February 23, 2024
Amy Reichert (left) and Monica Montgomery Steppe. File pictures

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 group 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 substitute 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 mother and father raised us to know the worth of exhausting work,” mentioned Montgomery Steppe, including that she and her two siblings had been taught to serve.

Montgomery Steppe mentioned as a councilwoman she has centered on rising first-time house possession and labored to construct belief between residents and legislation enforcement through the “No Pictures Fired” program.

Montgomery Steppe, who handled a severe sickness at age 20 and noticed her mother and father battle financially, mentioned understands “what it takes to battle in opposition to the forms for the folks, and it’s not straightforward. You do want somebody with the expertise to try 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 carry 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 lively 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 easy methods to enhance psychological and bodily well being care entry for county residents. Montgomery Steppe mentioned one objective is to extend entry to well being take care of folks whose jobs don’t supply medical insurance.

Regardless of challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, fashions had been developed to serve weak residents, she mentioned, citing a county Reside Effectively Middle that just 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 fee reimbursement system, and that should change, Montgomery Steppe mentioned.

“There’s so much we are able to do to cut back limitations, simply to get by the pink tape,” she added.

Reichert cited organizations similar to San Ysidro Well being pretty much as good suppliers, and mentioned county authorities will help them get federal or state grants.

She additionally proposed increasing the variety of disaster stabilization items 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 group cleanup occasions, whereas Reichert mentioned extra accountability was wanted.

Montgomery Steppe mentioned a neighborhood advantages when residents can eliminate tires, mattresses or different massive objects freed from cost.

She mentioned 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 in opposition to the town’s homeless encampment coverage. She acknowledged that tents and different dwellings produce plenty of road particles, and is a troublesome situation to unravel.

She added that an anti-loitering marketing campaign could be one resolution.

Reichert mentioned residents “don’t desire a supervisor who will politicize each situation — we’d like any individual 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 might additionally characteristic remedy.

The county may be compassionate by forbidding folks to sleep in parks, or exterior of faculties and companies, she added.

Each girls 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 be sure that “that not 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 gasoline emissions, Montgomery Steppe mentioned. It’s not a well-liked dialog, “however I’m fascinated by the long run, and individuals who wish to keep right here,” she added.

The candidates had been requested how they might make sure that rural communities retain their character, particularly following passage of state legal guidelines similar to Senate Invoice 10 — which permits property homeowners to switch a single-family house with as much as 10 items — and necessities to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Montgomery Steppe mentioned she was the primary to be on report in opposition to sprawl growth and informed builders that as nicely. City areas of District 4 would require extra density by way of growth, she added. Leaders have to determine easy methods to meet housing calls for whereas additionally defending open house, Montgomery Steppe mentioned.

“We’ve got a housing objective that we’re supposed to satisfy,” which is 171,000 items over 10 years, she added.

Reichert mentioned residents inform her that “they wish to be those making selections for their very own neighborhoods,” relatively than the Legislature.

Reichert mentioned extra housing is required to cease the exodus of individuals leaving the county for a less expensive place to reside, similar to southern Riverside County, however added she is going to put communities first and advocate for smart growth.

“I consider that we can’t flip San Diego into Los Angeles or San Francisco,” she added. “That’s not an answer for our housing disaster.”