Patch: Share a short bio about yourself:
Ridz: Education – BS in Accounting, Masters in Finance, Masters in Chemical Industrial Studies in the Pharmaceutical Field and almost 20 years in Senior Management with Johnson and Johnson.
Chair, Torrey Pines Community Planning Board, appointed to SANDAG 2050 RTP – North Coastal Communities, appointed by Pam Slater-Price as Commissioner for Redistricting and Member of Citywide Community Planners.
Patch: What are the top three issues in District 1 and where do you stand on these issues?
Ridz: Kilroy’s Draft Environmental Impact Report of One Paseo – I oppose this project as currently proposed due to sheer Bulk and Scale, unmitigated traffic impact and public safety issues related to emergency time response based upon traffic generated by this project.
Caltrans I-5/SR-56 Connector DEIR and related I-5 NCC DEIR. Two issues, first the CA Attorney General agrees with locals that the SANDAG 2050 RTP fails to address environmental issues related to SB 375 and secondly, continues to build highways at the expense of every starting a modern transit system to get folks out of the cars.
Civic Engagement – San Diego ranks 37 out of the top 41 metropolitan regions in the USA in lack of participation whether it be voting or getting involved in community issues. Instead of forcing citizens to spend hours downtown to either speak at city council meetings or directly to council staff, we need to establish a network of local meeting places where citizen can go to get information and raise questions.
Patch: What are some of the positive changes you have made for District 1 already?
Ridz: By reaching out to the City of Del Mar and Solana Beach, and working with Carmel Valley and Torrey Pines Community Boards, we were able to rally support from County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and Senator Kehoe to reduce the footprint of the Caltrans I-5 NCC project. This effort saved hundreds of homes from being taken to expand I-5. Similar efforts with local cities and organization, helped scale back plans for the Del Mar Fairgrounds. My efforts have yielded a new era of co-operation between regional partners.
Patch: Who has endorsed you?
Ridz: My endorsements are verbal. Those who trust my judgment and integrity have spoken on my behalf to their friends and tell others to look at my website or call me. I did not seek an endorsement from any political party, Union or developer. Why? I will not be bound by the requirement to adhere to the dogma espoused by a political party. I think and decide for myself. I want to be able to embrace or reject part or all of the philosophic doctrines laid out for a candidate.
Patch: In La Jolla there has been litigation for years over hot topics such as the access to the Children’s Pool and Mount Soledad cross. What do you think the city’s role is in these battles?
Ridz: Mt. Soledad Cross is now a Federal Issue and the City should stay out of this. I was just at the Children’s Pool when the seasonal rope was removed. This was really sad to see the seals being scared by divers and well-intentioned tourists. The City has spent millions and has yet to resolve this issue. We have too many other critical issues to resolve – let’s come to a final decision and stick with it.
Patch: The city has also battled with its responsibility in monitoring medical marijuana dispensaries. What position should the city take and enforce?
Ridz: The Torrey Pines Community Planning Board issued a letter to Sherri Lightner but she failed to follow our advice in regards to 1,000 ft from schools and that dispensaries should have been given a period of time to apply for a license. If they failed to start the process or stopped moving forward after applying they would be closed down.
Patch: Do you think the city and the San Diego Unified School District should work more closely together? If so, why? How can each benefit?
Ridz: The San Diego Unified School District should work with the city to find ways to reduce costs or raise revenue by using school facilities to better advantage especially during summer break.
Patch: I’m a 37-year-old public school teacher, and every year I fear losing my job. Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: If the City Council can work co-operatively with the school systems administration, which I support, there should be cost savings. Savings mean less lay-offs.
Patch: I’m 52 and own a greeting card shop, and this economy is still killing me. Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: We need a councilmember who understands people are scared and worry about their economic future. I am committed to stopping the political bickering at council and really working to re-kindling the spirit that made San Diego America’s Finest City.
Patch: I’m 26 and camped for weeks at Occupy San Diego, protesting a tax system that gives the rich huge breaks. Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: Don’t vote for me unless you were one of the idealists that started this movement, which turned ugly, senseless, and turned many of us off. I would be glad to listen to your ideas and if possible refocus your energy into solving local issues that could stand a newer viewpoint.
Patch: I’m 45 and have been out of work for 14 months. I’m well educated, but employers won’t even let me in the door. Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: My website shows how I would get folks back to work or retrain them. I have done this before.
Patch: I’m 18 and getting into the state university system is harder than ever—and more expensive? Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: I am a Mentor in the University of Phoenix system and have heard the same complaint. Some of this is outside of your control – State budgets, economic downturn, etc. As a councilman, I would work to secure internships (paid) with local corporations, bio-tech communities, to help lessen the financial hardship while providing real productive experiences.
Patch: I’m a 47-year-old musician. I’m losing my house to foreclosure. Why should I vote for you?
Ridz: Until we resolve the pension crisis and deteriorating infrastructure, San Diego’s outlook and economy are stuck in neutral. I would stress jobs, jobs, jobs – seek Federal funding for rebuilding infrastructure and starting modern transit projects. Maybe a brighter future would help encourage you that all is not lost.