The chairman of the Board of Supervisors summed up the County of San Diego's achievements and goals Wednesday night in a speech at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Among the objectives outlined by Ron Roberts in his State of the County speech were new health initiatives and a wireless emergency response system. He also spoke of the County's upgrading of its buildings in the past year, and plans for a waterfront park and a new County complex.
Roberts said fewer of San Diego County's children are obese than the state average but the local figure of 34.5 percent is "still shocking." A program called 5-2-1-0 will be instituted to encourage healthy eating and exercise. Roberts also referenced a program for adults, already adopted, called 3-4-50, which cautions against smoking and encourages exercise and good nutrition.
"I'd like to see a heart attack and stroke free zone for San Diego," he said.
Roberts also spoke of a system being developed by multiple agencies to allow for safer and more accurate firefighting efforts. Infra red technology will cut through the smoke, and real time data will be relayed to those on the ground, he said.
Referencing the 2007 wildfires, Roberts said, "I never want to see our firefighters suffer like that again."
Regarding infrastructure, Roberts said, "The road to success is always under construction."
"Thousands of jobs have been created in the construction industry. This is a great time to build. We are developing a fleet of new modern, efficient buildings," he said, listing 10 new libraries, an animal shelter, juvenile and adult detention centers, two sheriff's stations and five community centers among the completed projects.
"We have saved taxpayers $1.46 billion by using mostly cash to fund them," he said.
Roberts showed the plan for the new county complex in Kearny Mesa, which includes solar energy panels and free parking.
He also displayed the concept for a waterfront park by the County Administration Center. It includes a water feature and grassy areas for concerts and frisbees.
Roberts said Mayor Jerry Sanders has been an "excellent leader for this city."
"He will leave San Diego a far better place than he found it," he said.
Roberts presented the inaugural Guardian of the Waters award for public service to Ron Fowler, chairman of the University of San Diego Board of Trustees.
He said Fowler has "donated millions to local causes."
Fowler told the audience, "My late mother said it is critical to give back."
He urged those in attendance to "invest in San Diego" in whatever way they could.
"It's fun to make money," he said, "but it's more fun to give back."