SUPERVISOR 5TH DISTRICT COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
March 5, 2009
State of North County Address
State of North County Address
It’s the time of year for reporting where things stand in North County and an opportunity to present my vision for the coming year. That will be given on Thursday, March 26 at 10 a.m. at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, 5970 La Sendita (Thomas Bros. 1168 D-3).
As you know, the County of San Diego is faced with unprecedented financial challenges, brought on by the State’s outrageous $42 billion budget deficit. In an attempt to put its reckless financial affairs in order, the State is planning to defer payments for programs that counties operate using money the state is obligated by law to provide. Unfortunately, this is standard operating procedure. For several years, the state has withheld millions of dollars that counties need to provide social services and other programs that are the State’s responsibility.
In this edition of “The Word,” I’ll share what we are doing to keep the County fiscally sound. Other stories include a milestone in our efforts to build a new library in Fallbrook, the celebration of the new and improved McClellan-Palomar Airport, and strengthening our safety net for abused, neglected or abandoned children.
I hope to see you at the State of North County Address on March 26 at 10 a.m.
On February 12, Supervisors Dianne Jacob, Greg Cox and Pam Slater-Price joined me in a trip to Sacramento to confront State legislators. Over the years, I’ve found when you need action that conference calls, letters and e-mails to someone else don’t have the impact of direct contact. When you can go nose-to-nose with someone as we did, you have a better chance at getting what you want.
Along with Supervisors from other California counties we demanded that a sound budget solution be found that would release appropriated funds for social services that serve the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
While our presence was not received well by Governor Schwarzenegger and most legislators, we felt it was imperative to let Sacramento know that the state’s continued theft of cash that belongs to counties has brought us on the verge of mutiny.
While details in the recently passed budget are not fully known, the severe economic downturn across the state and rising unemployment rates means that people who have never depended on government aid are turning to counties for help. We cannot continue to operate state-mandated programs, including CalWORKS, and adoption and foster care assistance without adequate funding. The County of San Diego has made significant cuts, layoffs and furloughs; however, we cannot meet the unprecedented demand for safety net services without the appropriated funds.
Our confrontation with legislators was followed by a lawsuit filed against State Controller John Chiang to release social services funds. Twenty-seven other counties in the state have joined us in that legal action.
Although a budget deal was reached on February 18, we are prepared to “back-fill” funding next month: however that action will come with a steep price and potential serious consequences. Using general fund money for social services carries the real possibility of reducing law enforcement services, library funding and road maintenance, just to name a few areas in jeopardy. Back-filling would be a one-time, stop-gap measure. Beyond that, the money well will be dry.
The County of San Diego’s strong fiscal foundation has been built with a commitment to not spend money we don’t have. That philosophy is not shared by most of those in Sacramento which explains the unprecedented $42 billion deficit.
I would encourage you to partner with us in voicing your concerns to elected leaders in Sacramento to put their “house” in order.
|Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sacramento Number: 916-445-2841
Local Number: 619-525-4641
Controller John Chiang
You can find your state representatives on the internet by entering
your address on this page:
Find Your California State Legislature Representatives
|State Senate||Name||Local Number||Sacramento|
Website for all State Senators: http://www.sen.ca.gov
|36th District||Dennis Hollingsworth||619-596-3136||916-651-4036|
|38th District||Mark Wyland||760-931-2455||916-445-3731|
|39th District||Christine Kehoe||619-645-3133||916-651-4039|
|40th District||Denise Moreno Ducheny||619-409-7690||916-651-4040|
|State Assembly||Name||Local Number||Sacramento|
Website for all State Assembly Members: http://www.assembly.ca.gov
|66th District||Kevin Jeffries||951-894-1232||916-319-2066|
|73rd District||Diane L. Harkey||760-757-8084||916-319-2073|
|74th District||Martin Garrick||760-929-7998||916-319-2074|
|75th District||Nathan Fletcher||858-689-6290||916-319-2075|
|76th District||Lori Saldana||619-645-3090||916-319-2076|
|77th District||Joel Anderson||619-441-2322||916-319-2077|
|78th District||Marty Block||619-462-7878||916-319-2078|
|79th District||Mary Salas||619-409-7979||916-319-2079|
Designers and Builders Selected for New Fallbrook Library
This month it was terrific to announce that we now have a team of architects and contractors to create the new 20,000 square foot library for the community of Fallbrook at Mission and Alvarado.
We have worked long and hard with community leaders and now our promise to complete the long-awaited facility is within sight. Special mention should go to the Friends of the Library, including President Marlo Miller, Task Force Chair, Jerri Patchett, benefactor Arlene Ingold, Bob Jacobsen and so many others who helped us get this done.
I also want to thank our great library director, Jose Aponte and his staff for their part in what will be a state-of-the-art facility and center piece for the community that will reflect the area’s rural character.
I’ll keep you informed as we move forward in this tremendous project and can’t wait to be in line with my library card in hand to check out a book as soon as the library opens in Fall of 2010.
Helping Parents in an R-rated World
In an effort to provide an option for parents to restrict their children’s access to R-rated video materials, the Board of Supervisors approved my recommendation to implement changes that control R-rated DVDs and videos at our 33 library branches and two bookmobiles.
After receiving concerns from parents that children under the age of 18 have been checking out R-rated DVDs and videos without their consent, we took action to make sure there is a system in place that allows parents to exercise their rights in doing what is best for their under age children.
The new policy changes video check-out procedures, forms, and management of software to provide an option for parents to restrict their children’s access to R-rated video materials.
Parents will be able to restrict access by checking a box on the child’s library card application form, either online or in the library. The new library card application is being developed and will be available at library branches within 60 days.
The Gem Shines Brighter
McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad has long been one of our greatest assets and now this gem in the eight County-owned and operated airports shines brighter than ever.
Last month we dedicated a brand new, 18,000-square-foot terminal that is adjacent to an upgraded taxiway, a new parking lot and the high-tech passenger and baggage screening areas. In the spring, the terminal will feature the Landings, a new restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.
I appreciate the tremendous work by our Airport Director Peter Drinkwater and his staff. The new McClellan-Palomar Airport positions North County to be at the forefront for improved commercial and charter air services for our regional airport needs.
Over the past five years, there has been more than $40 million in public investment in the airport from FAA grants and airport earnings. None of the county’s general fund tax money was used to pay for any airport improvements or operations.
Private investors have spent $90 million in new hangars and facilities, replacing old buildings with state-of-the-art facilities for storing all sizes of aircraft, including the most sophisticated corporate jets.
In March, McClellan-Palomar airport celebrates its 50th anniversary. When you see it, I know you will agree with me that the airport has never looked better.
Strengthening the Safety Net for Kids
Looking out for children has always been among my top priorities and I was pleased the County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an appropriation of $750,000 from the County’s First 5 Commission Proposition 10 funding to strengthen the Foster Care Safety Net Initiative and services for Polinsky Children’s Center.
The urgency to advocate for children who are abused, neglected or abandoned has never been greater and I commend my fellow Supervisors for joining me in their support to be a voice for children under the age of five who need our protection.
County Disaster Food Stamp Program Lauded
When it comes to the distribution of food stamps, our County’s performance in responding to the Wildfires of 2003 and 2007 is now considered a national model. The development of a best-in-class Disaster Food Stamp Program resource guide is being replicated at the national level by the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (USDA-FNS).
The seamless program protocols and training materials developed by the County’s Health and Human Services Agency will be the basis for the USDA’s generic disaster template.
The County’s materials were also used by the California Department of Social Services for their Disaster Response and Preparation training and will be replicated in other California counties. For more information, contact Kim Forrester at 619-685-2288.
Two-wheel Excitement in Valley Center and on Palomar Mountain
Valley Center and Palomar Mountain were a big part of the Tour of California bicycle race on February 22. The final 96.8-mile stage for professional cyclists included a muscle-busting ascent to 5,123 feet on Palomar Mountain.
Our Community Liaison, Christi Knight and her husband, along with our Director of Constituent Services, Candyce Yee were at Adams Park on Cole Grade Road to greet people at our District 5 table.
An estimated 300,000 people turned out along the route to watch. Cami Matson, President and CEO of the San Diego North Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, was among those who did a tremendous job promoting the event. A special thanks to Shawneen Burdick, President of the Valley Center Chamber of Commerce, Cory Carrier from ACE Mobile Music, and all of the Sheriff’s and Public Works personnel.
Let’s hope North County is a permanent stop for future Tour of California events.
County Administration Center 1600
Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92101 tel: (619) 531-5555 fax: (619)
North County office: 325 S. Melrose Ave., Suite 5200, Vista, CA 92081 tel: (760) 806-2400 fax: (760) 806-2404