HAVE YOUR SAY Opinions, and letters to the editor


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.

HAVE YOUR SAY Opinions, and letters to the editor


  1. I have never met Mr. Barnett, but those who have express that he has a problem with the truth, not to mention that those ventures he supports never seem to come to fruition. In this case, it appears that he is firmly on the side of a candidate from Poway who is supported by the current supervisor for our area. It’s my understanding that Mr. Barnett is retired and therefore doesn’t travel Interstate 8 to/from work/school daily. As the Alpine Chamber has made clear with SANDAG, the configuration of the Interstate, from Greenfield to the east cannot handle the current traffic, and has not been able to for a long time. The monies we have been putting into the coffers to expand this artery are now wanted by Vaus and the coastal communities for public transportation. Public transportation in the coastal regions will not help us one bit and the funding should stay here, in the East County, where it belongs.

    As to the transportation fixes for the eastern part of Alpine vis-a-vis fire evacuation, I’ve seen the “proposed” roads George talks about. Besides being completely unrealistic and dependent upon acquisition of private easements of large areas, they do not solve the problem of everything feeding into Alpine Blvd. Recently a fire at a home next to the Interstate caused a closure between Willows and East Willows. The freeway traffic was routed to Alpine Blvd. Even without mass evacuations, the Blvd between these two exits were still jammed hours after the fire was out. George should know full well, from the Alpine Sheriff’s reports after the West Fire, that our road structure simply cannot handle fire evacuations. Although not a complete solution, the keeping of funds for East County road improvements in East County can at least begin to address the issue.

    As to the difference between “governing” and “representation”, conservatives (which compose the majority of East County) prefer “representation” vice “governance”. Joel has done that very well for years, not to mention that he lives here, not up in Poway. Wearing a cowboy hat doesn’t a conservative make.

  2. Thank you Michael for seeing through the BS. I applaud all of his volunteering that he does do for Alpine but it does not change the fact that when someone questions what ever propaganda he is asked to put out it quickly turns to attack mode and most of the time with numbers or “facts” that never grow to fruition. Just like I said that Alpine Elementary was not going to become a high school and was given back lash for that. It seems that only he knows whats going on in our community.

  3. I can say from experience that when I have expressed an opinion which differs from that of Barnett’ s and his ‘friends’, he has no issue with outright lying in order to make efforts to denigrate me. It does not appear to bother his conscience in the least. I,along with others have advocated for a substantial community park in Alpine. Recently we experienced success when the county purchased 98 acres designated for this purpose. Prior to this success, Barnett loudly and often promulgated the lie that there was NO land anywhere in Alpine that could satisfy the county’s requirements for a county park. Because of this and other brazen manipulations on his part to sway people’s beliefs to his desires, I have learned first hand not to trust whatever endeavor he is pursuing.


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