2013 Swearing-in Remarks

January 7, 2013/County Operations Center

Thank you, Chief Porter. It’s an honor to have our local Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Chief swear me in.

Now, Chief, about that new state fire tax…

Well, I’m rarin’ to start a new term –– my sixth.

I’m as excited today as I was in 1993, when I first came into office.

I’m very humbled, honored and grateful….And starting next month, I will have the distinction of holding elective office longer than any woman in our county government’s history.

However, change is coming... I’m sure some people thought that they would never see a change on this Board. But for the first time in nearly two decades, we’re welcoming a new member, Supervisor Dave Roberts. Congratulations, Dave. I look forward to working with you!

This Board has a lot of work ahead of it.

Fire protection remains one of my top priorities.

The county has a stronger, more cohesive firefighting force than it did two decades ago. We created the County Fire Authority and have invested more than $250 million on equipment, fire stations and other improvements.

Cal Fire has been a great partner on many of these changes. Chief Porter, I asked you to swear me in as a recognition of that teamwork. Thank you, Chief. Thank you to all of those who work the front lines to keep us safe.

My goal is to work with my colleagues to make this region the best prepared it can be for fire and any other type of emergency.

So, what’s next?

We need to complete the consolidation of rural fire agencies within the 1.5 million acres of the County Fire Authority to better coordinate services in our most fire-prone areas.

We must also build on our efforts to make our neighborhoods safer. In my District, a new Sheriff’s station will open this year in Rancho San Diego. We will continue to combat gang activities and human trafficking. We are working with the city of San Diego to upgrade and finally fully integrate the region’s emergency communications systems. This is a first.

I’m really looking forward to working with Supervisor Dave Roberts and Mayor Filner on energy issues – in a way that is smart and best serves the people and our businesses.

Clean efficient solar panels -- added to rooftops in our communities -- would help make us energy self-sufficient without ruining our backcountry. This month, I’m having solar panels installed on my home in Jamul. I really look forward to not having to pay another SDG&E bill -- this year or ever!

I will continue to build recreational facilities for our kids, conserve our precious open spaces and build parks and riding and hiking trails… and build that library in Alpine!

This Board’s adoption last year of an updated General Plan, our guiding land-use document, will help us retain the beauty and character of our backcountry communities while planning for responsible growth.

Twenty years ago, I felt a deep passion about the hard work ahead of me and promised to fight for the people in my District and make county government accountable to the taxpayers….the people who pay the bills!

That passion remains. I am here to serve you -- the people -- and to make county government work for you. To the folks in District 2, I thank you. I thank you for your faith and trust in me as I pledge once again to do my very best each and every day.

Thank you to my outstanding staff… Jeff Collins, Adam Wilson, Bob Spanbauer, Alice Re, Marilu Glassman, Janice Downs, Amber Tarrac and Steve Schmidt.

Thank you to our county Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer and to county employees for their hard work and fiscal discipline. And to my colleagues on the Board for your support on so many issues.

It’s not only great to start a new term with a new CAO, she will keep me company with the boys on this board.

And thank you to my husband Paul.

Well, I’m rarin’ to go again.

Now let’s get to work.