Jobs / Economy:
The Union Tribune, when endorsing my reelection, said, “He can justifiably boast that he and the council majority behind him have “turned the city around” from the days of fiscal turmoil. He has worked to create private-sector opportunities, attracting $500 million in new businesses to Escondido in the last four years.”
As Mayor, recruiting new employers and helping new businesses grow and our region has been a top priority. In cooperation with the Mayors of four North County cities, I co-founded, “Innovate78,” a joint economic development effort to bring high-paying science and technology jobs to our community.
I have been recognized for my work to grow our economy by the Union Tribune and on the Board of Supervisors, working to bring jobs to North San Diego County will continue to be a passion that I am fully invested in.
The safety of our community is always my top priority. My zero tolerance approach to crime has paid off and under my leadership crime has fallen to the lowest point in 20 years in Escondido. I prioritized eradicating graffiti and utilizing gang injunctions to interrupt street crime.
I have consistently supported traffic safety check points and I have strengthened our city’s partnership with ICE. An additional 10 police officers have been hired since I took office and Escondido won the San Diego Taxpayers Association Metro Golden Award for our innovative fire station staffing program which saved the taxpayers $1.5 million a year.
I have made the tough decisions while leading my city and I know that I can help improve safety at the county level.
Fiscally Responsible Government:
As mayor, I balanced Escondido’s budget and turned a $16 million deficit to an $8 million surplus without raising taxes. I not only safeguarded our budget reserves, but grew the rainy day fund to a $17 million reserve fund, which is one of the key reasons Escondido’s bond rating was improved to AA- under my leadership.
We accomplished all of these things while reducing the size of government, cutting wasteful spending, improving efficiency and streamlining regulations. I was also a leader in the fight for pension reform, a critical priority for the financial health of our city.
Job growth and economic development depend on real transportation improvements being made in our region. No priority is more important to me than improving our highways and transportation infrastructure. As your Supervisor, I will work to ensure that transportation funds are spent where you expect them to be, on roads and highways, not on pet projects, earmarks and set-asides.
Improving our regional transportation system to create jobs, grow our economy and improve our quality of life is a top priority for me.
Restoring Integrity to Government:
I am extremely proud of my track record of bringing accountability and sunlight to government. Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in government is an obligation I take seriously. As a business leader for many years, I have outsourced many services to the private sector where government is the least efficient in providing these services, and limited the role of government to basic core services.
I am focused on limiting government to those core functions that citizens expect from local government, like public safety and transportation infrastructure. I believe that by focusing on our core priorities, we are more likely to meet taxpayers expectations and less likely to create unintended obstacles to economic and job growth.
Affordability of Housing:
I continue to hear from citizens about the crisis of housing affordability we face in San Diego County. Making matters worse, government regulation has added as much as 40% to the cost of new homes in California. I will continue to be a force for quality housing developments in our County, and as I have done in the past, I will always put the interests our community first.
Small Business Prosperity:
As a small business owner and employer for more than three decades, no one understands better than I do how important small businesses are to our community, or the challenges they face. I believe government should roll out the red carpet, not the red-tape for businesses working to create jobs in our community. All of us have been frustrated by bureaucracy at some point. I pledge to work with you to solve problems for your businesses and employees and to make San Diego County a place where it is a pleasure to do business.
Lived in Escondido with his wife Mona and two daughters since 1987
Spent 12 years successful career with IBM worldwide - 1974 to 1987
Founder, President, Abed Corporation, Pacific West Consulting since 1987
Mayor, Elected in 2010 and 2014. City Councilmember 2004 to 2010
City Council Committees: San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG) Board, Regional Planning, Transportation, Local Formation Commission (LAFCO), Escondido Economic Development and Workforce Development
San Diego Economic Development Corporation - Board Member
San Diego Workforce Investment Board - Former Board Member
Escondido Chamber of Commerce - Chairman 2002
East Valley and Mercado Business Associations - Founder, Past Chairman
Escondido Marketing Committee - Former Board Member
Escondido Police Citizen Patrol - Former Volunteer
Escondido Charitable Foundation - Former Member
Provided 10 Education Alliance Grants to local Escondido schools
Escondido Rotary Club since 1988 - Paul Harris Member
IBM Engineer of the Year Award - 1983
Escondido Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year - 1999
Escondido Police Award for National Night Out Against Crime - 1999
Escondido City Council Achievement Recognition Award - 2001
Escondido City Council Business Leader of the Year Award - 2003
East Valley Business Association Volunteer of the Year Award - 2004
Mercado Business Association Leadership Star of Excellence Award- 2005
Top 50 People To Watch Award - North San Diego County Magazine - 2005
Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of the Year - 2013
Associated Builders & Contractors Excellence in Leadership Award - 2014
Plays Tennis - Fluent in 3 languages - Traveled to 25 countries.