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 alternative for Nathan Fletcher, who resigned in Could.
The League of Girls 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, mentioned attending church helped form her worth system.
“My dad and mom raised us to know the worth of onerous work,” mentioned Montgomery Steppe, including that she and her two siblings have been taught to serve.
Montgomery Steppe mentioned as a councilwoman she has targeted on rising first-time house possession and labored to construct belief between residents and regulation enforcement by way of the “No Pictures Fired” program.
Montgomery Steppe, who handled a severe sickness at age 20 and noticed her dad and mom battle financially, mentioned understands “what it takes to combat towards the forms for the folks, and it’s not 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, mentioned 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 dependancy, Reichert mentioned she is going to convey a contemporary 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 mentioned. “I’m not a politician — I’m a mother who determined to get energetic over the previous couple of years.”
“By each metric, persons are very involved in regards to the high quality of life in San Diego County.”
Each candidates supplied proposals on methods to enhance psychological and bodily well being care entry for county residents. Montgomery Steppe mentioned one aim is to extend entry to well being take care of folks whose jobs don’t supply medical health insurance.
Regardless of challenges in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, fashions have been developed to serve weak residents, she mentioned, citing a county Stay Effectively Middle that lately opened in her council district and contains a psychological well being service workplace. Hospitals that deal with dependancy don’t profit from the present cost reimbursement system, and that should change, Montgomery Steppe mentioned.
“There’s rather a lot we will do to cut back limitations, simply to get via the pink tape,” she added.
Reichert cited organizations resembling San Ysidro Well being pretty much as good suppliers, and mentioned county authorities may 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, mentioned Reichert, who mentioned the county wants to focus on psychological well being entry.
When requested about their plans to scrub up neighborhoods coping with homeless encampments, trash and graffiti, Montgomery Steppe touted neighborhood cleanup occasions, whereas Reichert mentioned extra accountability was wanted.
Montgomery Steppe mentioned a neighborhood advantages when residents can eliminate tires, mattresses or different massive gadgets freed from cost.
She mentioned it’s simpler to take away graffiti on public property, and “the sooner we will 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 loads of avenue particles, and is a troublesome difficulty to unravel.
She added that an anti-loitering marketing campaign is perhaps one resolution.
Reichert mentioned residents “don’t desire a supervisor who will politicize each difficulty — we’d like someone who’s gonna repair the potholes.”
She talked about her efforts serving to to select up trash in numerous San Diego neighborhoods, together with Rolando and Hillcrest. Reichert added that there must be accountability for companies to maintain areas clear. Reichert mentioned by way of easing homelessness, she would suggest a “shelter first” program that may additionally characteristic therapy.
The county will be compassionate by forbidding folks to sleep in parks, or exterior of faculties and companies, she added.
Each ladies mentioned they might assist extra funding to enhance the state Routes 94 and 125 interchange. Reichert mentioned she drives on that route each single day, and descried it as a nightmare and an environmental hazard.
She mentioned the San Diego Affiliation of Governments failed on fixing the interchange, and would make sure that “that not yet another dime of our taxpayer cash” is spent till SANDAG fixes that interchange.
Montgomery Steppe mentioned 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 vehicles, there nonetheless want extra methods for residents to get across the area, she mentioned.
Governmental leaders should transfer ahead with transportation enhancements, whereas additionally abiding by mandates to cut back greenhouse fuel emissions, Montgomery Steppe mentioned. It’s not a preferred dialog, “however I’m fascinated with the long run, and individuals who need to keep right here,” she added.
The candidates have been requested how they might be sure that rural communities retain their character, particularly following passage of state legal guidelines resembling Senate Invoice 10 — which permits property house owners to switch a single-family house with as much as 10 models — and necessities to cut back greenhouse fuel emissions.
Montgomery Steppe mentioned she was the primary to be on report towards sprawl growth and advised builders that as properly. City areas of District 4 would require extra density by way of growth, she added. Leaders have to determine methods to meet housing calls for whereas additionally defending open area, Montgomery Steppe mentioned.
“We now have a housing aim that we’re supposed to fulfill,” which is 171,000 models over 10 years, she added.
Reichert mentioned residents inform her that “they need to be those making choices for their very own neighborhoods,” slightly than the Legislature.
Reichert mentioned 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 is going to put communities first and advocate for wise growth.
“I imagine that we can not flip San Diego into Los Angeles or San Francisco,” she added. “That’s not an answer for our housing disaster.”