SUPERVISOR 5TH DISTRICT COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
February 11, 2010
State of North County Address
You are invited to attend the annual State of North County Address.
It will be at 10 AM, Tuesday March 9th at the AVO Playhouse in Vista,
303 Main Street.
With our state legislature in such turmoil, and the budget deficit
now approaching $20 billion, our County has never faced such daunting
financial challenges. I’ll share with you how the County as a whole is
handling the crisis and have specifics about how we are impacted in
We are fortunate to have long followed conservative fiscal policies,
however, unless something changes in the Sacramento mind set, dire
consequences are ahead.
I hope to see you at the Address.
In this edition of the “Word,” I’ll have
more thoughts on the state budget crisis, report on a milestone event
for veterans in San Diego County and share events and happenings in
the North County.
The State Budget
The nearly $20 billion dollar state budget deficit is tightening
like a noose around the neck of every person in California. The debt
is preventing economic expansion, costing jobs, driving tax-paying
residents out of the state, and undermining public confidence.
I wonder why people in Sacramento even call it a “budget” since a
budget is supposed to be a plan for the expenditure of fixed resources
during a given period. The key words there are “fixed resources.” The
state continues to spend money it does not have.
When it comes to dealing with the growing deficit, the strategy of
the State hasn’t changed much in the past few years. Leaders in
Sacramento look to county coffers and either delay or cancel
reimbursements for services mandated by the state legislature. If you
did that in the private sector, you might find yourself in jail.
For years I have said until a fundamental change happens in the
governing mindset of those in power in Sacramento, the budget deficit
will only increase. When Governor Schwarzenegger took office,
California was spending $78 billion a year. Less than five years
later, state spending has increased by 40 percent even though revenue
peaked in 2008.
Much of the state revenue that property owners provide in taxes goes
to public education; close to $10,000 for every public school student
in the system. For a class of 25-30 students, we’re talking about more
than a quarter of a million dollars for each classroom in the state.
How much of that money actually gets to the classroom after filtering
through the hands of bureaucrats is debatable; however, it’s obvious
that money is not the reason our public schools perform at or near the
bottom when compared with other states.
At one time California created an infrastructure second to none in
the U.S. We were on track to build a canal to bring water from the
north to the south. That was under the leadership of Governor Pat
Brown. When adjusted for inflation, we were spending about $1,350 for
every man, woman and child in this state and doing it with money we
had on hand. Today Sacramento spends more than $3,000 for every person
in the state with money we don’t have and delivering not much more
than political rhetoric.
We operate on an uneven playing field. As I have said, Newton’s Law
of Gravity is valid every where except Sacramento because not all of
what goes up in taxes comes back down to where it belongs.
Miramar National Cemetery
This month it was my honor to be at the groundbreaking ceremony for
a new veterans’ cemetery in San Diego County. After ten years of
appeals, studies, hearings and public input, there will be a veterans’
cemetery on the northwest corner of Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar.
The main entrance to the cemetery will be on Nobel Drive between
Miramar Road and Interstate 805.
Supervisor Horn and Dr. Gary Parks,
President & CEO,
Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma has been closed to
most casket burials since the mid-1960’s, for lack of space. Up until
now the closest National Cemetery has been 90 miles away from Fort
Rosecrans in Riverside, which is the busiest national cemetery in the
United States with more than 8,000 internments last year. The distance
is a hardship for family members who wish to visit the graves of loved ones.
The new facility at MCAS Miramar will be built on land provided
through a land use agreement with the U.S. Marine Corps. This project,
based on a design by Van Dyke Landscape Architects in San Diego, will
develop approximately 42 acres of the 313-acre site providing 10 years
of burial services. The project will include an early turnover area,
which will allow the Veterans Administration (VA) to start burial
operations by summer of this year while construction continues on the
remainder of Phase 1 and its permanent facilities.
The new cemetery at Miramar, expected to cost at least $20 million
for the first phase will incorporate vernal pools and native brush and
reclaimed water to irrigate green areas in such a way as to mitigate
environmental issues. To meet those requirements, the Veterans
Administration had to purchase nearly 16 acres of gnatcatcher
territory near Mission Trails Regional Park to compensate the loss of
habitat at Miramar.
Supervisor Horn and Brigadier General Robert Cardenas,
USAF (Ret.) Chairman, Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation.
The first phase will have: approximately 11,500 conventional
gravesites; 4,500 in-ground cremation sites; 10,000 columbarium
niches; an administration building and maintenance complex; two
committal service shelters; and a public assembly area. Because of
environmental issues, the cemetery layout will be different from Fort
Rosecrans or Arlington National Cemeteries, which have rows of white
headstones and rolling hills of green lawn. The graves at Miramar will
be arranged in turf clusters. Between those clusters the land with
native plants will be unchanged.
Part of the red tape in this project was the name of the cemetery.
Technically, the new site is considered an annex because the VA did
not allow creation of a national cemetery within 75 miles of each
other. However, I’m pleased that an exception was made for Miramar. I
was among many who asked that it simply be called Miramar National
Cemetery. And that will be its official name.
Right now, more than 600,000 World War II and Korean War veterans
are passing away each year. That rate is expected to begin tapering
off in 2017. VA officials are hopeful the Miramar cemetery will meet
the needs of veterans for at least 60 years.
The new site at Miramar will offer families in San Diego County an
opportunity to relocate remains that are at Riverside. Family members
who buried loved ones at the Riverside cemetery can have those caskets
moved to Miramar, at their own expense.
There are approximately 253,000 Veterans in the San Diego County area.
For more information please go to www.cem.va.gov or call the Fort
Rosecrans National Cemetery office at (619) 553-2084. To make burial
arrangements at the time of need at any VA national cemetery, call the
national cemetery scheduling office at (800) 535-1117.
An Annual Reminder of a Good Deal
Late last month, we put out a reminder for low-income families and
individuals to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Nick Macchione, Director, County Health and Human Services Agency;
Doug Sawyer, President and CEO, United Way of San Diego County; and
Ron Wicks of the Internal Revenue Service joined me at the news
conference. In these tough economic times, the EITC may be needed more
During the EITC campaign, hundreds of volunteers will offer no-cost,
tax preparation services at more than 70 sites throughout the county.
Residents should call 2-1-1 for information.
The EITC is the federal government’s largest cash assistance program
designed to lift low-income families and individuals out of poverty by
helping them keep more of their hard-earned wages. Unfortunately, the
Internal Revenue Service estimates that, nationally, between 20 and 25
percent of eligible individuals do not claim the credit.
Last year’s county campaign saw $5.9 million returned to our region
through the EITC program. Taxes are filed electronically, which means
refunds can be received in as little as two weeks.
I am pleased to report that the our Department of Planning and Land
Use has followed through with a major push to go paperless with
Planning Commission agendas, Planning Group agendas and other updates
for various hearings.
Some time ago, the Board approved my recommendation to explore the
feasibility of people receiving information on hearings by way of e-mail.
Through this system we are eliminating the need for tons of paper;
something that benefits the environment and also results in saving
thousands of dollars for the County each year.
Advancing Women in Transportation
The Women’s Transportation Seminar was created in 1977 to enhance
professional and personal achievement and to develop industry and
government recognition of women in the field of transportation.
I have agreed to become an Honorary Board Member of this
organization and appreciate the opportunity to be part of their
contribution to our economy.
WTS is an international organization of more than 4,000
transportation professionals, both men and women, with 45 chapters
representing cities and states in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.
I am pleased to see so many people in North County involved in
disaster preparedness. One of group to highlight is Get Ready 2 Go and
Disaster Mitigation Services, owned by James Beebe. James has been a
resident of Fallbrook for 31 years and has volunteered for fire
departments, crisis counseling, and manned the crisis hotline for the
Center of Community Solutions.
He offers free, concentrated training sessions for family emergency
and disaster planning the first Wednesday of each month at the
Fallbrook Community Center, located at 341 Heald Lane, from 6 to 8 PM.
For more information: www.getready2go.org, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Four years ago, when I was Board Chairman, I made disaster
preparedness a key part of what we wanted to accomplish that year. I
spearheaded the distribution of a special personal and family disaster
preparedness booklet to every home and business in the County. I’m
grateful to people like James Beebe who understand the importance of
having a plan when disasters such as a fire storm evacuation or floods
strike and go the extra measure to spread the word.
Supporting the Right to Life
Last month I was privileged to attend the Fallbrook Pregnancy
Resource Center’s 5th Annual Fundraising Banquet at the Zion Lutheran
Church Fellowship Center in Fallbrook. It was a great turnout as we
honored the efforts of this organization to preserve and protect the
sanctity of life. Thanks so much to the Knights of Columbus for
providing and preparing the dinner.
The mission of the Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center is to be a
safe refuge for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. It also offers
valuable parenting skills and healing resources to women, men, and
other immediate family members struggling with a past abortion decision.
This organization is a volunteer-based ministry and is headquartered
at 1075 S. Mission Road, Suite I in Fallbrook. I appreciate the great
work of director, Tracee Metten and her board of directors, Ellen
Bailey, Maurice Bernier, Jody Duffy, Gary Golike, Miriam Kirk, and Ann Niese.
I was pleased to provide $10,000 from our Fifth District
Neighborhood Reinvestment Program to underwrite the entire event,
enabling 100% of the donations (nearly $30,000) to go directly to the
work of the center. For more information: www.pregnancyfallbrook.com,
(760) 728-4105 or email@example.com.
Breakfast, Lunch and more at the Landings
Palomar Airport’s recent renovations and major improvements include
the Landings, a brand new restaurant located next to the terminal.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers
happy hour from 4 to 7 PM with TVs for watching sports and news.
Owners Bill and Michelle Slattery of Carlsbad own seven restaurants,
including five at regional airports, so they have a good understanding
of what it takes to make the place successful.
The restaurant seats about 50 people inside at 20 tables and offers
an additional dozen tables outside for a great view of Palomar’s
flight operations. Catering for aircraft and orders to go are available.
The menu features a “$100 burger” that sells for $6.95. Slattery
calls it a $100 burger because in his words, “it costs $100 in fuel to
fly in and get one.”
You can also expect a family-friendly atmosphere. Children are
provided kid menus and crayons along with special kids’ meals.
Parking at Palomar Airport is free for the first two hours, 50-cents
for every two hours after that. A golf cart shuttles people to and
from the parking lot to the restaurant.
For more information call (760) 929-0200 / (760) 802-0079 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. It has
been six years since we had a restaurant at the airport. That one,
which was generously described as an old greasy spoon was razed to
make way for new hangers. Now, with the Landings, we have a great
addition to Carlsbad and the entire North County.
We have had several staff changes, mostly in the areas of policy
- Dustin Steiner is now my Deputy Chief of Staff (working with
my Chief of Staff Joan Wonsley) and continues to handle all things
- Chris Champine has been given the
responsibility of Senior Policy Advisor and continues to handle
matters concerning roads, airports, energy, fire districts, disaster
preparedness, and SANDAG.
- Candyce Yee has added the
responsibility as a Policy Advisor for areas that include health and
human services, fire districts (medical/emergency) and our website
maintenance. She also continues to serve as our Director of
- Caylin Guerin is now a Policy Advisor
with areas that include libraries, the Sheriff, Neighborhood
Reinvestment Program, TOT, and the courts.
- Christi Knight
continues as our Community Liaison, Marisol Eaton is our Office
Manager and Executive Scheduler, John Culea is our Media and
Communications Director in addition to handling military and
veterans affairs; and Lindsey Natzic is our Receptionist and the
first line of contact.
For a full listing of all policy areas and assignment distribution
for the entire staff, please go to our web site at http://billhorn.cloudapp.net.