PBTC Vice President Richard Kiser spearheaded the efforts to bring in both candidates and believes it was a good opportunity for the community to know what to expect from each candidate in November.
“After the June primary election, we contacted both candidates and offered time in front of our membership and specifically to address these issues and takes from the audience,” Kiser said.
The issues Filner covered included alcohol licensing, alcohol-related crime, oversize vehicles and the ongoing homelessness problem in the Pacific Beach area. DeMaio had addressed the same issues in June through audience questioning.
Filner said he had kept up with the latest alcohol-licensing issues in the beach area and would support a conditional-use permit (CUP) process for Pacific Beach.
“PB is a very interesting and diverse community, but it’s important to have respect for others,” Filner said.
The CUP is designed to give local communities more control on how to handle alcohol-related issues. He said he takes the opposite view of DeMaio and supports a CUP.
On the issue of oversize vehicles parked for long periods of time on beach streets and parking lots, Filner said that it requires a “will” to enforce such laws. But said he would listen to the community’s concerns regarding the matter.
He said he believes the homelessness problem to be a “moral issue” and said he would like to build more shelters without “breaking the bank.”
Asked about his stance on medical marijuana because of concerns about the accessibility by minors, Filner said he would like to see marijuana reclassified as a conventional drug so it can be sold in pharmacies.
“San Diego is a major city and I am very excited and proud to be running for mayor,” said Filner. “My opponent wants to focus on potholes, but the city is bigger and better than that.”
Pacific Beach Town Councilmembers appeared to be pleased by the results of the forums offered to Filner and DeMaio.
“This format worked well,” said Kiser. “It was not a debate, but it was all about the candidates’ solutions to community issues.”
The next guest speakers at the PBTC meetings will be 39th California Senate District candidates George Plescia on Aug. 15 and Marty Block on Sept.19.