By Judi Curry
There’s one thing about the San Diego City Council that some people don’t realize. Council seats are bipartisan. Whether the “owner” of that seat is a Democrat or a Republican should make no difference. They are elected to do the best for the community.
Suffice it to say, the Holder is well known to be a registered Democrat — and, in my view — a “do nothing” Democrat. Yes, I supported her and yes, I even voted for her. When she came out on top in the last primary election, I knew I should investigate her opponent, because I knew I wouldn’t be voting for her again.
I met several people who suggested I do an interview with Dr. Lukacs, a dentist with an interesting background. She grew up in a very small town – Chagrin Falls – in Ohio. She moved to Point Loma over 30 years ago (those who say she is not a member of District 2 are wrong).
And on Monday, she walked over to my house from hers and sat in my living room for an interview — which I turned into a two-part series.
She was a nurse, dentist, teacher and a very impressive candidate. Oh yeah – she’s a registered Republican. Let me say it again – political affiliation does not matter in city council elections!
The following questions and answers are a mix of my comments with those from the Lukacs website:
1) How to solve the homelessness crisis? (Might as well start big!)
This can only be solved by addressing the root problem. The most overwhelming problem is mental illness and addiction. We need to provide shelter and services that help these people. We should try to help people recover their health, get back on their feet and become productive members of society again. We need to provide mental health counseling and addiction treatment. We need to prepare them to work in society, like programs that have been successful in other states. Rhode Island is an example, and I mentioned the success rate of Job Corps Centers where all of their needs are met, including food, clothing, medical services, and training in a variety of jobs.
I asked her how she would deal with those people who refuse service.
She said our first responders and caregivers must be supported in these efforts. Where necessary, there must be judicious and ethical application of the law.
Sometimes homeless people have to be detained by law. Sometimes this is the only option as they are a threat to themselves and often to others. There must be people trained to work with this population.
2) The crime is out of control. What will you do about it?
She started her career as a police dispatcher. Interestingly enough, her mother was a police officer, and as her career progressed, she became a prison administrator and consultant. Linda has great respect for law enforcement agencies. Police forces work tirelessly to ensure our safety and our quality of life. She says we need more resources, staff and support to do their job. She said she would fight hard to ensure they are adequately trained, well paid and supported by the community. She would like to see San Diego bring back its community substations and neighborhood watch.
3) I asked Linda if she supported the 30 foot height limit.
She replied that growth and development should improve a community, not harm it. Each neighborhood has its own personality, and that should not be changed. We need to ensure that infrastructure can support growth and further increase population density. Right now, she feels that we don’t have the necessary logistics and infrastructure in place.
4) I asked her for her opinion on short-term vacation rentals.
She said she certainly appreciates and supports owners’ rights, but there needs to be realistic rules, regulations and enforcement in place to govern these STVRs. She has 4 STVR on her block! Two of them are quiet and the other two are horrible. There are parties all night long; loud music until early morning, etc. Although the owners are informed of these problems, it continues. There must be regulations in place, and when they are broken, there must be consequences. There should be fines and revocation of the right to operate STVRs. A new ordinance has just been voted on this subject, and it will be interesting to see if it is reinforced and by whom.
5) What do you think of vendors and the new vendor ordinance?
Currently, she opposes street vendors.
In reality, they are hurting our local business owners who have invested in a storefront business. Business owners struggle to make ends meet; to earn their living. They pay taxes and licenses, while the seller pays almost nothing for a license and whether he pays taxes on the goods sold is debatable. Street vendors frequently block access to our beaches and parks and compete with established stores and businesses.
The new law banning vendors from places such as Balboa Park may work and is already in place, but it is up to the Coast Commission to declare whether there should be any changes along the beach areas. If there are to be any changes, it will be returned to the City Council for review. And again, application will be a great metric to determine success.
6) Do you support Midway’s development plans?
Yes, it supports the plans, but not until the infrastructure is in place. Currently, there are no practical plans that address the expected increase in traffic in the area as well as the diminishing water supply, overloaded power grid and crumbling roads. There must be critical impact reports and only then should development begin.
Hasty decisions and actions, as we have seen too often, lead to confusion, waste and duplication of effort.
7) Do you support SB9 and 10
(These are Accessory Living Units (ADUs). Linda thinks this can be a way to keep families together in San Diego while addressing our severe housing shortage. However, she thinks that at present , both go too far.We need to preserve the essence and character of neighborhoods.
Building an ADU proportional to the size of the lot respecting all setbacks and with appropriate infrastructure and parking are fundamental elements of success. Removing residential zoning, getting rid of setbacks and ignoring quality of life issues is unreasonable. And if these units are built for family purposes, this rule must be applied.
8) Do you support popular ordinance (The 100-year-old law allowing free garbage collection in single-family homes)?
She appreciates the intent of this order, but in its current form, she opposes it.
If there are no alternative funding sources or creative ways to establish free garbage collection, we must pay a fair and equitable share. The question is now whether landlords already pay for garbage collection under their property taxes, either as a budget item or “hidden” in the fee structure. This needs to be studied and clarified.
(And…as we spoke, City Council voted to place this ordinance on the November ballot. Hopefully the “investigation” will be completed long before voters cast their ballots.)
9) How will you be different from our current board member?
“It is my personal goal to be the best council member our district has ever had.”
The role and responsibilities of a board member are extremely important. The community entrusts this person to be their voice, their link to the town hall and the government, someone who is committed to serving all sectors of the district. I will be there; I will listen; I will communicate openly; frequently and transparently. This in my home, my community, my dear neighbors and friends. I will take action for the improvement of District 2. I will weigh the community’s complaints and praise and act accordingly. I will not delegate serious issues to my staff; I will work on them myself. I am here for the voters.
As you can see, Linda and I spent a lot of time together. I had never met her; I had reservations about supporting her. In fact, I had almost decided not to vote for the District 2 representation due to its unknown status and did not want to re-elect the incumbent.
However, bearing in mind that this office is not that of a political party; bearing in mind that Linda claimed that she has already knocked on over 4000 doors by introducing herself to others and answering their questions, I wonder if she is someone to support.
Linda welcomes any comments from neighbors. You can go to his website and read his positions on many different issues facing our district. On the website there is a place for comments – scroll down – and I found that she – Linda – answers all of them herself.
So, dear reader, stay tuned for Part 2, on Lukacs’ thoughts on issues beyond District 2.