Escondido, CA
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A rare transition

It’s pretty rare for a member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors not to be reelected. So, the fact that Dave Roberts will NOT be returned for a second term in the 3rd District is going to create an interesting situation.

I have to say that Roberts is the most dedicated supervisor I have encountered. I have seen my share of arrogant supervisors and my share of supervisors who were dedicated to their constituents, and Roberts falls far into the latter territory. I’m a Republican and Roberts is a Democrat in a very Republican district, but I’m quite sorry that partisanship appears to trump (there’s that word!) everything in what should be a non-partisan race. Because Roberts has been very good to the city of Escondido.

You expect to see Mayor Sam Abed pop up at multiple public events and functions around town — however it has been truly startling just how often Dave Roberts would also show up at such events.

I read an article today bewailing the fact that with the defeat of Roberts by Kristen Gaspar all supervisors on the board will be Republican, and wondering how this happens in an increasingly Democratic county. It may be that, despite the attempts by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party to make the Board of Supervisors about party that the voters won’t have any of it. Maybe they are voting for the individual, rather than the party.

I think it’s fairly obvious that Roberts would have won reelection in a walk if he hadn’t gotten himself into trouble with charges of sexual harassment and other improprieties that resulted in the County paying out over $300,000 over the complaints from former staff members. As it was, he only lost by a couple of hundred votes. That’s because Roberts was able to deliver the goods.

I’m sure that many of the voters who returned incumbent councilwoman Olga Diaz to her third term were also probably not voting for her because she was a Democrat. The demographics of her district make that a highly unlikely prospect. Once again, they were probably voting for her because she is an obviously dedicated member of the council. Diaz and the other council member running for reelection, Mike Morasco, both earned similarly large percentages of the vote.

The fact that she is often on the wrong end of 4-1 votes doesn’t detract from that fact. Her style, including her wonkiness, her admitted “bleeding heart,” are a necessary point of view on the board. Hopefully the fact that her constituents handily returned her to office will impress itself on the other council members and the mayor so that they will stop publicly treating her like a political leper and give her the respect her office entitles her to.

It’s a fairly small sandbox. It would be nice if everyone playing in it would try to get along.

I personally hate New Year’s resolutions, but if the city council were to adopt this one: “We will respect each other’s opinions,” it might make for a very fruitful 2017.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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