San Diego County Not Ready For Aging Population, Jacob Says
As the county's population continues to grow older, San Diego will be put to the test.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said within the next 15 years, San Diego's elderly population will surge by more than 30 percent, but the county is ill-equipped to handle this rapid growth.
"As the county population turns more gray, regional problems tied to aging will turn more grave," she said.
In the annual address, Jacob called for the county to fully restore its aging and independence services, follow through on a special prosecution unit targeting problematic senior home centers and to support Alzheimer's research.
"More than 60,000 people in San Diego County have the disease. That number is expected to double in the next 15 years," she said.
To address this, Jacob announced a task force to develop recommendations for tackling the disease. She also pointed to ambitious San Diego projects researching the brain-degenerating disease, urging residents to volunteer for studies.
Lowering energy costs was another theme in Jacob's remarks. She called for a "hard look" at community choice aggregation. Jacob said this would allow ratepayers to purchase electricity outside of San Diego Gas & Electric, something the county already does which has helped reduce its electricity costs, she said.
"Community choice aggregation programs allow communities to band together to buy and sell electricity on behalf of ratepayers," she said.
Additionally, Jacob pointed to the county's advancements in public safety. According to her, nearly one-third of the county's $5 billion budget goes toward public safety — up from 25 percent 10 years ago.
However, she opened her State of the County address with one of the San Diego's struggles: realignment, which she called "a mess."
"It crowds our jails. It makes it tougher to keep the peace. It means some criminals get out before they should," she said. "The state is dumping a big part of its law-and-order duties."
To cope with this, Jacob highlighted the new sheriff's stations added in Rancho San Diego, Lakeside and Pine Valley and mentioned the county's plans to add 400 jail beds to its detention centers.
But she mentioned the county is still lacking when it comes to enforcement on sex-trafficking.
Jacob also pointed to the county's fire prevention efforts, specifically its work to "beef up rural fire protection."