Community Comes Out for Coffee with Jacob
The event offered members of the public and community leaders
an opportunity to address local issues and concerns. Photo by Darrel Kinney
Julian residents met with County Supervisor Dianne Jacob at Julian Town Hall recently to hear news from the Board of Supervisors and to share information and raise concerns about issues that affect the public. Those in attendance represented a broad cross-section of the community, from school districts to fire districts, medical foundation, merchants, a variety of organizations and neighborhood residents.
The meeting began with introductions, during which attendees had a chance to announce upcoming events and activities of interest to the public. Citizens raised questions about problems in their neighborhoods and broader concerns across the county. Jacob listened attentively and responded with assurances that her office would follow through wherever necessary to solve problems and inform the public of progress.
Jacob responded to the question of the possibility of San Diego County
becoming a federally designated test site for drones. According to Jacob, the drone program could be a fire-fighting tool. Several people spoke out in favor of and in opposition to the drone program. Acknowledging that it is a controversial issue, Jacob committed to hosting a Town Hall Meeting on the topic, should officials in Washington, D.C., decide to bring drones to the county. She also suggested that citizens advise their Congressional representatives of their opinions.
Jacob went on to review issues before the Board of Supervisors, beginning with the presentation of a map showing the wildfire risk to the county, which again is high this year. She urged residents to be prepared and referred them to her website for useful information on fire preparedness. Jacob also announced that federal funds to remove dead trees would soon be available. In the next 90 days, some 4,400 dead trees will be removed to reduce the fuel load. Colleen Bradley of the Volcan Mountain Foundation raised the point that trees with the gold spotted oak borer should not be removed. Rather, the cut trees should remain in place under tarps to kill the deadly pests to prevent spreading them.
Jacob advised residents to contact her office if any issues arise with regard to tree removal.
An initiative to relax regulations to allow rural property owners to use their land to open or expand microbreweries, cheese making, horse boarding and other agriculture-based ventures is being reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. Jacob sees this as a way to promote jobs and tourism and thinks Julian is well situated to benefit from changes to the law. Jean Duffy, director of Drug Free Julian, while supportive of growth opportunities, called for careful training of employees of tasting rooms to keep roads safe from drivers under the influence of alcohol.
Jacob introduced a discussion of the benefits of affordable solar power programs to convert from grid power to independence, warning residents that higher rates are expected, since San Diego Gas & Electric
will have to recover costs of the Sunrise Powerlink
and lawsuits from the fires. Assembly Bill
(AB) 327 in Sacramento, which is supported by the utility companies, takes away protections from ratepayers. She vowed to fight to get back those protections. Another fight on the horizon is to keep sewer rates from skyrocketing by exploring options for getting water delivered to homes.
Julian Medical Foundation member Chuck Kimball shared information about how the Affordable Care Act
will cut down on the cost of unreimbursed clients at the Julian Medical Clinic, which serves everyone regardless of ability to pay. On the other hand, the state may cut back budgets now that the federal program will be picking up some of the tab. By year’s end, Medi-Cal
will cover adult dental in addition to children’s dental, which will address a multitude of general health issues, according to Kimball.
Visit Supervisor Jacob’s wildfire advisory website at http://www.dianne
Oct 15, 2013 – RAMONA JOURNAL … Community Comes Out for Coffee with Jacob. The event offered members of the public and community