San Diego County Supervisors welcomed their first new face to the board in 18 years on Monday afternoon, while the South Bay's representative took over chairmanship of the panel.
District 3 Supervisor Dave Roberts, the new member, took his oath alongside veterans Dianne Jacob and Greg Cox. Cox, who represents Coronado, Imperial Beach and other South Bay communities, will serve as the five-member board's chairman for 2013.
Cox was sworn in by his wife, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, and Jacob by Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter.
Cox said in a statement that public safety will be a top board priority because of the state realignment that has shifted more responsibility to the county for incarcerating and monitoring criminals.
Other goals, he said, were to continue strengthening the health and social services safety net, protect foster children and enhance recreational amenities, including regional parks and the Bayshore Bikeway. He said he would work with new San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to improve city-county collaboration.
Roberts, a former Solana Beach councilman, ran an extremely tight race against Steve Danon.
Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, whose District 3 stretches from Del Mar to Escondido and includes some Northern San Diego areas including Torrey Pines and Rancho Bernardo, retired.
Roberts, who was joined by his five adopted children on Monday, had been endorsed by Slater-Price, Senator Christine Kehoe, the League of Conservation Voters San Diego and Sierra Club’s San Diego Chapter.
A few hundred people attended the ceremony at the county’s Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.
Roberts thanked supporters, voters and Slater-Price for her endorsement.
“It is a new day in San Diego County. Today we turn the page to a new chapter to the 162-year history book of San Diego County. I’m the first new supervisor in 18 years—the first member of that next generation of leaders on our county board of supervisors. I know I am joining a great team of people, one that has turned this county around. And I believe I am bringing a new activist perspective on some issues and a shared vision on others,” Roberts said.
“We may disagree on occasion, but I pledge to not be disagreeable,” he added.
Roberts outlined his focus for his term: strong fiscal disciplines to protect taxpayers, the environment, protecting neighborhoods from over-development, and quality of life issues including libraries and smart travel solutions.
Local editor Jennifer Vigil contributed to this report.