trash pick up san diego
A side-loader city of San Diego sanitation truck collects trash in a residential area in North Park on Dec. 23, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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Here’s everything you need to know about some of the most interesting races. 

Measure B: Despite trailing narrowly in the days since the election, “yes” votes for the city of San Diego’s initiative that would allow it to study and implement a special fee for trash collection have pulled ahead. “Yes” votes now lead by nearly 3,000 votes out of nearly 400,000 cast.

Measure C: The margin of “yes” votes over no votes to the exemption to the 30-foot building height limit for the Midway area of the city of San Diego stayed relatively steady, with “yes” in the lead by nearly 8,000 votes. 

National City: The squeaker 3-person race for mayor of National City has gotten even tighter, with former mayor Ron Morrison’s lead over City Councilman Jose Rodriguez reducing to 87 votes with just over 9,000 votes counted. 

Assessor/Recorder/Clerk: Jordan Marks’ lead over Barbara Bry decreased slightly to over 27,000 votes, but his overall margin remains significant.

Where North County’s Election Races Stand Now

Seen here a Jim Desmond sign in downtown San Diego on election night, Nov. 8, 2022. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

It’s been more than a week since Election Day, and after another update Wednesday evening from the San Diego Registrar of Voters, the outcomes of some of North County’s big races are becoming clearer.

There are still roughly 15,000 outstanding ballots in San Diego County, but while we wait for those last votes to be counted, we’ve rounded up the most notable updates in races impacting North County.

As of Wednesday evening, Catherine Blakespear headed to Sacramento for senate training, the Associated Press has called the 49th Congressional District race and Dane White is likely the new mayor of Escondido.

Read the full story here.

This race is definitely over…

San Diego City Council District 6 Candidate Kent Lee walks with supporters in downtown on election night. / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran for Voice of San Diego

Tommy Hough has conceded in San Diego City Council District 6. The winner, Kent Lee, finished election night with a healthy lead over Hough and that gap has increased over time. As of Wednesday, Lee had pulled in 60 percent of the vote. 

Hough put the blame on last-minute attack mailers when Jesse Marx spoke to him last week and reiterated those claims in a press release on Tuesday. He said his loss “does not mean District 6 has issued a blank check to developers and speculators to run roughshod over our communities.”

As the Politics Report noted over the weekend, Hough positioned himself as the neighborhood voice in opposition to City Hall and the business and labor interests supporting Lee. In doing so, Hough’s campaign often echoed Barbara Bry’s unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2020.

Lee, who’s expected to be sworn-in on Dec. 12, thanked his supporters on Wednesday and credited the coalition he’d built, which included volunteers and elected officials from around the region. Both Hough and Lee are Democrats, but Lee won the party’s endorsement. 

Another Private Childcare Provider Bites the Dust

This week, the owners of Honey Bear, a preschool in Point Loma, announced that after 55 years in business the school would be closing next week. “We have spent the last two and a half years wrestling with all of the impacts from COVID as well as state legislation and local legislation,” owners Michelle and Stephen Parker wrote in a note. 

“The childcare industry has been particularly hard hit by the increases in wages and the competition from public programs working with younger and younger children. We have thought long and hard and tried to find a way forward through these challenges, but do not see a viable path,” they wrote.

The closure of a preschool that, at least back in March, was so full that they had waitlists for many classes highlights the tenuous situation some private childcare providers are facing. Even before COVID-19 hit, the industry was stretched thin, with workers stuck in poverty-wage jobs and parents struggling to find spots for their children. But the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the sector and significantly shrunk the already small number of childcare providers, and slots available for the region’s children. 

Now, as the Parker’s statement references, new public initiatives like California’s universal transitional kindergarten program, which expanded to include most 4-year-olds this year, are further stressing the system. By law, 4-year-olds require fewer teachers, which ends up meaning they’re private childcare providers’ most profitable age group. When that age group is funneled into UTK provided by public schools, it makes the whole house of cards come tumbling down.

In Other News

  • Negotiations to end the system-wide strike of University of California graduate workers continue for the sixth straight day. (KPBS)
  • inewsource reports on some drama within San Diego’s historic preservation community. Bruce Coons, a former San Diego mayoral candidate, and Alana Coons caused controversy after the nonprofit they lead shipped a trove of antiques to their private mansion in Mississippi for personal use.
  • Construction will start next year on the safeguarding of railroad tracks along a Del Mar bluff. The seawalls, drainage ditches and soldier piles are needed until a new inland route with a tunnel is built. (Union-Tribune) 
  • The city is set to move about 360 homeless residents and 49 homeless families out of the homeless shelter in the City Hall complex on Thursday so it can make needed repairs. City officials plan to house the Golden Hall shelter residents at the Balboa Park Activity Center and a nearby motel for about two weeks while the work is underway. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney, Tigist Layne and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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