While we always appreciate and welcome a new point of view, and have even endorsed an outsider candidate for the District 3 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Don Horsley has proven to be a strong leader in the position for the last eight years and deserves another four.
Challenger Dan Stegink provides some interesting perspective and actually makes a lot of sense when he calls the alarm on pension obligations and housing. Local governments’ rising pension obligations, if not managed well starting right now, have the capacity to disable their ability to provide core services if there is an economic downturn. Housing is an issue of which we are all aware, and Stegink’s belief that there should be expedited planning processes for new units is a belief held by many. Both are appropriate to provide more focus.
However, Horsley has been in the mix for the past eight years on both fronts. While we would like to see the county be even more aggressive with paying down potential future costs, there has been a focus on it and marked progress has been made. With housing, Horsley led the charge on the 2016 continuation of the Measure A half-cent sales tax, now renamed Measure K, which aims to provide millions toward new housing and create new opportunities for affordable homes. While many would have liked to see the focus begin earlier in the crisis, it is well known that the jobs-housing imbalance became skewed rapidly and without prior warning. As far as government action, the movement toward earmarking a significant portion of a local sales tax for affordable housing came relatively promptly.
Horsley is also well-versed in the divergent communities that make up his district both on the Bayside and the coast. District 3 has unique environments but also faces similar challenges. Horsley has proven to be adept at bridging the two communities while also serving as a representative and liaison to government for several unincorporated communities.
New perspective is always appreciated and Stegink should remain at the table, but there is not a lot of daylight between his ideas and the work county officials are already doing. Horsley is at the forefront of that and, while there is always more that can be done, there is plenty of work being done right now.
Horsley has proven to be responsive and responsible while adept at navigating the needs of various constituents while producing results both great and small.