SAN DIEGO — The two candidates squaring off in San Diego County’s District 4 election spoke Monday night at a public forum ahead of Nov. 7.
Republican Amy Reichert and Democrat Monica Montgomery-Steppe are running to replace former County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher following his resignation amid a sexual harassment lawsuit. It’s left residents without a supervisor since May.
“Homelessness is a key thing. I would just like to hear the take from the [potential] supervisor on homelessness,” District 4 resident Dennis Vincent said to FOX 5.
It was that headliner that brought dozens of voters to the Kensington Community Church Monday night.
“It’s a conundrum!” exclaimed Jan Peterson, who also lives in the area.
It’s something residents say is in dire need of a solution, asking the two lasting District 4 candidates for a fix.
“What people seem to be most concerned about are the growing encampments — and this can be just moms who are concerned about getting their kids to school,” shared Reichert when asked about the issue during Monday night’s forum.
Steppe also responded to the moderator, sharing in part, “Shelters are at a 97% occupancy, so even when people do want help it is not there for them. I think we have a responsibility to provide that, so that people have a choice.”
Housing also took center stage in Kensington surrounding the contentious high-density housing bill, SB-10.
“I don’t like the idea of a seven-story apartment building on Adams with no parking,” shared Peterson.
“I think there needs to be more thought. Housing is complex, the resistance is noted,” said Steppe when asked how she plans to address SB-10 if voted supervisor.
“I do believe we can build sensibly, single-family homes, while protecting our environment,” Reichert shared in her response to the moderator.
Another crisis brought to the forefront lies at the border after the county’s recent decision to spend $3 million to help the thousands of migrants crossing into American soil.
“Federal government, this is your job, this is your jurisdiction. These monies were meant for struggling small businesses, homeless…” shared Reichert.
On the other hand, Steppe said while the federal government does need to step in, the responsibility also lies within county lines.
“It’s a public health agency, that’s what the county does. We have to ensure the public health of all the people here in our region.”
The district 4 runoff race is set for Nov. 7. Whoever wins, will finish out Fletcher’s current term, which expires January of 2027.