Wednesday, November 02, 2005 | Virtual Candidate Forum
Editor’s note: Voice of San Diego over the last several weeks has asked readers and community members about the issues they are interested in knowing more about when they cast votes Nov. 8 for District 2 and 8 City Council candidates. Voice will be publishing information about citywide and district-specific issues as Election Day nears. Candidates were provided with a chance to respond and state their position on each topic. The candidates’ submissions have been edited for style, grammar and clarity.
The city’s inability to issue bonds for capital improvement projects for infrastructure upgrades concerns citizens in Carmel Valley and Logan Heights alike, but the topic has been pushed to the forefront of campaign talking points for candidates in District 8 more than it would in the newer North City neighborhoods.
Residents of District 8 say their neighborhoods are more impacted by the city’s financial crunch than other parts of San Diego – not because they are being discriminated against but because their street lamps and sidewalks were constructed much earlier than those found in newer enclaves.
The candidates vying to hold the district’s council seat are rushing to voters the message that they are the most qualified to fix the potholes and lighting problems throughout the district.
Potholes have been even more visible than normal this election because last winter was especially wet – 54,000 during the first nine months of 2005 when the annual average is closer to 34,000. Still, administrators say road damages are a legitimate concern every year as staffing has been cut due to budget strains and paving costs have doubled since 2001.
Streetlight outages, resulting from the fixtures’ older circuits, have also caused concern about public safety in the area. City managers say that priority is given to repairing traffic signals.
Also, service administrators say they are often not informed of inoperable streetlights and that the efforts to educate the public on the procedure to do so could be improved.
The candidate elected to serve District 8 will have a discretionary budget of grant money to manage, and the infrastructure funding for the city’s southernmost neighborhoods will have to be prioritized. Administrators say they also need help informing residents how to report damaged infrastructure.
Read candidates’ responses and ideas here.
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