The mayoral candidates may not agree on every issue but there a few they all seem convinced are political landmines.

Mike Aguirre, David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer and Nathan Fletcher each tried to distance themselves from a handful of policy issues raised during Tuesday’s Voice of San Diego debate.

Here’s a look at the things the candidates showed they’d rather not touch.

Charging for Trash Pick-Up

Residents of California’s other major cities pay a fee for trash collection but about 60 percent of San Diegans get the service for free.

When asked whether this policy should be overturned, most of the mayoral contenders seemed to agree the policy isn’t best for the city.

Only long-shot candidate Mike Aguirre thinks now is the time to fight the infamous 1919 People’s Ordinance.

Aguirre and Alvarez both said it presents legal issues – apartment and condo dwellers must pay but homeowners don’t.

But Alvarez and the other two mayoral contenders weren’t touching this.

Alvarez said he doesn’t want to start the battle until the city does more to divert trash from its landfill.

Fletcher was more direct.

“You’re not going to be able to get people to vote for something they currently get for free and it would take a vote of the public to change it, so I just don’t see that as a realistic option,” he said.

Faulconer was even more straightforward about whether he’d consider changing it. He simply said no.

Beach Parking

Parking at city beaches has always been free but a reader submitted a question that forced the mayoral hopefuls to say whether they’d consider charging for the service and using the money they collect to pay for public transit that makes the beaches more accessible.

VOSD CEO Scott Lewis asked if any of the candidates would be willing to talk about more paid parking in the city.

They weren’t.

Alvarez and Fletcher said the city should press other stakeholders, particularly San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System and county planning agency SANDAG, to prioritize transit investments.

Faulconer, a councilman who represents beach communities, simply expressed his distaste for paid parking near beaches.

“Our beaches belong to everyone so keeping those parking spaces free is something I’m committed to doing,” he said.

Early Morning Bar Closures

Another reader wanted to know: Would the candidates support allowing downtown bars to remain open until 4 a.m.?

Only Alvarez responded, and he did so with another question.

“Wouldn’t you have a (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) issue with California state?” he asked.

The other candidates were silent.

Marijuana Legalization

The next reader question focused on marijuana: Two states have legalized pot, and Californians narrowly rejected a similar measure in 2010. Would the mayoral candidates support another ballot effort?

The answers were swift and identical: No.

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.