The 2 candidates within the District 4 Board of Supervisors particular election sounded off points together with well being care entry, transportation enhancements and rural neighborhood character throughout a discussion board Wednesday night at Cuyamaca School.
Forward of the Nov. 7 particular election, San Diego Metropolis Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, a Democrat, and communnity activist Amy Reichert, a Republican, answered questions submitted by viewers members. Roughly 100 folks attended the one-hour occasion on the faculty in Rancho San Diego.
Together with civic accomplishments, the candidates gave private experiences as examples of why they’d make a very good substitute for Nathan Fletcher, who resigned in Might.
The League of Ladies Voters San Diego moderated the Wednesday discussion board, sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Enchancment Affiliation and Casa de Oro Alliance.
Montgomery Steppe, a local San Diegan first elected because the Fourth District Metropolis Council member in 2018, stated attending church helped form her worth system.
“My dad and mom raised us to know the worth of exhausting work,” stated Montgomery Steppe, including that she and her two siblings have been taught to serve.
Montgomery Steppe stated as a councilwoman she has targeted on growing first-time house possession and labored to construct belief between residents and regulation enforcement by way of the “No Photographs Fired” program.
Montgomery Steppe, who handled a severe sickness at age 20 and noticed her dad and mom wrestle financially, stated understands “what it takes to combat towards the paperwork for the folks, and it isn’t simple. You do want somebody with the expertise to do this.”
“That is actually about you — it’s not about me,” she added.
Reichert, who has lived in San Diego most of her life, stated when her father was recognized with a number of sclerosis, her mom grew to become breadwinner for the household that additionally obtained authorities help.
Reichert is a state-licensed investigator who co-founded Re-Open San Diego in 2020, a gaggle against COVID-19 mandates. She misplaced to Fletcher final November.
A mom of two whose personal life was touched by the loss of a kid and habit, Reichert stated she’s going to carry a recent perspective to the Board of Supervisors, and isn’t beholden to any particular curiosity.
“Right here we’re at a particular election, and we’re at a crossroads,” Reichert stated. “I’m not a politician — I’m a mother who determined to get lively over the previous couple of years.”
“By each metric, individuals are very involved in regards to the high quality of life in San Diego County.”
Each candidates supplied proposals on enhance psychological and bodily well being care entry for county residents. Montgomery Steppe stated one purpose is to extend entry to well being look after folks whose jobs don’t provide medical insurance.
Regardless of challenges in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, fashions have been developed to serve weak residents, she stated, citing a county Stay Nicely Middle that not too long ago opened in her council district and incorporates a psychological well being service workplace. Hospitals that deal with habit don’t profit from the present fee reimbursement system, and that should change, Montgomery Steppe stated.
“There’s lots we are able to do to scale back obstacles, simply to get by the purple tape,” she added.
Reichert cited organizations resembling San Ysidro Well being pretty much as good suppliers, and stated county authorities will help them get federal or state grants.
She additionally proposed increasing the variety of disaster stabilization models and psychiatric response groups that help these struggling a psychological well being breakdown.
The county additionally lacks sufficient psychiatric beds for a inhabitants of over 3 million, stated Reichert, who stated the county wants to focus on psychological well being entry.
When requested about their plans to wash up neighborhoods coping with homeless encampments, trash and graffiti, Montgomery Steppe touted neighborhood cleanup occasions, whereas Reichert stated extra accountability was wanted.
Montgomery Steppe stated a neighborhood advantages when residents can eliminate tires, mattresses or different massive gadgets freed from cost.
She stated it’s simpler to take away graffiti on public property, and “the sooner we are able to present that service, the higher it’s for our residents.”
Montgomery Steppe in June voted towards the town’s homeless encampment coverage. She acknowledged that tents and different dwellings produce quite a lot of avenue particles, and is a troublesome difficulty to unravel.
She added that an anti-loitering marketing campaign is perhaps one answer.
Reichert stated residents “don’t need a supervisor who will politicize each difficulty — we want any individual who’s gonna repair the potholes.”
She talked about her efforts serving to to choose up trash in varied San Diego neighborhoods, together with Rolando and Hillcrest. Reichert added that there must be accountability for companies to maintain areas clear. Reichert stated by way of easing homelessness, she would suggest a “shelter first” program that may additionally characteristic remedy.
The county may be compassionate by forbidding folks to sleep in parks, or outdoors of faculties and companies, she added.
Each ladies stated they’d help extra funding to enhance the state Routes 94 and 125 interchange. Reichert stated she drives on that route each single day, and descried it as a nightmare and an environmental hazard.
She stated the San Diego Affiliation of Governments failed on fixing the interchange, and would make certain “that not yet another dime of our taxpayer cash” is spent till SANDAG fixes that interchange.
Montgomery Steppe stated the 94/125 interchange is a part of SANDAG’s regional transport plan. Analysis exhibits that extra roads trigger extra congestion and whereas folks love their automobiles, there nonetheless want extra methods for residents to get across the area, she stated.
Governmental leaders should transfer ahead with transportation enhancements, whereas additionally abiding by mandates to scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions, Montgomery Steppe stated. It’s not a well-liked dialog, “however I’m fascinated with the long run, and individuals who wish to keep right here,” she added.
The candidates have been requested how they’d be certain that rural communities retain their character, particularly following passage of state legal guidelines resembling Senate Invoice 10 — which permits property homeowners to exchange a single-family house with as much as 10 models — and necessities to scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions.
Montgomery Steppe stated she was the primary to be on file towards sprawl improvement and instructed builders that as effectively. City areas of District 4 would require extra density by way of improvement, she added. Leaders have to determine meet housing calls for whereas additionally defending open house, Montgomery Steppe stated.
“We’ve a housing purpose that we’re supposed to satisfy,” which is 171,000 models over 10 years, she added.
Reichert stated residents inform her that “they wish to be those making selections for their very own neighborhoods,” somewhat than the Legislature.
Reichert stated extra housing is required to cease the exodus of individuals leaving the county for a less expensive place to dwell, resembling southern Riverside County, however added she’s going to put communities first and advocate for smart improvement.
“I consider that we can not flip San Diego into Los Angeles or San Francisco,” she added. “That isn’t an answer for our housing disaster.”