Being a Minnesota native makes me appreciate the climate that San Diego offers. My husband and I purchased a home in Bird Rock almost 10 years ago. A few years after moving into the neighborhood, there was a plan to redevelop a gas station behind our home. This is how I met Sherri Lightner

She was serving on the group that was reviewing the project for the community. She made sure the neighbors knew when it was going to be discussed. She was also extremely helpful in explaining what the process was to those of us in the neighborhood who had never participated in something like this before. 

At the time agendas were not publicly posted and the information available online was limited. Sherri was a breath of hope and fresh air. Over the years that I have known her, since these first meetings, my esteem and regard for her have grown greatly. I have watched her conduct herself with integrity at every turn. If any of you find yourself in a situation where you need someone to stand up for what the codes/rules are on something being proposed in your neighborhood — no question about it — you want Sherri as your City Council person. 

Sherri is running a “grassroots” campaign — she has many people just like me who have first hand knowledge of the good work she has done and continues to do. I volunteered to work on her campaign and support her because I have seen what a great job she does representing neighborhoods.

She helped us, now we are helping her get elected.

Running for San Diego City Council is a natural progression of Sherri’s work as a volunteer in the community. She hasn’t just volunteered; she has been elected repeatedly to leadership positions. 

When neighborhoods have a project that is coming forward that is asking for changes to the rules or bonuses beyond what the zoning allows to be built, it usually is driven by the owner wanting to have a project that will be more profitable beyond his purchase price. Getting the exceptions approved usually means a bonus amount of money to be made. 

These exceptions benefit the owner of the property, yet come at the expense of the nearby residents and small business owners. In the case of traffic, people from farther away can feel the pain. This is a “David and Goliath” situation. The owner of the project has professional people working to get the project approved. They make certain they know what the system is and how to negotiate it. Likely, they have past experience.  Also, they have funds to spend to accomplish the approval. 

On the other side of the issue are the neighborhoods. Chances are that the neighbors don’t have experience to draw upon and need to spend their own money. At the end, there is no “payday” to compensate them for their efforts. Coupled with this, is that time will march along quickly. The neighborhoods are at a disadvantage to put together a group to discover what the project exceptions are and their impacts … and then to put a plan in place to address the issues. Sherri understands all these issues and complications and always fights to protect neighborhoods. That’s why I am supporting her.

— DARCY ASHLEY

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