SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — What do San Diego Mayoral candidates see as the biggest issue right now with San Diego’s infrastructure? What is their plan to improve the overall quality of San Diego’s infrastructure?
Check out their answers below.
Barbara Bry (D):
As I go all over the city and meet with residents in every neighborhood, they complain about the condition of the streets. Now, I know we've paved a lot of streets, but I'm not sure we've done it in a way that's going to last. So we use concrete. We use slurry and we use asphalt. Slurry is the cheapest way of doing things. And I think many people see that we put on a coat of slurry and it looks good for a few months and then we're getting potholes again. So first, I want to look at what new technologies are available that can help us repave streets so that they last. Second, I want to do a better job of bringing in apprentices in the building trades where we where there's a shortage of people in the building trades. And we can be using more individuals who are apprentices under proper supervision to do a lot of the work on city property. And I mostly want to be honest with people about here's the amount of money we have. Here's how many miles of streets we can do. And I want to make sure we do it in a way that's going to last so that you won't see it falling apart a few months, a few months later.
I am supporting measure C, which is on the March ballot. It would increase the hotel tax. This is a tax on tourists and it would provide money for infrastructure, for homeless programs and services, and of course, funding to pay for an expansion of the convention center, which benefits the San Diego economy. By providing money for infrastructure and homeless programs, it takes pressure off the general fund and we would then have more money for even more infrastructure, more road repairs, more sidewalk repairs and other kinds of amenities in our parks and libraries.
Jarvis Gandy (I):
The majority of San Diegans are just really, really tired of SANDAG dictating where their money is went. And so, so so my theme and my slogan is, where's your money going? San Diego. I will deliver, you know. And on that note, I'll say, let's make history. But so instead of just paving many, many miles and patching, that won't be under my administration, you know, under my leadership as mayor, we're going to fix those problems in real-time.
And what I mean about in real-time, we have to remember that when you live in a home, whether you're renting or buying, you have the right that your problems be abated. So these have these problems. These are our potholes have not been abated. And I'm going to take on the side of the majority of San Diego. Let's get that done.
Todd Gloria (D):
People often try and tell me infrastructure is not a sexy subject and therefore we don't talk about it. And I disagree. I think it's a very sexy subject. We got to talk about it more because if we do, we elevate its priority, get more focus on more attention, more progress. I think roads need to be repaired. And obviously that is probably the most intimate way that San Diegans interact with their city government. And Lord knows the roads are not in the condition they need to be in. But I think of it a bit broader than that. We have to build a world-class transportation system to match the world-class city that we are and that we should continue to grow into being. What I mean by that, we need to travel the world. And you've traveled to many of our peer cities you see vibrant, active transportation options, good quality public transportation that people choose to ride instead of being default into riding because they have no other option.
Right now, I think San Diegans really only have one choice. I'm getting from A to B, and that's in their car. And what I would like to see is an opportunity for really a freedom of choice that you can match the mode of transportation to the trip you're going to take so that you have a safe and convenient way to walk to where you need to go, if that's appropriate, that you can take public transit that's quality, affordable and efficient for working. San Diegans. That you continue to drive your car when it's appropriate. And hopefully in a situation which is not so much traffic, that makes it nearly impractical. How can we do this? Well, we passed a bill in the Legislature, Assembly bill 805 by Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher a couple of years ago. It reformed our local transit, regional transportation authority, SANDAG, and its governance structure. And it puts the mayor of San Diego in charge of that agency. Now, our current mayor doesn't use that authority, and that's a bit baffling to me because that's a billion dollars of annual spending. As mayor of San Diego, I would absolutely use that authority. I would help to lead SANDAG to make sure the city of San Diego gets its fair share and that we're building that world-class transportation system that is really a hallmark of choice, of freedom of choice.
And lastly, Carlo, this really gets into the climate change question. As you may know, over 40 percent of the emissions into the community come from transportation. If we're not building this network that I'm describing to you, we can't meet our obligations under our landmark climate action plan nor obligations under state and in some cases federal law. So this is a climate imperative as well as a infrastructure imperative.
Rich Riel (R):
Mayor Faulconer has been lying to us for the last eight years. The major story in today's San Diego Union is it's a three billion dollar liability that the city is facing. So when he says, oh, I got a great program, I'm going to fill in the potholes. What he's not saying is we're funding PR representatives for city council. We have the mayor and city council bloated staffs. It's easy to spend more money on potholes if we take away all of the bells and whistles that we can't afford in city government and concentrate on spending them on filling the potholes. And that means hiring more employees.
The real problem, the city of San Diego is that we are top heavy in management, which is one of the reasons my campaign promises to use the mayor salary, which is one hundred thousand dollars a year and it's going to two hundred thousand dollars a year next year. Can you imagine giving one hundred percent increase to a mayor that is running a city that is a three billion-dollar deficit? I mean, that's insane. So the real solution is to put more people on the street working and less people in management positions. And that's what I propose to do as mayor, and that's how I will address the infrastructure of the city of San Diego.
Scott Sherman (R):
We need to concentrate on some bike lanes because we have our climate action plan and we have mobility goals that we need to achieve. But we can't do that at the expense of car lanes and parking spots and those types of things. I mean, most people can't do their regular job using mass transit or riding a bike. I mean, in the middle of the summer, I can't get on my bike ride 13 miles to city hall in 90-degree weather. Have a meeting there, then ride to Linda Vista, go back.
You know, most people can't do that. It needs to be there for where it makes sense. Downtown Mission Valley, some of these areas where you can live, work and play in the same area, but we can't keep putting them in at the expense of the transportation that 95 percent of us use.
Gita Appelbaum Singh (D):
I really think it's our homeless population is our biggest problem here. We need instead of fixing potholes, we need more people-centered care here in San Diego. We need to improve the quality of people's lives. We are disconnected. We want average middle-class people to have voices here in San Diego and collectively come up to solutions. Our potholes.
Sure. Yes. I don't like to get my tires flat in a pothole, but if I have somebody who's homeless and cannot buy food, that's more of a priority to me.
Tasha Williamson (D):
I think that we've been played by Mayor Faulconer. I think that many of the roads that he fixed were not done correctly. And we're going to find ourselves having to go back and repave some of those roads. I think we need to have infrastructure maintenance in place so that we clear it and clean it and fix it one time and we're done and move on to the next one. I think one of the things we need to do is have a department where we're looking at audits and we're looking at money and we're looking at where are some of the hardest hit conditions in roads that we need to start to repair right away, because we've had sinkholes like in SE on Imperial and those things.
We need to avoid that over time. And we need to make sure that our pipes, not only our roads, but our pipes are good so that we don't have flooding like we did here recently. Clean, you know, fixing a road and then having it flooded. We need to do those things. We need to be serious about the business of running the city. And I think that we have not been that we've allocated funds where they didn't need to go. We've done things without oversight and management and we need to change that here in the city. And so that will be a priority of mine.