Board of Supervisors to consider major policy changes as democrats take power
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is poised to take dramatic action at its meeting Tuesday which could change the direction of the board’s policies after decades of Republican dominance.
For the first time since at least the 1960s, the board is controlled by Democrats. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who was elected chair last week, has proposed sweeping changes under an umbrella he is calling “Framework for the Future of San Diego County.” The board will meet at 9 a.m. to consider the changes.
That framework includes increased government transparency, declaring racism a public health issue, less austere financial policies and making climate change a county priority.
“As the new chair of the board, I will work tirelessly for a county with more opportunity, more fairness, more equity and more justice,” Fletcher said last Tuesday when he was elected unanimously as chair. “Let’s make San Diego County a place where our government is open, transparent, accessible and honest. One where all voices are heard, all ideas are considered and opportunity exists for everyone.”
Last week, Fletcher and several other supervisors gave news conferences detailing some of the framework’s plans. Fletcher has said it “prioritizes communities and populations in San Diego that have been historically left behind.”
He reached across party lines, partnering with fellow Supervisor Joel Anderson, a Republican, on the open government proposal.
Anderson, who was elected in a tight race in November, campaigned on a message of bringing more transparency to the county.
“Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously stated that `sunshine is the best disinfectant,”‘ Anderson said. “To me that means that the intense light of transparency is the best way to ensure that the public interest is being served.
“This should include releasing more information, in a timely and efficient manner, and ensuring that discussions about public issues should occur in open, not behind closed doors,” he said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the public to create a vigorous review process to ensure that all that can be done is being done to truly augment transparency.”
Fletcher held a news conference with Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer on Friday to reveal a realignment of the policies that govern the county’s management of its finances. They said the county’s current financial practices were implemented more than two decades ago to stabilize a government on the brink of becoming fiscally insolvent.
“After more than 20 years of something being done the same way, it is important we examine whether or not it is still working,” Fletcher said. “Our deep dive into the finances and contracting practices will be a look into everything we do as a county with an eye towards possible improvements.”
Three members of the five-person board have voiced support at public news conferences with Fletcher. The notable absence is Supervisor Jim Desmond, the other Republican on the Board of Supervisors and the only other member of the board not newly elected. Fletcher and Desmond have found themselves adversaries on issues many times in the past several years — most recently over the county’s response to COVID-19.