This week Steve Vaus explains why he thinks he should be the next county supervisor.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you live and why you are running for District 2 San Diego Board of Supervisors.
My track record — always delivering balanced budgets, never increasing taxes, consistently being the safest city in the county, ranked #1 to raise a family, expanding housing opportunities while protecting and increasing open space – offers a great blueprint for the County. Additionally, my success as a small business owner (winning the highest awards in the industry) combined with my local and regional government experience uniquely qualifies me to be the next Supervisor for East County.
We’ve lived in District 2 for 27 years and I’m in my sixth year as Mayor of Poway. Prior to being mayor, I served on the city council for two years and prior to that I was Chair of the city’s Budget Review Committee.
I am endorsed by incumbent Dianne Jacob, as well as three of the four other supervisors. I am also endorsed by the majority of mayors in the District and in the County, as well as many council members, planning group members, school board members, and other local leaders throughout the District. I’m married with four children, five grandsons, with a sixth on the way.
What are your top three priorities at the county level and how do you expect to make an impact?
Public safety will always be my top priority. I am endorsed by the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and every law enforcement agency in the district, as well as Cal Fire firefighters, because I will make sure they have the resources to keep us safe.
Maintaining strong fiscal discipline and protecting East County taxpayers is also a high priority for me. As Supervisor, I will oppose all tax increases, will always ensure balanced budgets and
maintain prudent fiscal reserves to protect critical services during any future emergencies. I will also fight the effort by the Sacramento politicians to dismantle Proposition 13 , the landmark initiative that keeps our property taxes low. And I will always fight for property rights.
Finally, we need to fix the homelessness problem in San Diego County. That will be done by instituting effective, accountable programs that treat the causes of chronic homelessness. We must address the mental health problems so common among the homeless. And, we have to combat the rampant drug and alcohol abuse in the homeless population. As Supervisor, I will not allow homeless encampments to overtake public spaces such as parks and sidewalks. Keeping those areas clean and safe is an obligation of our government.
What are your opinions in the encroachment of urban and professional expansions in East County’s undeveloped wild spaces?
We must carefully balance the need for new housing with protecting undeveloped wild spaces. I have accomplished that in my city by encouraging housing in our city center while expanding our open space holdings by nearly 350 acres just in the last year. It bears mention Poway has more open space as a percentage of our land mass than any other city in the County.
What makes you the best candidate for District 2 and why?
The role of a County Supervisor, particularly for East County, is essentially being a “super mayor” for the unincorporated areas. I am the only candidate with proven record of executive success as mayor, not to mention as Chair of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). In fact, in recent months, I lead a coalition in prioritizing improvements to SR67, SR52 and the 94/125 interchange. A SANDAG budget amendment which I authored dedicated $90 million to fast track environmental and design work to get those projects off the drawing board and in progress.
What would you like to say that is not covered in the above questions?
As a member of the Board of Supervisors representing East County, I will be open and accessible to every resident. I pledge to serve you honestly and ethically and will demand the same standards from all San Diego County employees. I will ensure that taxpayers are protected, that we always have a balanced budget, that critical government services are performed efficiently and that public safety is always priority number one.
I will remain accountable to the East County citizens who make this such a great place to live.