For the first time in about 28 years, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 2 seat will have a new supervisor because Supervisor Dianne Jacob has termed out.
There are two politicians and two political novices running for her seat, which is in the county’s largest district.
The candidates are former State Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, General Contractor Brian Sesko and Kenya Taylor. Taylor, a Rancho San Diego resident, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and executive committee member of the San Diego NAACP.
Though the district encompasses some 600,000-plus people, talk to the voters and there are some common issues they’ll bring up that they’d like their new supervisor to address.
“Immigration and the economy are my biggest concerns,” said Linda Prida from Alpine.
All four candidates agree the rule of law needs to be followed when it comes to immigration.
Anderson said, “(He is) against taxpayer funded benefits for undocumented immigrants.”
Vaus noted, “A nation that doesn’t protect its borders ceases to remain a nation.”
Sesko would like to do away with sanctuary laws and have more cooperation with federal law enforcement.
Taylor said, “Obey the law, but treat people with respect in the process.”
In San Diego County, the demand for housing is outstripping supply, creating major affordability issues for voters.
“The rental prices in general are out of control,” said Kathryn Mann who worries about ever being able to afford a home.
Vaus, Seko and Anderson all say in order to reduce the cost of housing, there’s a major need to cut government red tape and regulation coming out of Sacramento.
“It needs to be easier to build homes in order to help reduce the costs associated with buildings homes,” said Vaus.
On her way out of the municipal building in El Cajon, Fletcher Hills resident Linda Carreno worried about the homelessness situation.
“How you fix it? I don’t know. I see a lot of issues with it at Parkway Plaza,” said Carreno.
Having worked with seniors addressing mental health issues, candidate Kenya Taylor said she believes in the housing first model.
“It’s important for the county to provide prevention and early intervention funding so people don't end up on the street. If we can intervene early it could save the county money."
Sesko believes one of the keys to the issue is “providing temporary housing and beds for people who commit crimes so the Sheriff’s Department has a place to take them.“
Mayor Vaus said, “All residents deserve clean and safe streets and parks. We have an obligation to make sure public spaces are usable by all. We have a moral obligation to provide services for those in need.”
Included in District 2 are East County homeowners who’ve been struggling to find or maintain fire insurance as insurance companies are either raising rates or dropping customers.
Alpine resident Julie Sugida knows the problem all too well, living in a fire prone area where she’s had to evacuate her home three times in 20-plus years.
“We've had insurance canceled two or three times,” said Sugida.
“No one should be non-renewed on their fire insurance without having a clear path to renewal and I’ll work with the Insurance Commissioner to ensure that the County is doing everything possible to partner with the State of California to address this issue,” said candidate Anderson.
Both Vaus and Seskos say the State of California needs to step up and make sure all homeowners have affordable access to insurance.
“Our homes are the embodiment of The American Dream,” said Vaus.
Seskos says he’d consider pushing for legislation to help underwrite insurance companies, noting unfortunately it would likely mean using tax dollars from the general fund, unless another solution is proposed.
Taylor hopes to combat the issue by supporting Measure A.
“Everyone deserves to be safe, that's why she supports Yes on “A,” to stop sprawl development. "
The primary election is March 3.