Local Issues

241 Tollroad – No Support

I’ve been your elected representative in various capacities for 10 years. For the record, after carefully reviewing the options and meetings with stakeholders, I do not support the Tollroad extension, it is not a viable option and there is no support from the Orange County Transportation Authority as evidence by their recently released MPAH which evidences NO TOLLROAD in the plan. 

Allow me to clarify – I could not, would not advocate, nor have I ever advocated or promoted funding anything that would tear communities apart or needlessly impact homes and businesses in our communities. Nor would I support allocating scarce resources for uses other than traffic relief. Based on the City of San Clemente’s traffic study, and my own research, very little traffic relief would result from the extension.

Sober Living Homes

Help may be on the way from Congress and even the State of California seems to be finally aware of the issue:

This issue has been affecting communities statewide for years. I will do whatever legally and legislatively possible to protect our communities and ensure the peaceful enjoyment of your home. That is why I strongly support efforts underway to resolve the issue. 

Unfortunately the Democrats controlling the State of California have made it very difficult to find any legal means for assisting under present State Laws in addition to Federal Law with regard to what constitutes a “family” and the Americans with Disability Act. Cities (Newport Beach in particular) seemed to have made an effort to write a statute that would deal with zoning, etc. but ran into litigation and state push-back on their efforts.

However, there is new light on the issue from the federal level and state level. Recently, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, and others on both sides of the aisle passed HR 4684 which was authored by Congresswoman Judy Chu to ensure the facilities that receive federal funds are regulated and certified for treatment. The bill was received in the Senate on June 13, 2018 and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. I support this step in the right direction to ensure that those facilities that do not adhere to standards of care or best practices do not receive federal dollars.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will also be holding hearings on sober living homes in the community, where additional measures will be discussed.

And… it also appears that even the California Legislature is taking note of the problem that Republicans have raised for years. SB 823 requires licensed rehabs in California to adopt the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s treatment criteria as the minimum standard of care.

San Onofre Nuclear Waste Removal – A Work in Process and Resist is not Helpful

Though Mr. Levin, my opponent in CD49, seems to be unaware, there is already a process underway for removing the nuclear waste from SONGS but we will need cooperation from our own State’s Congress members and Senators as well as those in other states to get SONGS to the top of the list for waste removal. In the meantime, the first step was taken by Congressmen Issa and Peters who worked on HR3053 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, with the Committee Chair Shimkus (IL), to meet the first hurdle in legislation passed out of the House on a bi-partisan basis.

HR 3053 would re-designate Yucca Mountain in Nevada as permanent storage (which is currently being litigated after being chosen 3 decades ago) and allow for the removal of waste to temporary storage, until a permanent storage facility is ready to receive the waste. This bill has not yet been approved by the Senate and is not expected to be heard until after the 2018 election.

The next step would be to establish which facilities that currently have nuclear waste are allowed to remove their waste and in what order (there are 121 sites in 39 states). I and others believe the decommissioned plants, such as San Onofre, should top the list but that will again require at least 219 votes out of the House and 60 votes in the Senate. So we must first ensure we corral all of our state Congress people (53) and our 2 Senators to provide a united front and strong start in obtaining the requisite number of votes to get California to the top of the list.

Next the transportation of waste will be determined, but understand that there is still pending litigation against Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which is the only site approved at this time as a permanent site.

Our need to procure votes and cooperation from other states is why the political mayhem created by RESIST as well as other protests that spur non-cooperation among our state leaders must abate. Politics is the art of the possible – cooperation and working together is the only way we will “get it done” which is what I pledge to do.

Encinitas – Leucadia Streetscape Project

Creating congestion is never a good idea; Bond debt to create congestion is even worse.

I was recently asked to express my position, as a Member of the State Board of Equalization and your elected taxpayer representative, on the Leucadia Streetscape project. While I do not have a vote on the issue I do agree with the Encinitas Residents’ Coalition, that the plan should be revisited. Highway 101 and surrounding neighborhoods as well as the I-5 will be severely impacted by reducing the Highway from 4 lanes to 2 and inserting several roundabouts on the route. Because this project would require bond or debt funding of roughly $30 million dollars, concerns of taxpayers and residents in Encinitas should be thoroughly addressed and resolved through the EIR process as suggested by the Encinitas Residents’ Coalition. Bond debt repayment is in essence a tax on the citizens.

Offshore Drilling – No Support

I have NEVER voted for Offshore Drilling, in spite of what you may have seen in thousands of dollars of paid TV ads by the League of Conservation Voters, who support my opponent. I have a track record of working on water quality for drinking and ocean water, and clean up for the Salton Sea and New River. I will continue to advocate for water quality improvements for Imperial Beach and other areas where pollution deprives Californians and visitors alike from enjoying our natural resources.