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Councilmember Kent Lee hits the ground running

City Councilmember Kent Lee

Councilmember Kent Lee hits the ground running

By Jill Alexander

It’s been about a month and a half since San Diego City Councilmember Kent Lee, representing District 6, has been in office, and it’s no surprise his plate is pretty full.

However, he’s pushing full steam ahead and said he is excited. So far, Lee acknowledges that while some are familiar with working at City Hall, many are new like himself.

“I’m trying to get a grasp of where I want to have an impact – both immediately and thinking long-range. The biggest thing that has happened to date for me is ramping up for the new year,” Lee said. 

Lee said that in the first meeting of the new year, he was given his committee assignments which were “helpful in getting a picture of what we are going to be working on outside of serving the constituents.”

Needless to say, he’s been busy out the gate – making sure to get the staff he needs to serve.

Initial goals

Two big things off the bat Councilmember Lee said he wants to address include serving residents which “is a big part of what our City Council offices and Councilmembers do.”

“I think a lot of people forget this because of all the legislative work that takes place. But actually, serving
constituents and building the day-to-day structure comes in a few ways – communications and creating
an infrastructure so we can communicate with residents,” he said.

It’s also important to let the community know when things are taking place and keep them apprised of what’s going on.

“I also think we have a role in education and advocacy,” he said.

An example of this, he said, is that the city is rolling out its new recycling program.

“Residents who receive trash service – depending on when and where they have trash collected – will be seeing green bins,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to get the word out and many will be surprised. I think also making City Hall more accessible and being a conduit is key.”

Scripps Ranch goals

Because of the redistricting in Scripps Ranch, Lee said, he hopes to work more closely with Councilmember Marni von Wilpert who represents San Diego’s Fifth District.

“Even with the redistricting, we want to make sure we are serving the community as a  whole and this means collaborating with councilmembers,” Lee said. “This isn’t like we’re just drawing two geographical lines and taking some calls. We hope to have a partnership when passing requests, calls and info from the two offices to aid residents.”

Other items Lee hopes to address in time include (and not just in Scripps Ranch), “regional issues, affordable housing, infrastructure improvements, especially in the Asian communities, as well as homelessness and maintenance in facilities such as the Scripps Ranch Library.”

Lee noted that the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library, which opened in 1993, has not had its carpets replaced and is in need.

Lee added that since redistricting has split the community between two city council districts, it will take a lot of communication to make sure things run smoothly.

“It’s not up to residents which office they should call to get what they need,” he said. “What it comes down to is that there are two offices and over time we will be able to help residents determine which office is best for them. We will have a community representative that will be serving Scripps Ranch in place soon, but in no way are we losing a moment in addressing issues now.”

Lee added, “It’s a good reminder we have a lot of challenges as a city and, since I’m new, I hope to find a footing in terms of how to move quickly in getting things done and to make sure the quality of life is improved for residents. That could be from making sure streetlights are being replaced to installing new carpets in the library.”

Lee assumed office on Dec. 10, 2022, and his current term ends on Dec. 10, 2026. He ran for election for San Diego City Council to replace termed-out Councilmember Chris Cate and won in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022, against Tommy Hough.