Escondido Democratic Club
Third District San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts reviewed his first year during remarks before Escondido Democrats February 8, 2014, emphasizing that he had demonstrated the importance of a campaign pledge that Democrats “have to have a seat at the table to change the dialog.” Roberts is the only Democrat on the County Board of Supervisors and the first to be elected in years.
Watch video of Supervisor Roberts remarks on the EDC YouTube Channel.
Roberts reviewed areas of County responsibility in which he had made a difference. First was mental health, a topic that has engaged him “for almost three decades” and where he has worked “to put mental health on parity with physical health.” He described how he had worked other supervisors to expand a home assistance demonstration project that required $3 million in new funding. He reported that he is working to implement “Laura’s Law,” that allows judges to order medication for some patients to allow them to “get back into the right state of mind where they can make decisions” and “get out of a downward spiral.” San Diego County would become the 18th county in California to put the measure into effect, he said. “I think in mental health we’ve had a tremendously successful year,” he added.
He also spoke about programs related to foster children, an issue important to him personally. He and his husband are parents to six foster children, and he brought two of them to the meeting. He described the “Exceptional Families” program that works to place foster children with exceptional needs. “Every child deserves a forever, loving home,” he said. In response to a question, he added that there are almost twice as many parents willing to host a foster child than there are children available. He described the “Quality Parenting” program the County will be implementing.
He noted that San Diego County has added 616 positions “to help make sure we implement health care reform correctly, so that everyone who needs and wants health care can get it.” He said San Diego is seen as a model county in this regard. He mentioned his prior experience in health care and his long-term interest in health care issues. He also mentioned his decision to locate offices out in the district, including one in the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, where the Escondido Democrats meeting was held.
Roberts was questioned primarily about developments north of Escondido. On Merriam Mountain, he noted that it will be four years before any proposal can reach the Board of Supervisors. He said he has toured the site and will pay close attention to the proposal when it comes before Supervisors. He noted that he has worked to expand a program that pays farmers to agree that their agricultural land can never be developed. He noted that he “supports development that is consistent with zoning.”
On the Gregory Canyon Landfill, Roberts said “I am strongly opposed” to the project. Building a project “on sacred ground” and near “a river that would pollute Oceanside” is “not a smart decision,” and that “voters… did not understand the issue” when they approved an initiative allowing the project. However, that initiative took Supervisors out of the decision-making process, so he will not have an opportunity to stop the project.
He was also asked about the Lilac Hills project, but said he could not say much, since that proposal will eventually come before Supervisors for approval. “It’s got to make sense and not impact the surroundings,” he added.