By Kathryn Adams
Special to the Village News 

Jones hosts Town Hall in Bonsall

 

Last updated 7/4/2019 at 10:40pm

Lucette Moramarco photos

A group of 60 people attend State Senator Brian W. Jones' North County Town Hall at the Bonsall Community Center, June 27.

State Senator Brian W. Jones, representing California's 38th Senate District, held a Nonprofit Expo followed by a Town Hall to meet with his constituents at the Bonsall Community Center, June 27.

Members of the public were invited to attend the event to meet Jones, ask questions and share their concerns. Attendees were also able to meet representatives from various local nonprofit organizations.

Following the Nonprofit Expo, Jones' staff member Collin McGlashen introduced Jones and a moment of silence was held for North County Fire Protection District's Stormy McInerny. Recently retired after serving NCFPD for 32 years, McInerny passed away suddenly last week. Then, local school board members, community planning group members, and other local representatives were recognized.

Jones explained how he represents the 38th District in Sacramento and constituents began questioning him. A local resident was concerned about Prop 13, regarding property taxes, and Jones shared that it was under attack and that a bill undoing Prop 13's property protection would likely be on the ballot next year.


Jones was then questioned about unfunded pensions for state employees in California. He said that he found the math fuzzy and that there is currently a deficit of seven billion dollars in unfunded pensions.

Another constituent questioned Jones about his vote on SB 360, which would require priests to report abuse. Jones explained that he is a believer in religious freedom and shared that he thought this bill was a violation of the 1st Amendment.

Jones was also pressed on the subject of water resources in California and was asked if he would support raising the Shasta Dam. Jones was unsure if he would support that and explained that there are two new proposed water reservoirs in California, which he would support. Jones also let attendees know that his staff is available for those who need help with issues with state agencies.

Many questions were raised regarding the 2017 Lilac fire. Local residents raised concerns about clearing deserted properties and dealing with neighbors who have not cleared their properties, putting other properties in danger.

One constituent brought a copy of the recently published North County Fire Protection District Journal and asked Jones about local temporary evacuation points. Jones invited NCFPD Chief Steve Abbott to the stage to talk about the subject. Abbott was also available to answer further questions after the meeting. Jones thanked Abbott for his help, and told constituents that he was impressed with the NCFPD's dedication to the community.


Constituents also raised concerns about the need for an emergency tower to signal residents when there are fires in the area. Members of the Valley Center Community Planning Group asked Jones about additional escape routes in times of emergency in Valley Center, and pushed for support from the state regarding funds to create more escape routes to save lives in times of emergency.

Constituents also raised concerns about local schools. Susan Liebes, governing board member of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, asked Jones about special education funding. Liebes said that FUESD is spending eight million dollars on special education and asked how the state could help the FUESD with funding their special education program. Jones was taken aback by the amount spent on special education but explained that he did not currently sit on the education committee. Following the Town Hall, Senator Jones and his staff mingled with local residents and thanked them for attending the Nonprofit Expo and the Town Hall.

Jones' staff also spent time connecting residents with appropriate state agencies to address their specific concerns. Jones was well received by local residents and made it clear that his office is always available to help his constituents in the 38th District.

California's 38th Senate District encompasses Bonsall, Fallbrook, Valley Center, Escondido, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, San Marcos, Lakeside, Alpine, Rancho Santa Fe, Julian, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Borrego Springs, as well as parts of the City of San Diego.


The Nonprofit Expo portion of the event, the first of its kind from Jones, featured 12 nonprofit organizations from Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Valley Center, in addition to one from San Diego. The organizations shared their missions and helped attendees learn more about what they can do to get involved and help those who need it within their communities.

To learn more about Jones, check out his "Are You Kidding Me?" video series on his website https://jones.cssrc.us/. To contact Jones with any state-related concerns, email him through https://jones.cssrc.us/e-mail-senator or call his Escondido office, (760) 796-4655.

North County Fire Chief Steve Abbott helps Sen. Brian Jones answer residents' fire-related questions.

 

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