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Mayor Faulconer’s rival wants him to focus on San Diego issues

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SAN DIEGO – Mayor Kevin Faulconer is gearing up for another term after a clear victory in the June primary and his opponent wants him to keep his focus on San Diego.

Faulconer, who won a special election in February 2014 to replace the resigned Bob Filner, bested former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana and former Councilman Ed Harris in Tuesday's election.

Saldana spoke to FOX 5 post-election and said she never ran for office to win, but rather keep Faulconer accountable as mayor of San Diego.

“I said on the first day I announced, he needs to focus on the city and not run for governor of California,” said Saldana. “You focus on the job you have. You don’t look for a new job and you focus on the issues that affects people’s lives and safety.”

While Faulconer has a made a number of accomplishments the work is far from over, Saldana said.

“I said early on I’m running a campaign to make him defend his record, to make him talk about the issues he’s not willing to talk about,” said Saldana.

Saldana said as Faulconer begins his new term his focus must be on infrastructure. The mayor has committed to devoting more money to fixing San Diego’s roads, but Saldana said he’s on the wrong path to get it done.

“He’s balancing it on the back of cutting back employee pay,” said Saldana. “That’s not the way you grow a qualified workforce by telling people we’re going to save money by cutting back on employees and that’s going to infrastructure, that’s a no win.”

Faulconer has also proposed increasing the upcoming fiscal budget to hire more dispatchers to address the sometimes long delay for 9-1-1 calls. Saldana called his plan a good start.

“I think it’s not just about paying the people more and having the funds there, but he needs to create a better work environment,” said Saldana. “He needs to have a good pension plan and there’s needs to be room for growth. People will leave if they see this isn’t a career path.”

Harris said he pushed for stabilization of the workforce, namely for firefighters and lifeguards.

Harris, who leads the city's lifeguard union, filled Faulconer's seat on the city council by appointment for about eight months.

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