A months-long effort to increase sales taxes in Chula Vista was one of the top issues driving voter turnout at several polling precincts across the city Tuesday.
Voters told Voice of San Diego that the proposed sales tax increase — Measure A — along with the races for governor and San Diego County district attorney were the contests most important to them.
In the eastern Chula Vista neighborhood Otay Ranch, Krystina Tinker said she thought taxes were high enough already.
“I feel any type of (tax) increase is just bad for everyday people,” she said.
Measure A has been sold to residents as a fix for a “public safety crisis.” Tinker was skeptical of those claims.
“I personally do not feel unsafe,” she said. “I feel that maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration.”
Ed Mann, who also lives in Otay Ranch, was more blunt.
“I don’t like taxes,” he said. “Jerry Brown has too many of them.”
In western Chula Vista, Diana Delarosa, said she also voted no on Measure A.
“I think we’ve had enough of that recently,” she said. “I like the idea of it but I don’t really feel like they have control over what they’re going to do with those funds. We don’t have proof they’re going to use those funds for exactly what they say they’re going to.”
While much of the opposition to Measure A has come from the right, Frank Hernandez, who said he voted for several Republicans, voted in favor of the measure.
“We need Measure A because our city has almost tripled,” he said.
Hernandez, who lives on the west side of the city, said he was unhappy with Mayor Mary Salas’ efforts to deal with the homeless population. The race for mayor was the most important to him, he said.
“She’s opened the doors to free this, free that — services for the homeless,” he said, referring to Salas. “They’ve overpowered the city. You can’t even walk down Broadway. They need a hand, not a handout.”
Hernandez said he voted for Republican John Cox for governor. As for mayor, he said he voted for one of Salas’ Republican challengers, but declined to say who.
Experience was the top critique voters who spoke to VOSD had with district attorney candidate Geneviéve Jones-Wright, a deputy public defender.
“I did vote for Summer (Stephan),” Tinker said, referring to the interim district attorney. “Nothing against Geneviéve, I’m sure she does a great job, but at the end I do find experience a bit more comforting.”
Tinker said she was open to voting for Jones-Wright, but not until she had a few more years’ experience.
Delarosa also voted for Stephan.
“Originally, I was thinking I was going to go the other way, and then (I) found out she didn’t have much experience,” she said. “It’s important that that person have something going into that position.”
Measure A, along with the county district attorney’s race, will be decided Tuesday.
Chula Vista’s mayoral race, like the race for governor, will be decided in November, with the top-two finishers in each moving on.