Two candidates are vying for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District Three seat in the Nov. 6 election: Steve Danon and Dave Roberts. Below are candidate photos, bios and answers to two questions given to them by this newspaper. The 3rd Supervisorial District includes Carmel Valley, Solana Beach and Del Mar.
Name: Steve Danon
Years living in the district:
Chief of Staff, Office of Congressman Brian Bilbray
B.A., San Diego State University
•California Coastal Coalition
•San Diegans Against Crime
•San Diego County Taxpayers Association
•San Diego Repertory Theatre
•Partnerships With Industry (an organization that empowers those with physical and mental challenges find work with business)
•Lincoln Club of San Diego County
•American Lung Association of San Diego/Imperial County
•Coached in the Carmel Valley Youth Baseball League
•Financial Task Force, Del Mar Unified School District
•Coaches in the Del Mar Little League
1.) What do you think are the biggest issues facing the district?
Jobs and the economy, cutting government spending and holding elected officials accountable are the biggest issues impacting the 3rd District.
a. Jobs and the Economy
i. We need to restore and revitalize our local economy. In order to do that, we must create a healthier business environment and promote job-growth in San Diego County. We must cut the red-tape and bureaucracy. It should not take five to seven years for businesses to get the approvals needed create jobs.
With my private sector experience, having founded and built a local business, I know what it takes to help businesses succeed. I have proposed reforms to the Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) that would make it easier for businesses to start, expand and stay here.
b. Cutting Government Spending
i. We need to cut government spending, and in order to do so, I have also proposed the following reforms needed at the county:
- Abolishing the Supervisors’ $5 million “slush fund” that’s been abused and used to purchase political patronage.
- Reforming the pension system starting with the Supervisors’ so taxpayers aren’t left holding the bag.
- Eliminate the “double-dipping” of thousands of taxpayer dollars of “per diems” from outside organizations and agencies to Supervisors.
- Eliminate the $12,000 per year “car allowance” Supervisors receive that is added to their pension for retirement benefits.
c. Restoring Public Confidence, Transparency and Accountability
i. In order to restore public confidence and trust, I have called for the creation of a regional Ethics Commission to hold elected officials accountable. Part of this Ethics Commission would be a Whistleblowers Unit for the County’s 16,000 employees to report waste fraud and abuse without the fear of retaliation.
I’ve also proposed establishing a permanent gift ban for County Supervisors from individuals and organizations that receive taxpayer dollars from the County. This will assist in avoiding conflicts-of-interest and ensure that tax dollars are allocated appropriately.
2.) Do you have any suggestions as to how the biggest issue in your answer for #1 should be addressed by the board?
We must reform County government. With nearly one-in-10 San Diegans out of work, there is a lot of work to be done to help grow our local economy and promote job-growth. We must promote a better business environment so that jobs can be created. This is my number-one priority. I’m proud to earn the individual endorsements of Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Joe Panetta, president and CEO of BIOCOM, and Duane Roth, president and CEO of CONNECT, and many other business leaders throughout the region.
I will work to make the Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) more efficient and effective so businesses do not have to wait five to seven years to attain the necessary permits. We need to encourage local businesses to expand or build new facilities and new businesses to move or start here rather than deterring growth by making the bureaucratic process exceedingly strenuous, protracted and expensive.
I will work with our regional Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development agencies, high-tech, biotech, and defense trade associations and other organizations to retain and recruit businesses to our region. In cooperation with biotechnology companies, non-profits and educational institutions, we can spur job growth by preparing our students for the clean technology industry.
I will also form an official Economic, Business and Trade Taskforce at the County to assist in these efforts.
Unlike my opponent, Solana Beach Councilmember Dave Roberts, who voted 21 times to create or increase 237 taxes and fees, I oppose new taxes and fees.
The County is in need of a culture revolution. We need to focus on making policies more business-friendly and encouraging economic growth. Helping the private sector create jobs and reducing poverty will be my primary focus.