County, CHP, the city of San Diego and the city of Poway to be a part of the long-term solution. Parking on both sides of 67 will need to be eliminated, and we should be pushing the public to tackle the climb from the Poway side. The views on the Poway side are worth the tough hike.

Has the San Diego County Board of Supervisors responded well to the coronavirus pandemic? Can anything else be done to support businesses affected by it?

My heart goes out to business owners that are suffering or have shut their doors for good, and the employees who are now struggling to pay the bills. The state holds all of the cards right now. I would prefer that decisions on public health are made in San Diego County, not Sacramento. Our hospital beds have never been at full capacity and we are averaging over 8,000 tests per day. People testing positive are now much younger, and the outbreak at SDSU has hurt our numbers. I support the effort to exclude the SDSU numbers so that businesses aren’t punished. Greater local control would mean a targeted approach so that we do not have a one-size-fits-all plan.

In Poway, we have protected the vulnerable, serving nearly 10,000 meals to seniors, while establishing a business loan program. We took action to buy picnic tables for restaurants so they can operate outdoors. We opened our parks so that businesses and churches could use the space for their operations. I’m pleased the County and the city of San Diego have followed our lead.
What are possible solutions to providing affordable housing to county residents, particularly the senior population?

The new Schmale senior housing complex in Ramona is the perfect example of what this region needs. The $22 million project was a public-private partnership that created 62 affordable housing units for seniors. The County also purchased property next to the Ramona library for another affordable senior housing project. In Poway, we are currently building an affordable housing project for senior veterans, and we recently completed a project for developmentally disabled residents. Government can’t do this alone, but it can be there to partner with the private sector to get these projects over the finish line. The Board of Supervisors authorized the $50 million Innovative Housing Fund to leverage over $460 million of development through public-private partnerships, which will house about 2,400 individuals across vulnerable populations — veterans, low income families, adults with developmental disabilities and seniors. Action was taken by the County and other jurisdictions to help build accessory dwelling units or granny flats. Allowing folks to do more with their own property will help provide critical housing for the region.
Explain how you are up to the challenge of replacing longtime Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Dianne Jacob has been a remarkable representative of Ramona and East County in her 28 years of service on the Board of Supervisors. Reaching her level of accomplishment will not be easy. Thus, I am honored that she endorsed me for the 2nd District seat. My track record as mayor of Poway — always delivering balanced budgets, never increasing taxes, consistently being the safest city in the county, ranked #1 to raise a family, expanding housing opportunities while protecting and increasing open space — offers a great blueprint for my approach to representing Ramona and the rest of the district. Additionally, my success as a small business owner, combined with my local and regional government experience, uniquely qualifies me to be the next Supervisor for East County.

In addition to Jacob’s endorsement, I’m also supported by three of the four other supervisors. I am also endorsed by the majority of mayors in the district and in the county, as well as many council members, planning group members, school board members, and other local leaders throughout the district.

FROM:

Ramona Sentinel
San Diego County Supervisor, District 2

Posted In: