In his Nov. 7 opinion piece, Joel Anderson rails against the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and its chairman, Steve Vaus (the Mayor of Poway), as “downtown elites”, somehow unconcerned with transport needs in the unincorporated areas; that “they” are stealing “our” money for projects “we” never supported. But Mr. Anderson doesn’t tell us that SANDAG is a metropolitan planning organization made up of representatives from all regional local governments; created to ensure regional cooperation in transportation planning; planning that identifies needs reflecting a region’s shared vision for its future.
SANDAG’s board has 20 members; one from each of the 18 cities in the county plus two seats for the county. Does that mean SANDAG is indeed composed of “downtown elites”? Or does it mean that to be effective in promoting the needs of the un-incorporated areas such as Alpine, the county’s representatives — as Supervisor Dianne Jacob has shown — have to employ skills in friendship, negotiations, trade-offs, dialog, and foremost with the ability to come to the table with an actual well-thought out concept plan; while avoiding the divisive “Inside the Washington Beltway” name-calling.
Mr. Anderson recalls the 2004 Cedar Fire and now nearly 15 years later he ponders about escape routes? Can first responders actually respond? And what about East County road improvements and safety enhancements that have been “promised”?
Alpine has its own first-hand experience nearly 15 years after the Cedar Fire. Just a year ago, the West Fire taught us right up close that we have the primary responsibility to protect ourselves; just as the best policy against our homes burning-down is creating our own “defensible space.”
Under Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s sponsored Alpine Community Plan Update process there is an in-depth infrastructure study being conducted on east Alpine. In fact, following numerous County and Alpine Community Planning Group-hosted town hall meetings, with detail input from our Alpine Fire Protection District, Alpiners have already reviewed, agreed and have set transportation and public safety policies and philosophies; including putting pencil to paper on the layout of secondary ingress/egress circulation roads that addresses Mr. Anderson’s worries.
Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson are both vying to fill the Board of Supervisors’ seat being vacated at the end of 2020 by Supervisor Dianne Jacob. I do appreciate Mr. Anderson’s time in Sacramento representing us in the State Legislature. I also know that as a mayor of a successful city, Mr. Vaus has experience in “governing” as well as in representation. And I think he acquitted himself well, and spoke for us all, in the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting.
But let’s hear what the candidates propose for actual plans. Let’s see how they interact these coming months with we voters. And let’s see how they are building consensus around local community needs, and see too who is endorsing them and why.