District 1 Race Could Shift Balance Of Power On SD City Council
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Aired 5/24/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Ray Ellis, businessman.
Sherri Lightner, City Councilwoman, District 1.
Bryan Pease, public interest attorney.
Dennis Ridz, SANDAG representative and member of the San Diego County Redistricting Committee.
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The four candidates for San Diego City Council District 1 are making that election one of the most competitive this year.
They represent a wide variety pf backgrounds: Ray Ellis, a Republican businessman; Sherri Lightner, a Democrat and current District 1 representative; Bryan Pease, a Democratic public interest attorney; and Dennis Ridz, a Republican who has served as a SANDAG representative and member of the San Diego County Redistricting Committee.
Despite new district boundaries created last year, 94 percent of District 1 remains the same. The district includes San Diego coastal communities from Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Del Mar Heights inland to Carmel Valley, Sorrento Valley and University City.
The four candidates spoke to KPBS about their stances on a wide variety of issues.
Pease and Ridz said they oppose the One Paseo development planned for a lot on El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights. Ellis said he supports a "scaled down" version of the project, and Lightner said she could not state her opinion, because it would mean she would have to recuse herself from future City Council votes on it.
Only Pease is opposed to Proposition B, the plan to change future city pensions to 401(k)s. Ellis and Lightner support the measure, and Ridz said he supports it, but only as an entry point to starting discussions with unions.
Ridz and Pease were the only candidates willing to make an outright endorsement for San Diego mayor. Pease supports Congressman Bob Filner, and Ridz supports state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, or "anyone but (City Councilman) Carl DeMaio," he added. Ellis said he supports "anybody but Bob Filner" and Lightner said she was not endorsing anyone.
Each City Council candidate had similar opinions on whether to build a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers.
"I support moving forward with examining a multi-use facility that would include the Chargers," Ellis said. "I think we need to make every attempt to keep them here, but it can't be on the backs of taxpayers."
"I think having the Chargers here is great, just not at taxpayer expense, the taxpayers shouldn't be paying for a new stadium," Pease said.
"I love the Chargers but no money and no land, and it should go to a vote of the people," Lightner said.
"I'll start by saying I've been a season ticket holder for 22 years and I do support my Chargers, but the city at this point can't really afford to get involved in this issue," Ridz said. "The NFL and the owners certainly have enough to do this."
The top two vote-getters in the June 5 primary will move on to the general election in November.