SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - CBS News 8's Alicia Summers continued her series, Coffee with the Candidates, Thursday as she sat down with mayoral candidate and Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.
She met Faulconer at Gelato Vero Cafe in Mission Hills, where he answered questions from CBS News 8 viewers.
Kim H: Yea or nay on the convention center expansion and the Chargers getting a new stadium?
Faulconer: Convention center expansion, very important to this city and to the region. I'm really proud that the council stepped up in a bipartisan way to support that and we ultimately got unanimous approval from the california coastal commission. It's about great jobs, supporting our tourism industry which drives a lot of revenue to our city with we use in our neighborhoods, our streets, our sidewalks, our libraries, our rec. centers, so that was very important project for the city....and in terms of the Chargers, the Chargers are very important to San Diego. I'm less concerned about where a stadium may or may not be located. I am concerned that any financing has to make sense for us as tax payers and that will be my number one priority when i get elected.
Rene Anglo: What are you going to do about the homeless population in downtown?
Faulconer: Good question Rene. I've spent more time on the homeless issues than I ever thought I would when I was elected to the council. Homelessness is not just in downtown. It affects many of our neighborhoods. I think the city has an obligation to help...When you look at the homeless connection center, it's a beacon of hope. We have not just beds, but transitional beds, wrap around services, counseling, medical services, job training. That's what we need to do and the challenge for us as a city, is to replicate that on a smaller level in other areas.
Mike Carter: How will you generate more revenue for San Diego and does it involve raising taxes?
Faulconer: It does not involve raising taxes. But when I'm mayor, we're going to know the city is back open for business. I'm going to standup particularly for small businesses, which are the backbone of our cities economy. As we continue to cut regulation to make them more successful, so we grow our tax revenue, and that revenue we invest back into our neighborhoods. I understand how important that is and as mayor I'm going to move very quickly on that.
Greg Cody: How would you like to move forward on Prob B, pension reform?
Faulconer: I was a strong supporter, co-author of Prop B. I've lead by example since I've been on the council, when I was first elected I said, I was not going to take a pension even though I was eligible.
Viewer: Do you think we need to put more cops on the streets for firehouses in neighborhoods to make our communities safer?
Faulconer: We do need more cops on the street. the city is 130 police officers short. thats why I've come out with a recruitment and retention plan to make sure we are recruiting the best and brightest man and women that are out there, but as important that we keep them here for the city and we don't allow them to be hired from other agencies. Bottom line, no matter what neighborhood you live in, in the city of San Diego, you need to know you are safe and know that when you call 911 the best brightest women are going to be there to respond to help you.