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Supervisor Candidate Ken Malbrough Wants To Increase Outreach To District 4 Residents

Ken Malbrough, a candidate to represent District 4 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, is pictured in this undated photo.
Courtesy of Ken Malbrough
Ken Malbrough, a candidate to represent District 4 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, is pictured in this undated photo.

Most of the members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors have been in office for more than 20 years. That will change after this year’s election.

New supervisors will be elected in Districts 4 and 5 because of the addition of term limits for the board positions.

District 4 covers most of the central city of San Diego from La Jolla to downtown, from Ocean Beach to Encanto. It is currently represented by termed-out Supervisor Ron Roberts.


Ken Malbrough is one of five candidates in the District 4 race. He's a retired deputy fire chief with the city of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and has served on planning boards and town councils in the city. He is a Democrat. The supervisors positions are officially non-partisan, but right now all five supervisors on the board are Republican.

RELATED: District 4 Supervisor Candidates Sound Off On Homelessness

Ken Malbrough spoke with KPBS Midday Edition producer Michael Lipkin about his positions on some of the top issues in the race and why he is running for the seat.

Malbrough's candidate interview airs on Wednesday on Midday Edition.

Supervisor Candidate Ken Malbrough Wants To Increase Outreach To District 4 Residents
Supervisor Candidate Ken Malbrough Wants To Increase Outreach To District 4 Residents GUESTS:Ken Malbrough, candidate to represent District 4 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

>> Fellow Democrat Ken Malbrough is also running for the County Board of Supervisors. He is a retired Fire Chief of the city of San Diego fire rescue Department and has served on planning boards and town councils in the city. He spoke with producer Michael Lipkin, and here is the interview. >> You have talked about spending more of the county's reserve funds which are about $2 billion. The current supervisors have said that keeping all of that money in reserves keeps the county on solid financial ground. Especially as pension costs for the County are continuing to balloon. What specific projects would you fund with that money? >> I understand what reserves mean and I agree with them, not all of it, when you look at the amount of money that they do have in reserves, yes. Need a plan, we need a plan on how we are going to do that. We cannot forget that that is tax dollars, that is our money. And we should be responsible for how we are going to spend that money. So for me, I would like to see some of that money go and reduce the homeless population as well as assisting in our affordable housing program. We can do housing acquisition for homeless populations. We could even sob out to nonprofit for-profit businesses. For the wraparound services and so, those are key items where we can spend that money. >> One of the things he mentioned was affordable housing. And you said land acquisition could help with that. In what other ways might you address the county's affordable housing shortage? >> The county does own a lot of land, some of it is in corporate areas but believe it or not some of it is in incorporated areas, the city of San Diego, I know of several pieces of property they have this idea right now are they want to do a live well center, and that is closing down some of their current properties, if that happens, those are great ideas to use affordable housing in that area. Again, they also have funds to buy property or use some of the unincorporated areas that are around where we can use public transportation and take advantage of that and so, those are the things that I would say. >> Do you think the county should allow new developments like the Lilac Hills Ranch proposal? In undeveloped areas of the county? >> For one, I have been a chairperson for community planning groups going on eight years now, and one of the things that I do not like is doing development by initiatives. I am a little concerned about that. I would prefer that the community and the agencies make those decisions on how we can do that. And in this particular case, you have the citizens in that area that were not happy with that program. >> Just moving away from perhaps this specific proposal in general the idea of new developments in undeveloped areas of the county. >> You know, you have to remember, I was a firefighter for 31 years and so, I do have some concerns when he put development out in fire prone areas, so not sure if I would go with that, but how we could, there are some areas that I think we can develop where that would provide people help, but you know what, we also have to not just develop housing, we do that, we have to develop businesses. Infrastructure, all of those things that go into building the community. >> The nonprofit group disability rights California investigated the high number of suicides and suicide attempts in the San Diego County jails in a recent report. One of the findings is that the county quota needs to step up to provide the resources and accountability necessary to solve what are serious long-standing problems. >> What do you think their role should be in providing oversight to the county jails, and addressing specifically the suicides and mental illness problems that we have there? >> One, we have to be a little more aggressive in our access to health and human assistance. First of all, let's get those folks who have problems, mental, substance abuse, maybe they don't belong in the jails. You know, so maybe we tried to do that, the gateway to giving services. However, when it does happen, I believe the county has a responsibility to see what happened, why did it happen? And how do we avoid that from happening again. >> The sheriff is in charge of the jail, so what role do you think the Board of Supervisors should play? >> I believe the sheriff realizes that he has to be, have some response abilities on that, and again, it goes to, I serve the communities, and as a county supervisor, my community that I am responsible for, or my just district rather, in the whole county, so I would definitely want to be pushing on him to make sure that we make changes in the jail, because the jail is not designed for people to commit suicide. There is a reason for it, so we need to make sure that he is doing everything he can to prevent those problems and we, as County supervisors have to make sure that we are providing the services for people who are in need. >> The current Board of Supervisors passed a moratorium on pretty much all marijuana dispensaries and farms. An existing marijuana businesses have to close by 2022. Is that something you would work to change if you are elected or do you support that moratorium? >> No, I do not support that moratorium. I believe in democracy, the citizens of California have spoken up. It is our responsibility to reflect that. So, that is something that I am a mystified about why the county is not doing anything. Actually, what they are going to be doing by putting the moratorium on this is creating more illegal sales of cannabis. Plus, the revenues that you get from that, we can use that towards the homeless population, towards affordable housing. So I think it's a good thing. >> Again, the current Board of Supervisors voted to support trumps a lawsuit against California over some of it centuries the policies. Those who voted for it said they did it to protect public safety and that the county is less safe now than it was before the passage of SB 54. Do you agree? >> No, I do not agree that it is less safe, let's talk about what they did. They approved a brief, which is only designed to use when you appeal a case, in other words, the federal government has to lose that case, but not only that, they missed a deadline. To file that case, so to me, it almost looks like it was just a stunt. A publicity stunt. So I do not agree with that, and the other part of this is that our law enforcement agency, we tend to kick that can down the road, everything that we do not want to solve, we pass it off to them. This is another item that we want to do with immigration. Listen, the federal government, the rules are in place. They need to get the support that they need within the federal government to apply those. Not use my law enforcement that is designed to protect and serve the citizens that I am responsible for. >> You served on planning commission, you served on town councils, you served on advisory boards, what do you think you can do as a county supervisor that you couldn't or can't do in those roles? >> Well, I think the biggest thing is when you do community service, you have to do a lot of outreach but a lot of outreach pretty work with the community members. And here's the interesting thing. You just said it, I served on at least three major boards, and I have done that for almost 12 years, not for all of them, but what is missing, I have somebody that comes from the mayor's office, the counsel's office, but I do not have anybody that comes and represents the county. I think that is sad. I want to change that and I will be, that is one of the things that I will be working hard on is outreaching to the citizens that I represent, not just to tell them what I'm going to do for them but to listen to what they need. So that I can better serve them. So, I think that is a big positive for what I have been doing for the last 12 years. >> That was district for -- four candidates Ken Malbrough speaking with producer Michael Lipkin.

Corrected: September 21, 2022 at 1:41 PM PDT
Interviews with the remaining District 4 candidates will air this week on Midday Edition.
Democracy Day is an effort that started in 2022 to draw attention to the crisis facing American democracy, provide the public with the context and information they need, and bring all types of media together to sound the alarm collectively. KPBS is a media partner in this collaborative.