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Thank you, readers, for taking the time to get to know Marshall. Our limited space means I cannot address every inquiry, though that would be fun. So let’s talk about one issue you raised that generates a lot of community concern: growth in the University City area.

Before we begin, I want to acknowledge the great emotion that attends this issue. It would be easy to avoid addressing the concern in print. But Marshall hasn’t ducked it, so I won’t either.

All of us have witnessed the enormous development in and around the North University City area. We know more development has been proposed.

Marshall Merrifield wants to protect the quality of life for San Diegans.

Marshall wants to see accurate data about the traffic impacts and consider all the mitigation projects that will improve traffic for our neighborhoods. That’s why he will insist on a sub-regional infrastructure plan for the University City area as well as insist that developers pay their share to improve the infrastructure before the new projects are approved. With specific regard to the Westfield expansion, Marshall disagrees with incumbent Scott Peters and opposes the expansion until and unless impacts are fully mitigated.

Marshall Merrifield listens to San Diegans and strives to represent the community’s best interests.

Marshall recognizes that he may not take a position on an issue that you or I will agree with 100 percent of the time, but he promises to be forthright and honest about where he stands on growth in University City—and on every other issue, too. Marshall pledges to listen to all of the residents of University City, if elected to the City Council, and will do his best to represent the best interests of the entire community.

One issue that concerns all San Diegans is managed competition. Marshall’s position is simple.

Marshall Merrifield supports managed competition.

Here’s a little general background to give us context: In November 2006, voters approved a proposition that allows for implementation of managed competition.

That means the city can let outside contractors and vendors submit bids to compete with existing departments in city government. Whoever gives the best service for the least amount of money gets the contract—more bang for our taxpayer buck.

The process forces city government departments to become efficient and effective or permits a more efficient and effective private contractor to do the work instead.

Managed competition is expected to make the most of our tax dollars by reducing the cost of services. The savings will improve our city’s fiscal health.

Marshall Merrifield supports saving money for taxpayers and improving San Diego’s fiscal health.

At a recent public debate, Marshall cited an instance where it cost twice as much for city workers to install floodlights at a neighborhood ball field as it would to have a private contractor do the same work.

“That’s insane—managed competition is a huge opportunity for us,” Marshall said.

Marshall Merrifield is uniquely qualified to oversee San Diego’s managed competition.

In my first post, I highlighted the scope of Marshall’s business background. What I did not mention, but what is very relevant to our discussion about managed competition, is that Marshall is the only candidate who has managed national service contracts. Marshall’s experience, coupled with his undisputed success nationally, uniquely qualifies him to know how to make managed competition work for San Diego taxpayers.

I hope you are getting the sense that Marshall is running to fix the problems at City Hall and secure San Diego’s future.

Please keep your thoughtful comments and questions coming. Sadly, our time together grows short.

— JANETTE LITTLER

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