Both candidates in the District 3 race for the County Board of Supervisors say they’ll be strong advocates for the arts, but they differ when it comes to approach.
Supervisor Dave Roberts, the incumbent, and Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar are facing off to represent the district that includes coastal communities like Solana Beach, Del Mar and Encinitas, plus Escondido and San Diego.
The biggest county resources available to local arts and culture organizations are the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program and the Community Enhancement Program, two grant opportunities that provide millions of dollars of funding to area nonprofits every year.
Both pots of money have been criticized as slush funds that county supervisors use to boost personal pet projects. That criticism stems from the wide discretion supervisors have in deciding who gets money every year.
In response to those concerns, one of the first things Roberts did when he took office in 2013 was to form a review panel made up of elected officials from District 3. The panel reviews applications for the Community Enhancement grant, and makes recommendations to Roberts.
“I believe this process promotes transparency and community participation, and I will continue to use this panel moving forward,” Roberts wrote via email.