Contact: Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108


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Improved fire protection. Beefed-up law enforcement. Expanded business opportunities. New initiatives to help the elderly.

Those were among the highlights of Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s tenure in 2014 as chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Her one-year term concluded today.

“In my State of the County address last January, I pointed out our work on a wide range of critical issues,” said the District 2 supervisor. “I laid out an ambitious agenda for 2014. Some wondered if it was too ambitious. I’m proud to say our county government rose to the challenge.”

Among the highlights of 2014:

• County officials bolstered fire protection. The county moved to add a third helicopter to its firefighting fleet and struck an agreement that allows the city of San Diego’s night-flying helicopters to serve the entire region.

Construction continued on a new fire station in the rural community of Boulevard. Since 2003, the county has invested nearly $320 million on firefighting improvements.

“Our efforts to bolster fire protection across the region were put to the test during a series of massive wildfires in May,” Jacob said. “I’m glad to say that all levels of government – local, state and federal – displayed an extraordinary level of cooperation, both on the ground and in the air.”

• New Sheriff’s Department facilities opened in Rancho San Diego and Pine Valley, while work continued on a station planned for Lakeside. The county also added jail beds and stepped up its fight against human trafficking.

“I want to salute the men and women in our Sheriff’s Department -- and all our first responders,” said the supervisor. “You do us proud. Please know that public safety is, and will continue to be, my top priority.”

• The county continued to look for ways to help the economy and business owners, including farmers and backcountry entrepreneurs. It moved to relax rules on beekeeping to boost honey production and agriculture and is looking at cutting regulations to encourage micro-breweries.

“We took similar steps a few years back with wine growers and we’ve seen huge growth in the boutique wine industry,” Jacob said. “Small, family-run businesses are the backbone of our communities.”

• At Jacob’s urging, the county launched several initiatives to assist the elderly as the region braced for a sharp upswing in the 75-and-older population. It moved to improve the level of care and oversight at residential care facilities, including beefing up its patient advocate program and creating a rating system to help consumers find quality care.

It also started The Alzheimer’s Project, an unprecedented regional initiative to find a cure for the deadly disease and to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

“When I raised the issue of Alzheimer’s in my State of the County address early last year, some wondered if I was taking on too much. But the public put us here to meet big challenges head on, not duck from them,” said the supervisor. “I’m proud we aimed high and The Alzheimer’s Project is already showing great promise.”

Other highlights of 2014 included the upgrading of the county’s credit rating by Moody’s and the creation of a loan program to help homeowners pay for energy improvements. Companies providing the loans, known as PACE, say the effort has created hundreds of local jobs.

During a Board of Supervisors meeting today, Supervisor Jacob spoke about the county’s 2014 accomplishments. Her prepared remarks are here.

She has represented District 2 since 1993.

The district includes the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway and Santee, along with the communities of Alpine, Campo, Jamul, Julian, Lakeside, Ramona, Spring Valley and many others.