Local Sierra Club Endorsements for the November 5 election

For state and federal endorsements, visit www.sandiego.sierraclub.org/vote/

provided by The Sierra Club


ast an informed vote this November. Sierra Club Political Committee volunteers created questionnaires and conducted interviews to learn who the candidates are and to get them on the record. Below are the considered positions for local government races in San Diego County.

District Attorney – Bonnie Dumanis


    Bonnie Dumanis is a Superior Court Judge and former deputy district attorney with more than 20 years' experience in the criminal justice system. Her first priorities as DA will be to repair relations with prosecutors, who voted 68% no-confidence in her opponent, and to restore integrity and honesty within the office.

    Bonnie is committed to enforcing environmental laws so that polluters are prosecuted, and to provide education to prosecutors as well as modification to the current organization of the office to provide for better response to environmental complaints. She is supported by 13,000 police, fire and law enforcement personnel throughout San Diego County.




    No endorsements made.

Del Mar City Council


Crystal Crawford. This first-term incumbent served as mayor with the highest vote in November 1998 election. Crystal:

  • Represents Del Mar on San Dieguito River Valley Regional Park Joint Powers Authority and Del Mar Lagoon Committee.
  • Is a leader in efforts to preserve the San Dieguito wetlands and to reverse upstream land use impacts on all watersheds.
  • Is a strong and respectable voice in connecting multiple habitat areas throughout the county.
  • Is an able advocate on keeping the 22dDistrict Agricultural Association from further expanding into the floodplain of the San Dieguito Wetlands.
  • Believes cities should retain control over local land use planning, but gifted in working on region-wide bodies to achieve better collaboration on, e.g., freeway planning.
  • Believes developers should pay more of the direct costs of new development.

Jerry Finnell. Jerry “earned his stripes” as Del Mar City Council-appointed leader of a task force to (successfully) oppose the 22nd District Agricultural Association's 1999 efforts to vastly expand their operations into the wetlands of the San Dieguito River Valley, to develop major commercial/retail operations. Member, Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, major political lobbying group to save the region's most significant river valley system from the Cleveland National Forest to the Pacific Ocean.



Robert Nanninga. The San Diego Earth Times endorses Robert Nanninga for this office. Robert's activities include: City of Encinitas Parks and Recreation Commission; current Board Member of San Diego EarthWorks; Member, Sierra Club, Cottonwood Creek Conservancy and Lagoon Greens; freelance environmental writer for The Coast News, San Diego Earth Times, and North County Times, and Environmental Reporter for Oceanside Cable Television. He promises to bring an ecological perspective to the council debate.

Dennis Holz is an incumbent who was endorsed by us in the last election. He has proven to be a good environmental candidate. We were not able to interview him as he was out of town, but his responses to our questionnaire were consistent with Sierra Club positions.

Christy Guerin understands the range of problems and possible solutions associated with upstream contaminants that find their way to Encinitas beaches. She meets our environmental criteria except in regards to seawalls, of which she is in favor. She is willing to look at all solutions when it comes to bluff erosion, but that also includes seawalls.



June Rady. June Rady has demonstrated her commitment to preserving and protecting our local environment. She is Escondido's representative to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, a partnership that is planning and implementing the fifty five mile long coast to crest trail from Del Mar to Julian, along the San Dieguito River. She currently is chairing that organization. June has helped to lead the effort to purchase Bernardo Mountain, a major landmark in Escondido and part of the River Park.

    June is running for office to, “... overcome the anti-quality-of-life forces that still dominate in Escondido. I would stand up to the system which too often places development interests over good land use and quality of life decisions.” June is completing two terms as a council member as is giving up her council position to seek the Mayor's office. www.RadyForMayor.com



Ron Newman. Ron Newman is a retired Captain from the San Diego Police Department. He is making his first run for public office to, “act as a conduit for resolving conflicts and problems.” Ron has the ability to develop ongoing relationships with people who have competing goals in order to promote mutual objectives. He states, “New growth should pay its way. Growth has become pervasive and accepted by most as inevitable. It is not. Expansion without the appropriate infrastructure impacts the ability to adequately provide for traffic flow, road maintenance, and public safety services, while it draws resources away from other community needs. I'd much rather address infrastructure issues before giving consideration to future expansion.” Please visit www.RonNewman.net.

Rod Jensen. Rod Jensen is a first time council candidate. He is a biologist with Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees from the University of California at Irvine. Rod is running for public office because, “The council majority repeatedly approves projects that make developers and special interests wealthy, while adversely impacting our infrastructure, our ecology, (and) our neighborhood value...” Rod believes in protecting the environment and strong fiscal responsibility. “It is time to make population growth pay its fair share – for local capital improvements and regional capital improvements.”



Jim Wood and Sam Williamson. After a careful evaluation of their written responses to the Sierra Club questionnaire and a lengthy interview, these candidates were selected for a number of important reasons. Foremost is their support of the El Corazon Initiative. Both candidates are supported by Save El Corazon and Citizens for the Preservation of Parks and Beaches. Both candidates answered that there are times when citizens must exercise their right to referendum and initiative to see that the community is protected. Each candidate was emphatic that new growth should pay it's own way.

    Jim Wood is retired from a thirty year career on the Oceanside police force. Since 1986, he has worked on local environmental issues, including a Citizens Group in 1986 that passed a Slow Growth Initiative. He was opposed to the Manchester Project and is supportive of the El Corazon Initiative and has been active in getting it on the ballot.

    Sam Williamson served on the Oceanside City Council from 1984 to 1992. During that time, he was no friend to the environment. He has come out in this campaign on the side of the El Corazon Initiative and was also opposed to the Manchester Project, although he was initially in favor of the project. When asked for the reason that he changed position, he told us it was two-fold. Number one was his own family's opposition to the project, and number two was the location of the WalMart Center in his own neighborhood, giving him a new perspective as a private citizen with little power over out-of-town developers.



Betty Rexford. The environmental community is fortunate to have elected representatives like Betty Rexford serving in public office. Betty is seeking reelection to the Poway City Council and is representing that city on the San Dieguito River Valley Joint Powers Authority. This partnership is planning the regionally significant fifty five mile coast to crest park from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the San Dieguito Lagoon between Del Mar and Solana Beach. She served as chair of the organization in 2001.

    Betty has been a strong voice for the environment, a long time supporter of the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program, and believes we need new public policies to cause new population growth pay its fair share region wide. She has a thirty-four year record of service in Poway and San Diego County. Betty wants to, “Stop building in the wetlands area and buy land...” to preserve it.



Council District 2 – Michael Zucchet. Michael has studied, worked and actively participated in a variety of environmental causes. He earned his BA in economics and environmental studies from UC Santa Barbara, and a master's degree in environmental management from Duke University's School of the Environment. Michael served as a longtime board member and immediate past president of the League of Conservation Voters, San Diego County. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing to Mike's campaign, please contact his office at 619-224-0522, or visit his website at www.ZucchetForCouncil.com

Council District 4 – Dwayne Crenshaw. Dwayne Crenshaw has a long history of working to support environmental causes in San Diego. He has been active in his community as a volunteer since the age of 13, and currently serves on the Encanto Neighborhoods Community Planning Group to ensure that development occurs in a way that is sensitive to the environment and the needs of the community. Dwayne was instrumental in the restoration of Chollas Creek, securing funding to complete needed projects. He has planted hundreds of trees throughout the district, and has made improving parks one of his highest campaign priorities.



Cynthia A. Skovgard and Pia Harris-Ebert. Pia Harris is a long time member of the Sierra Club and member of the San Marcos City Council for two decades. “I... will always continue to be the voice that has promoted quality growth management, balanced with environment conservancy....” Pia strongly believes, “New development should pay its own way,” and says we should have new public policy region-wide to collect Development Impact Fees to pay for new transportation needs.

    She feels that, “The 'California Wetlands' are rapidly disappearing as a natural resource and must be protected at all cost. Pia believes that the “Multiple Habitat and Conservation Program is a much needed program, however, I'm afraid the San Diego Region as a whole is not seriously supporting the concept of 'preserving endangered plant and animal species' on $5.”

    Cynthia is running for office because “San Marcos City Council has no representation... that addresses controlling growth, managing traffic, or the environmental destruction within our city and its surrounding area. I will work... to change the policies and political coalitions that are driving endless growth in San Marcos.”

    She has founded, “the San Marcos Chamber of Citizens... to get the 'San Marcos Growth Management and Neighborhood Protection Act' initiative on the ballot for our residents' protection form runaway growth in San Marcos.”

    Cynthia has worked to preserve wetlands in the San Marcos Creek. She is committed to the Multiple Habitat and Conservation Program and feels, “Even while being the fastest growing city in the County, multiple species habitat protection is our current city council's least concern.”



David A. Powell, PhD. This first-time candidate attempting to unseat current mayor, who at public hearings describes the California Coastal Commission as the local “Taliban.” Powell comes to public participation by way of civic volunteerism: Solana Beach View Assessment Committee; Boy Scouts of America; etc. David believes strongly in better leadership needed to save the environment, both in Solana Beach and in the county, and that development should “complement the environment.” Although relatively new to local government, he comes to political activism from frustration with elected officials' inability to place the environment first in development decisions. His “One person can make a difference” philosophy leads him to run for office in a city which has representation on many important, regional planning agencies.



District E – Peter Zschiesche. “I've been a strong environmentalist for over 30 years, beginning with my reading of Vance Packard's The Wastemakers around 1970. As a large institution in the County the Community College can play a strong role in our local environmental efforts with issues such as how the District deals with waste, new construction, and its support of environmental education in the colleges.”


Division 5 – Richard Wright. Richard served eight years on the San Diego County Planning Commission and serves currently on the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.