Steve Danon, chief of staff to Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, and the deputy mayor of that coastal city, Dave Roberts, will be headed to a runoff in their race for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
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Danon and Roberts were neck-and-neck in the balloting, and Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard trailed.
Since no candidate received more than 50 percent needed on Tuesday to win outright, Danon and Roberts will face each other in the Nov. 6 general election. The ultimate winner of the North County seat will be the first new member of the Board of Supervisors in 17 years, succeeding the retiring Pam Slater-Price.
Incumbent supervisors Greg Cox and Dianne Jacob had commanding leads in their bids for re-election.
Cox, whose district covers the southern portion of the county, had no trouble with Brant Will, a deputy city attorney in San Diego.
Jacob also cruised to re-election in her East County seat against Rudy Reyes, an archaeologist who was severely burned in the 2003 Cedar Fire.
Danon said change was needed in streamlining the county's permitting process "so it doesn't take five to seven years for a business to get their permit so they could extend their operation or build their operation."
Danon also pledged to end the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, which provides grant funds to county departments, public agencies and nonprofits. The "slush fund," if not completely eliminated, should include a residents' panel " so that every group that elicits taxpayer funds will be thoroughly vetted before one dollar is allocated," Danon said.
Danon's priorities also include consolidating county fire districts into a regional firefighting authority and creating an ethics commission.
Roberts agreed that county government should foster an environment that spurs job growth.
"It is critical the next supervisor understands fiscal responsibility," Roberts said.
He also stressed environmental and quality-of-life initiatives, such as expanding open space areas and using recycled water on residential properties, as well as streamlining the Department of Planning and Land Use's business-permit process. He also said he would work to improve fire protection.
Hilliard stressed the need to attract well-paying jobs and bringing jobs back from out of state and overseas.
"Our challenge is to make sure that we don't get in the way of that change, that we don't regulate them to the point where it doesn't make sense for them to come back," Hilliard said.
Hilliard also said Public Safety Realignment, which shifted responsibility for low-level offenders from the state to counties, was a concern.
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