Crystal Crawford leads regional quality of life panel for San Diego County
2012 ballot measure discussed
Some of San Diego County’s more influential figures will work together over the next year to define a quality of life measure for the 2012 ballot.
Del Mar Councilwoman Crystal Crawford introduced the process to representatives from all of the county’s cities at the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, retreat last week. Crawford, Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and SANDAG Project Manager Rob Rundle make up the ad hoc committee that will enlist the help of up to 40 environmental, financial and transportation organizations to outline goals for improving San Diego County’s quality of life.
“I’m glad, frankly, that we’re off and down the road on this,” Crawford said. “We’ve extended the date, twice, but at some point we just need to do it so I’m glad that we’re finally starting down this path and we’re going to have these discussions.”
SANDAG originally committed to proposing a habitat-conserving quality of life measure after voters passed the TransNet extension in 2004. It was scheduled to go on the 2008 ballot, but was pushed back to 2012.
But before that happens, the first thing to do is define exactly what quality of life is.
“We do have a group here I think that has the right combo of idealism and pragmatism to come up with some good recommendations for us,” Crawford said, adding it has already met once. “There’s a real desire for this process to be successful, and for us to fund whatever the measure looks like, whatever they end up doing for it, to fund items that do contribute to our overall quality of life.”
There are four areas chosen as a starting point for the measure: beach sand replenishment, transit operations and expansions, storm water management, and habitat acquisitions and management. Crawford said the group would be flexible in terms of what goes into the final version, depending much on public opinion.
“They also recognize that some items might fall out because they just wouldn’t do well with the voters,” she said, adding that sand replenishment did not poll successfully in a study done last year by the nature conservancy. “And I don’t know if that will be the item, I only mention that one because it didn’t poll very well last May.”
The quality of life initiative would be supported by sales-tax funds. Given the current economic climate and the fact that other cities in the county may already be putting similar measures on the November ballot, Crawford said the group did not want to rush to get it passed this year.
“I think we’ve got, as they say, leadership in this group, a recognition that we want to make this work,” she said. “We’ve got the right stuff, we’ve got the right combination of people and interest and expertise and all that. What they’re going to tell us, I don’t know yet. Have they got a lot of questions? Yes.”
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