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I spent the morning with the friendly people of San Diego City Council District 7, the newly redrawn area consisting of Allied Gardens, Tierrasanta, Serra Mesa and Linda Vista. The district’s council race has been fierce, but what seemed to matter most to residents was pension reform.

I spoke with many voters like Kathy Powell, 57, who voted against Proposition B, the initiative that would strip new city workers of a guaranteed pension and switch them to a 401(k)-style plan. She’s familiar with city pensions; her husband works for the Water Department. And she denies that his pension, as well as that of 97 percent of city employees, is huge.

I put the residents’ comments out on Twitter throughout the day. Here’s a sampling of what they said:

Powell of Allied Gardens voted no on Prop B bc her husband works for the city and she says they’ve “screwed workers over so bad.” #sdvote

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

Dianna Ziegler, another Allied Garden resident, said rejecting Prop. B was the most important vote she cast today.

Here’s Dianna Ziegler, 61. She said voting no on Prop B was most imp to her: “It’s flawed,” she said. #sdvote #d7 twitter.com/SandraCoronill…

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

I encountered some voters, like 30-year resident of Tierrasanta Barbara Shumat, who felt less than thrilled with all four mayoral candidates.

Shumat also voted for @BonnieDumanis for mayor bc she’s “least of all evils.” #sdvote #d7

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

Ziegler voted for Nathan Fletcher. “Plus, I’m independent, he’s independent,” she said.

Ziegler voted for @nathanfletcher for mayor because he seemed like the best of all candidates, she said. #sdvote #d7

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

The most surprising thing I encountered today from residents I spoke to was their overall unfamiliarity with the three District 7 City Council candidates. But when they did feel passionately about a candidate, it was result of personal contact with them. For instance, Bob Fraser, 53, of Allied Gardens, liked that Democratic candidate Mat Kostrinsky attends Allied Gardens and Del Cerro neighborhood meetings.

Fraser also voted for @kostrinsky bc he shows up at neighborhood mtgs and seems like an up-and-up guy. #sdvote #d7

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

Scott Sherman, District 7’s Republican candidate, scored points as well.

For #d7 city council Ziegler liked @Shermanforsd bc his ads, + a canvasser convinced her. #sdvote

— Sandy Coronilla (@SandraCoronilla) June 5, 2012

Finally, it’s worth mentioning whose names I didn’t hear mentioned by District 7 voters: Independent City Council candidate Rik Hauptfeld and Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio.

Sandy Coronilla is a freelance journalist and contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at sandy.coronilla@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.519.6069.

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