As a councilman, Kevin Faulconer has been very knowledgeable and in tune with Ocean Beach.

Many of our neighborhood leaders meet with his office staff or with Faulconer on a monthly basis. This has been the case for many years, and has helped us find working relationships with others in the community and with our other political representatives.

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It has helped him understand the problems with which we contend on a daily basis. What I am looking for in a political representative is a person who understands the issues our neighborhoods face right now, and appreciates our worries about the future. I’m looking for someone who can weigh those needs against the economic realities of the city today and down the road.

Over the last seven years or so, Faulconer has faced the city’s looming financial problems and worked with just about everyone at City Hall to find short-term and possible long-term solutions. There’s nothing easy about this process.

No good can come from our representatives glossing over critical issues that threaten the financial stability of our city. Faulconer has kept his eye on the ball, and became well-educated on the actual financial problems from years ago when we were labeled “Enron by the Sea.”

He has seasoned experience after serving as chair of the Audit, Budget & Finance, and Rules and Economic Development committees. They’re not very sexy or exciting but that work is what this city needs – major hands-on experience coupled with an interest in problem-solving on a neighborhood level.

READ MORE: 5 Things Kevin Faulconer Has Done

Faulconer wasn’t a councilman when previous Council decisions destabilized San Diego and contributed to huge service and infrastructure losses in neighborhoods. But he certainly stepped up to find answers. I have gained a lot of respect for his abilities over the years.

This is not to say I agree on every decision made. However, I do feel that Faulconer has a unique ability to peel away the emotion from a problem so that he can clearly articulate all parts of the issue at hand. I’ve seen it time and time again – from building the new public restrooms near Dog Beach, to helping to draft a bipartisan resolution over the Filner debacle, or supporting a local coalition focused on improving Ocean Beach’s waterfront areas.

I appreciate that he was able to forge a joint effort with Donna Frye to protect Mission Bay Park. I find him to be fair, nonpartisan and a smart thinker. I truly wish that partisan politics didn’t exist at the local level. As evidenced in the last mayoral election, partisan blindness can be very harmful and is a huge distraction.

I’m a firm believer that when you build a city on nice-sounding promises and emotional hot-button issues, you have no foundation at all. If the finances of a city or community are weak, if the politicians either don’t understand or aren’t committed to a secure future, and if the people aren’t willing to analyze or understand the heart of its financial distress, the future is pure quicksand.

When Jerry Sanders became our mayor, he had to devote most of his resources to solve the fiscal mess. I attended many of the financial discussions held throughout San Diego so that I could understand what went so terribly wrong. Faulconer took the fiscal crisis very seriously, researched it and worked with other Council members to right the ship. He understood what caused San Diego’s financial deterioration. He stayed current on a broad variety of topics and issues in order to make the best possible decisions for the city as a whole. He seems to understand how vitally important it is to find a way to compromise and work out solutions while maintaining a keen understanding of the impending fiscal impact.

And I believe, now more than ever, that we have to elect those individuals who possess the ability and interest in keeping San Diego on the strongest possible financial trajectory.

Denny Knox is a small business owner and executive director of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. Knox’s commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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