Supervisor Dianne Jacob met face-to-face with a group of her constituents in Spring Valley Thursday, discussing the state of the county, and some critical issues affecting the lives of those in attendance.
The event, known as “Coffee With Constituents,” is just that, a chance for people to share a cup o’ joe with Jacob, bringing their concerns and asking questions. She spoke to about 40 people at
The first issue discussed was that of the proposed CAL Fire takeover of the San Miguel Fire District. Capt. Joe Manelli, attending the event on behalf of the district, was allowed to speak. He said that the two sides are still negotiating a contract. Once that is done, it will go before the board, and the public will have a chance to voice their questions, opinions, and concerns. Manelli said that he expects a contract to be done by the end of the year.
Jacob then spoke about the issue of “defensible space” around people’s homes in rural San Diego County, an issue which Jacob spoke about at a news conference in Jamul on Tuesday.
It is recommended that people clear the dried up brush and vegetation from a 50-100-foot perimeter around their house. They should also clear up all dried leaves and needles from their gutters, to help prevent property loss in the event of a wildfire.
This topic has been made all the more relevant with news of the near Shelter Valley on Thursday, though no homes or structures have been lost in the blaze.
“We are the defense, and the firefighters are the offense,” said Jacob.
Other topics discussed were that of the crime rates going down in Spring Valley. Jacob praised the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, some of whom were in attendance.
Jacob gave an update on some statistics on busts and arrests for the East County Gang Taskforce. She referenced a raid in January, in which more than 100 known associates of Mexican mafia groups , and more than 14 pounds of methamphetamines were seized.
The topic that Jacob was most passionate about, was that of “everyone’s favorite utility company,” she said with wry sarcasm, referring to SDG&E.
Jacob said she will continue to fight for her constituents on several issues, including from ratepayers for the 2007 wildfires and any future fires.
To date, the company’s insurance has covered for $1.1 billion, but the proposal, which was taken before the California Public Utilities Commission last month, would seek to recoup some $500 million more.
“They (SDG&E) not only want all of us to pay for their mistakes, they’ve asked for complete immunity for any past and future liability, for their equipment, their lines, their infrastructure. That’s absolute hogwash,” said Jacob. “It gives them no incentive to keep up their equipment, because we all would be liable.”