VOSD Podcast: Jim Desmond on SANDAG, Transit and Climate Change - Voice of San Diego

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VOSD Podcast: Jim Desmond on SANDAG, Transit and Climate Change

County Supervisor Jim Desmond says he’s learned a lot about what to focus on in this new role — and reveals what he sees as the biggest challenges now that he is responsible for matters beyond San Marcos streets and roads.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond / Photo by Megan Wood

If you could put anything in Balboa Park, what would it be?

A roller coaster? An open air theater? Krispy Kreme?

Developments in the much-loved park were top of mind this week. We recently broke the news of the official death of the Plaza de Panama project. It was a plan to redirect cars from the heart of the park to a new garage, which would theoretically open up more space for plazas and pedestrians.

Hosts Andrew Keatts, Scott Lewis and Sara Libby pointed to the disjointed leadership of the park as a possible symptom of its inability to successfully see projects through.

Oh, and there’s this new project: Inspiration Point. Featured at Inspiration Point right now are parking spaces and a dried up fountain. The city is preparing to issue a request for proposals to redevelop the space.

The park discussion starts around minute 10.

Well, That Was Awkward

San Diego Unified Board Trustee Kevin Beiser showed up at a board meeting this week. This was his first public appearance since he was accused of sexual misconduct by four men — and two weeks after his colleagues voted on a resolution urging him to resign.

Beiser said nothing during the meeting.

His colleague John Lee Evans made sure to clear the air:

“You may recall the Board of Education passed a resolution two weeks ago calling for the immediate resignation of Kevin Beiser. That resolution still stands, don’t want anybody to be confused about that. We have had no communication with Mr. Beiser since that time, and Mr. Beiser has arrived on his own for this meeting.”

As a refresher, Keatts’ bombshell investigation in which several men accuse Beiser of sexual assault and harassment can be found here.

Keatts, now our part-time chief San Diego Unified School Board correspondent, leads that discussion at the start of the show.

County Supervisor Jim Desmond

This episode featured a wide-ranging interview with County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

Desmond, former mayor of San Marcos, has been on the Board of Supervisors for just over 100 days. In that time he says he’s learned a lot about what to focus on in this new role — and the biggest challenges now that he is responsible for matters beyond San Marcos streets and roads.

As SANDAG and the region leaders grapple with questions about mass transit and meeting emissions goals, Desmond said it’s important not to lose sight of the importance of freeways, especially for the regions of the county he serves.

Desmond sat down with Keatts and Lewis during the second half of the show, at 26:50.

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