Strong Mayor initiative also approved by voters
June 9, 2010 (San Diego) – By a resounding 68.9%, voters in San Diego County approved Proposition B, which imposes term limits for Supervisors. The measure is not retroactive to the current Board, but will limit future reigns to eight years.
But voters may not need to wait eight years for the opportunity to change two seats on the Board, which is currently composed of five Republicans who have served for decades. Both Ron Roberts and Bill Horn failed to gain the 50% majority needed to win outright in the primary—and both appear headed for run-off races against challengers in the fall.
Democrat Steve Whitburn will seek to unseat Roberts, while Steve Gronke, a former Republican who changed his registration to “decline to state” will run against Horn. Both incumbents may face their toughest challenges in years.
Horn has drawn controversy for his cozy relationship with developers in the Merriam Mountains project and a proposed Valley Center development that opponents nicknamed "Hornsville." Roberts has been criticized for being out of touch with poor and middle class voters in his district, which has shifted through the years and now has a strong Democratic majority in voter registration.
Gronke, a Vista councilman, says he has worked on environmental issues, social and economic reforms. Whitburn, an award-winning journalist and community advocate, lists his priorities as improving public health, land use and environmental issues.
In the City of San Diego, residents also voted to retain the strong mayor system of government and make it permanent. The ballot initiative also adds a ninth seat to the Council and requires an additional vote to override a mayoral veto.