Candidate has facts wrong, voters deserve better

Recently, this newspaper printed a commentary authored by supervisorial candidate Steve Danon that contained factually inaccurate information which I feel needs to be corrected.

Danon stated that San Diego County’s Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) has the same number of employees today as it did in Fiscal Year 2002/03. However, as often seems to be the case, he has his facts wrong. As a result, a county memo on the issue was distributed by the Deputy Director of DPLU to set the record straight.

According to the Deputy Director of the very department that Danon spoke of, the staffing numbers in DPLU Fiscal Year 2002/03 was 215 budgeted positions. This year, in Fiscal Year 2011/12 there are only 164 budgeted positions. This represents a 24 percent decrease in staffing. In fact, in FY 2006/07 DPLU had 238 budgeted positions. Compared to this year, that represents a 31 percent decrease.

The memo, a matter of public record, went on to say that, “as the housing and construction industries have been hard hit, DPLU has reduced staffing levels in land development services. However, there are several other programs in DPLU where the customer need has remained. We have many Advanced Planning projects, including General Plan Update, Wind and Solar Ordinance Updates, Equine Ordinance Updates, and Zoning Updates that have been completed or are underway. Similarly, Code Enforcement continues to serve the public, responding to over 1,000 complaints each year, while keeping communities safe.”

Weeks ago at a debate, Danon said the county must create a Regional Fire Authority to improve fire protection. However, the county already has a Regional Fire Authority, and it was certified by LAFCO.

You might wonder why correcting this misinformation matters? The reason is that Danon’s continual mistakes and misrepresentations of the facts are piling up and he gives voters half truths and outright fabrications to prove a point that he has “borrowed” from a political playbook hoping that no one will challenge him.

I first challenged an inaccuracy by Danon when he said multiple times that it took a biotech company five -seven years to get a county permit. I challenged him to prove that this story was true after checking with both the City and County of San Diego. It was not true and he has stopped telling that story.

Since Danon has spent over 90 percent of his adult professional life working as a political insider or lobbyist for both the county and federal governments, he should know better than to spread misinformation. It didn’t work the last time he ran for office and was overwhelmingly defeated, and it won’t work this time. As one voter recently told me after a debate in Escondido, “Danon is a consummate political party insider and the voters deserve better.”

Dave Roberts,

Candidate for Third District County Supervisor


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