Here is an interview with Kristal Jabara candidate for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for council the answer the same set of questions.
My family moved to San Elijo Hills three years ago, because we enjoyed the community feel, the central location, and all of the amenities this area provided. Previous to that time I had lived in other areas of San Marcos and truly came to love the city of San Marcos. As a Planning Commissioner, I am working to replace the city’s outdated plan for homes, shopping, and businesses with an updated plan that uses community oriented planning. As the President of the San Marcos Economic Development Corporation, I have been working to attract new businesses that bring jobs to our city. As a wife and mother, I am working to create a vibrant city and will continue expanding parks and other recreational opportunities that we enjoy. On City Council, I will continue working to create an attractive city with a high quality of life that will attract new companies that create local jobs for San Marcos.
How can the council help address aggressive cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?
Traffic and safety are top priorities for me and I believe public safety is at the center of a thriving city. Aggressive cut through, as well as, local traffic will be an issue that we will have to constantly monitor. I believe the best deterrent of unsafe driving is increased traffic patrols, continual placement of speed reminders, and utilizing the city’s traffic demand center. The city has a state-of-the-art traffic center where they can monitor and change traffic patterns through light synchronization. The majority of funding for this was and is grant money. I would like to continue utilizing the latest technology to assist the cities traffic department. We who live in San Elijo Hills must also remember to watch our driving especially during school hours. Residents and city officials need to have constant communication with law enforcement to stay on top traffic patrols. As the community and schools grow we have to invest time and money in traffic flow analysis for our schools. The plan that was created when the school was opened won’t necessarily be the best plan for the future. The people who live in this community are it’s most valuable resource for solving problems, so encouraging citizens to join the traffic commission or at least attending meetings to inform the city what seems to be working or not working. The Deputy Sheriff Association has endorsed me because safety is my top priority.
What is your position on Proposition K?
I am fully in support and have been campaigning for Proposition K. Our schools and children are our number one resource and they deserve to have the best. Test scores continue to rise in San Marcos, our students, schools, and parents are working hard to create a positive learning environment for our students; safe, well functioning schools are a must. Beyond the improvement of schools for the student’s sake, quality schools raise property values and will attract new businesses to our city. Proposition K is an investment in our future.
How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?
I don’t believe any of us anticipated the down turn in the economy to last so long. Because of this, the completion of development projects has been delayed longer than anyone would like to see, especially the developers. As residents we can first and foremost patronize our local retail and business establishments. Spending our money in our community will help keep businesses thriving and attract new business. We can also help keep our homes and neighborhoods beautiful; this will help keep property values up. We must also look at the entire city and keeping it thriving and healthy so we can retain all of the amenities we enjoy, such as the highest level of fire and safety, graffiti cleanup, maintained parks and community centers, and other vital services. We need to spend our tax dollars in San Marcos and not let other cities enjoy the benefits of our tax revenue. And, please, vote Yes on Proposition 22; tell the State to leave our redevelopment money in San Marcos and not use it to cover their budget deficits. If the city loses our RDA money they will not be able to assist in future projects that will improve our city.
What is your position on changes to the San Marcos general plan?
I am in-favor of updating the general plan. I have attended General Plan Update Committee workshops and meetings to share my ideas and find out what others want in the city. There are people from San Elijo Hills on the GPAC committee and they are working hard to help assist the city to create a new plan that will help us grow in a positive way. I was the public spokeswoman for the No On Proposition O campaign two years ago, I went door to door to fight a measure that would slash property values and stunt economic expansion in San Marcos. We defeated proposition O, but unless we update our General Plan we will continually be faced with propositions that attempt ballot-box-planning, limit expansion, and be detrimental to our quality of life.
What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills (Creekside District, and university area projects, recycling plant, Quathaven and Attebury road area)?
I have been in support of both the Creekside and University District development projects. Both projects include new homes, upscale shops, office space, live/work condos, and entertainment. These projects will help bring construction and long-term employment to our city. As a Planning Commission, I take a very serious look at every project that comes before me. I evaluate every detail and only approve the ones that have a positive impact on the entire city. Traffic, infrastructure, and quality of life are important when considering any new project. I believe in community forums and workshops so neighbor can have input prior to any plans being approved. On City Council, I would have this same approach for any new projects being proposed.
What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?
First, we must be able to fund and sustain the projects or events that we consider to improve or maintain our quality of life. We must continue to grow and preserve our reserve account, grow revenue, decrease unnecessary spending, and maintain a balanced budget to keep our city thriving. Parks and trails have always been a priority, just last year I voted to approve the new South Lake Park that will link even more trails. San Marcos has many events that are growing in popularity, but we are still searching for a signature event. I believe this can’t be forced and as our city grows we will explore many different possibilities that bring entertainment, cultural interests, and community involvement to our city. We have such a diverse population and many quality educational facilities which will help us grow ideas that will keep San Marcos a thriving, world class city. In the Civic Center Plaza where Pizza Nova is located there was a film festival held for the first time this year, events such as these will continue to grow in popularity and will be springboards to other ideas and events. On City Council, I would welcome ideas and input from citizens about what they think would be unique events or ideas for San Marcos.
Would you care to comment on the recent excessive compensation concerns for San Marcos city staff?
Unfortunately it is hard to capture all of the information regarding city budgets, compensation plans, and employee contracts in one short newspaper article or story. While serving on the City Budget Review Committee I realized the complexity of a city’s budget. The City of San Marcos has done a great job attracting and retaining quality employees that hold multiple positions. With this plan they have been able to keep staffing to a minimum and costs down. What needs to be looked at and decided is if the current contracts are sustainable without raising taxes, cutting services, or negatively impacting the taxpayers. I am committed to fiscal discipline in government employee compensation and pension decisions. On council, I will work to create an efficient government that works for the people, provides the highest level of customer service and treats residents like valued customers. I will fight for balanced budgets and will do what is right for taxpayers.
If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?
I truly believe we need to look at the entire city and keeping it healthy and moving in a positive direction. San Elijo Hills is a wonderful community that has so much to offer. We need to have a solid plan for the future. We must find ways to attract new businesses that bring quality jobs to our city. We must make sure we are preserving and improving our quality of life by controlling traffic and providing vital services to every part of our city. And finally, safety must be a top priority. I support anti-gang efforts, graffiti cleanup, personal safety programs, and community policing. Making sure our streets are safe and our neighborhoods secure would be a top priority while on City Council.
How will you clean up the campaign signs after election? will they be recycled?
Campaign signs are always an issue every election year. It is a necessary part of name recognition, but it has a tendency to go over board. I have chosen to have strategically placed large signs throughout the city instead of small yard signs blanketing every inch. While these larger signs cost more, are difficult to hang and take down, and are harder to store I believe they leave a better impression. I am constantly trying to police my signs to make sure they are not falling over or littering the streets. With-in twenty-four hours after the election you will see signs being taken down and everyone will breath a sigh of relief, I am sure. Most people store their signs and the items used with them for future elections and that is what I will be doing with mine. Signs that have multiple candidates listed on them will most likely be recycled when possible. Signs are an exercise in patience for all of us and I appreciate the fact that most people understand why they are necessary.
Editors note all San Marcos candidates are welcome to contact us to conduct an interview.