First new county supervisor in 18 years takes office
By Sarah Sapeda
City News ServiceThe first new member elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors since 1995 was sworn in Jan. 7, along with two longtime members who were re-elected to the panel.
Dave Roberts, a former Solana Beach councilman and deputy mayor, succeeded Pam Slater-Price, who represented the region from Encinitas and Escondido to northern San Diego for nearly two decades before retiring. Roberts became the only Democrat on the board when he took the oath of office before an overflow audience at the County Operations Center.
Roberts defeated Steve Danon, chief of staff to ex-Rep. Brian Bilbray, in a November runoff. Neither received more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary election.
“Today, we turn the page to a new chapter in the 162-year history book of San Diego County,’’ Roberts said. “I’m the first new supervisor in 18 years — the first member of that next generation of leaders on our county Board of Supervisors — and I know I’m joining a great team of people, one that has turned the county around.’’
He said he believes he will bring a new “activist perspective’’ on some issues, and a shared vision on others. He didn’t specify the issues.
Roberts listed several goals, including maintaining fiscal discipline, sustaining the environment, protecting neighborhoods from over-development and reviewing foster care and adoption policies. The new supervisor is the father of five adopted children.
Supervisors Greg Cox and Dianne Jacob were both re-elected outright in June.
Cox bested Deputy City Attorney Brant Will to continue to represent the district, which includes the southern region of San Diego, the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City, along with the unincorporated communities of Bonita and Point Loma.
Jacob cruised to re-election for her East County seat over Rudy Reyes, an archaeologist who was severely burned in the 2003 Cedar Fire. He also unsuccessfully challenged Jacob in 2008.
Cox and Jacob both listed public safety and fire protection as their main priorities.
“My goal in the coming years will be to make this region the best prepared we can possibly be, not just for fire but for any kind of emergency,’’ Jacob said.
Combined, the supervisors represent more than 3 million residents and oversee a nearly $5 billion budget.