I recently started my 28th and final year on the Board of Supervisors. But I’m not about to slow down.
Last year, the board tackled a wide range of challenges with a new urgency and fresh ideas. I expect that to continue.
We have a big job ahead of us on many fronts, but here are some issues where we made serious headway in 2019:
Affordable housing. The board doubled the size of the county’s housing trust fund, from $25 million to $50 million. The fund has leveraged the construction of nearly 500 homes, with an additional 1,500 expected. We also began offering free floor plans and waiving fees to encourage the construction of granny flats and other accessory homes in the unincorporated area. Those measures cut an estimated $30,000 off the cost of each unit.
Behavioral health. We initiated several improvements to help those dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues, including the creation of 24/7 crisis stabilization centers. If we can successfully manage those with mental illness and addiction issues, and provide affordable housing, this will also help ease our homeless crisis.
Energy. We voted to launch a community choice energy program in our unincorporated area to offer ratepayers an alternative to SDG&E. It is expected to save 179,000 residential and business ratepayers about $12 million a year.
Wildfire protection. We continued to beef up fire protection and emergency services in high-risk areas. The county and Cal Fire built more fire breaks and doubled the number of home safety inspections. The county is developing a grant program to help residents make their homes more fire-safe.
We also made significant strides in expanding our open space, securing money for road improvements and improving senior care in homes and hospitals.
It is an honor to serve the great folks of District 2. I will continue to give this job all I’ve got.
For more District 2 news, go to www.diannejacob.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. If I can assist with a county issue, please call my office at 619-531-5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.