Kersey focuses on infrastructure

District 5 San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey enjoys the view at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library. (photos by John Gregory)

Kersey focuses on infrastructure

District 5 San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey has been focused on rebuilding the city’s infrastructure during his time in office. Many of these projects are right here in Scripps Ranch.

“By far, we get the most complaints about streets and roads and sidewalks, some storm drain channels as well,” Kersey said. “So, that has obviously been my focus in my five years on the City Council city-wide. … They want to see their roads repaved, they want to see the sidewalks fixed and we’ve had some storm drain issues, and they want to see these corrected as well.”

Kersey is the chairman of the city’s Infrastructure Committee, which set about to get a grasp of the full extent of the backlog of projects in the city. The committee put together a five-year infrastructure investment plan, which did not exist before, Kersey said. The plan is a guide to how the projects are prioritized.

Kersey said this effort brought about the passing of Prop H, named “Rebuild San Diego,” a ballot measure for a charter amendment that created a dedicated infrastructure fund into which the City deposits part of the sales tax growth that occurs as the City’s economy expands. This money is earmarked for infrastructure projects. Now, projects are both underway and scheduled for Scripps Ranch.

Councilman Mark Kersey beside Evan’s Pond near the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library.

“We’ve got road repair going on all over the place. We’ve been doing sections of Scripps Ranch Boulevard. We’re going to do more sections of Scripps Ranch Boulevard in the upcoming year,” Kersey explained. “We’re doing Scripps Poway Parkway, Poway Road. Chunks of that. So, a lot of the big complaints that we get from people who drive on these roads every day to get to the freeway — that’s something we really want to work on. … And then some of the more residential streets as well. … You’ll see a lot of road repair.”

There are other types of repair projects underway.

“We’re seeing storm channel work as well,” he said. “We had a couple of issues on Rue Chantemar, one of which is finishing up. The other will be done in the February-March time frame.”

That storm drain channel collapsed and the city must rebuild it, Kersey said.

Meanwhile, in the middle of Scripps Ranch, the Miramar Clearwell Improvements Project continues at the water facility next to Lake Miramar reservoir. Construction there often brings huge trucks onto Scripps Lake Drive and sometimes causes delays along the street.

“It’s a replacement project of the clearwells and that’s just part of the storage tanks for the reservoir,” Kersey explained. “It’s a very, very big, expensive project, but I think the existing one has been there for about 50 years. Every so often you just have to replace it. … It’s an extensive project.”

One project that is not the City’s, but rather a project being conducted by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), has been tying up traffic on the southwestern portion of Pomerado Road for months.

“Traffic is always a concern and we’ve been dealing with this issue with SDG&E with the work they’ve been doing along Pomerado,” Kersey said. “Obviously, Pomerado is one-lane each direction, so when work is being done underneath the road, there is really no other place for the traffic to go other than just to alternate using the other lane, and that’s frustrating.”

One of the issues that is not a huge concern, fortunately, is the issue of crime that often plagues other communities.

“Scripps Ranch is, by and large, a very, very safe community. That’s not to say we don’t have the occasional issues,” Kersey said. “We’ve had some break-ins and things like that, but it tends to be property crime rather than violent crime. … We’re a very safe neighborhood but, obviously, we are always looking for more ways to make it safer.”

Kersey further explained that the low crime rate in Scripps Ranch, as well as across the city, has not come without work, both by the San Diego Police Department and from efforts by private citizens

“We’re fortunate that San Diego is the safest big city in America, by the FBI statistics,” he said. “It’s not an accident. We’ve got a great police force that does great work for us. We’ve got engaged citizens who participate in things like Neighborhood Watch and, so, it really is a joint effort.”

Additionally, Kersey expressed his appreciation to those who put forth their time and efforts working on local community groups, and emphasized that their communication with his office is of great value.

“We’re fortunate in my office that we’ve got great partnerships with the local groups, the community groups in Scripps Ranch, the SRCA (Scripps Ranch Civic Association) as well as the planning groups,” Kersey said. “They really serve as our eyes and ears on the ground here.”

Kersey was re-elected to City Council last year. He is in his final term as a councilman, but now he is running for the 38th State Senate District as a Republican, and the primary is next June.

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