Best of La Mesa ballot raffle
While balloting and tabulating winners for our 2019 Best of La Mesa issue, La Mesa Courier is drawing prizes for people who have voted for their favorite local businesses. Our Best of La Mesa sponsors — Fitness 101, D’Amatos Pizza, Konichiwa Sushi, Lamplighters Theatre, Uneeke Boutique, Centifonti’s Yum Yum Donuts and Little Roma — have donated gifts we award to raffle winners.
We’d like to offer our congratulations to our first winners Veronica Magana who won a $50 gift certificate to Uneeke Boutique and Ymelda Beauchamp who won two season tickets to Lamplighters Theatre.
If you want to enter into the raffle, it is not too late. Just go to lamesacourier.com and click on the Best of La Mesa logo at the top of the page. Fill out the ballot with all your local favorites and that’s it — you’re entered. You can also fill out the ballot on page 22 of this issue and send to our office at 444 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 102, San Diego, CA 92108.
Winners will be drawn every month leading up to our Best of La Mesa issue in May. Good luck!
La Mesa community survey released
With the stated goal of providing “high quality facilities and services” that meet existing and emerging needs, the city of La Mesa hired True North Research, an independent survey research firm, to conduct a statistically valid citywide survey in January to better understand how residents feel about the way the city is providing vital services; understand where the city should spend resources; and assess opinions on a variety of topics such as public safety, traffic and parks and recreation. The city conducts a community survey every two years.
In summary, the report from True North showed that 90 percent of residents rated the quality of life in La Mesa as excellent or good. Overall, 86 percent of residents surveyed indicated that they were satisfied with the city’s performance in providing municipal services. These results are comparable to the survey that was conducted in 2017. With regard to customer service, slightly more than 9 out of every 10 residents who had interacted with city staff in the prior 12 months rated staff as helpful, professional, and responsive.
When residents were asked what they felt the city could do to improve the quality of life, their top priorities were addressing homelessness issues, improving and repairing roads, providing affordable housing, and limiting growth and development. Residents also indicated that adding and improving sidewalks would improve the quality of life.
The 2019 community survey can be viewed on the city’s website at bit.ly/2GtmOGc. For questions about the survey, contact the City Manager’s Office at 619-667-1105.
Jacob calls for housing, health, fire protection
In her State of the County speech, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob on Wednesday called for new measures to boost the stock of affordable housing, improve behavioral services and beef up fire protection in the most vulnerable communities.
She outlined proposals aimed at encouraging affordable housing in the county’s unincorporated area, while also safeguarding existing homes and new development from wildfire.
“We’re facing a conflict between shelter and safety, and we must find some balance in this battle,” said Jacob, who represents much of the fire-prone backcountry.
Her housing initiatives include doubling the size of the county’s housing trust fund, to $50 million, and increasing financial incentives to make it easier to build granny flats and other secondary dwellings next to existing houses.
“Many of you may know the term YIMBY, ‘yes in my backyard.’ Here we are talking about actual backyards,” Jacob said.
Her wildfire proposals include strengthening the building code for construction in high-risk fire areas and offering grants to existing homeowners to encourage the installation of safer vents, walls and other fire-resistant materials.
“The fact remains that San Diego County is one bad Santa Ana wind away from a disaster. New homes and communities must be built to give people and property the greatest chance of survival.”
She also laid out plans to improve and expand mental health and substance abuse programs, and noted that many of the homeless are in critical need of such services. She said the region must develop a coordinated system of care that focuses on individuals, not programs. In addition, she proposed improvements related to PERT, the county’s psychiatric emergency response teams.
On senior issues, Jacob provided updates on The Alzheimer’s Project, the county-led effort to address the local dementia epidemic, and Collaboration4Cure, the research offshoot of the project.
She announced the launch of a new respite care voucher program for those who need a break from the demands of caring for someone with dementia or other health challenges.
On the energy front, Jacob called on her board colleagues to join the community choice energy movement, saying the county should team up with local cities to open up the energy market.
“County government is already allowed to shop the energy market. We buy the bulk of our electricity from providers other than SDG&E,” she said. “If the county can shop for energy, why not the rest of us? Why not ratepayers, school districts and others?”