Election year leaves Board of Supervisors intact, but term limit - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Election year leaves Board of Supervisors intact, but term limits loom

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two long-serving San Diego County supervisors beat back stiff re-election challenges in 2010, but voters also passed a measure to limit officials to two terms.

The five members of the board, all Republicans, have served together uninterrupted for 15 years.

Ron Roberts and Bill Horn were the first among them forced to a runoff election since 1998. Candidates can win a seat outright in a primary election if they take more than 50 percent of the vote.

In the runoff, Roberts defeated American Red Cross spokesman Stephen Whitburn by 57-43 percent in a district that mostly covers the city of San Diego, while Horn beat Vista City Councilman Steve Gronke 53-47 percent for his North County seat.

Both incumbents pointed to the fiscal discipline exhibited by the board and county administrators, noting that while San Diego County has reduced spending and laid off employees during the economic downturn, the cuts have not been as severe as those made by other government bodies.

However, in the June primary, voters imposed the term limits measure, which won with 68 percent support.

The restriction is not retroactive, so each of the current supervisors can serve an additional two terms.

The board this year changed the manner in which they dole out grants to nonprofit agencies in the community and rejected the 2,632-unit Merriam Mountains housing development, which would have gone in along Interstate 15 across from Lawrence Welk Village in the North County.

Meetings at the end of the year were dominated by public testimony over an update to the county's decades-old general plan, which could be adopted as early as January. The proposal calls for the great majority of development to take place in western portions of the county, closer to existing infrastructure.

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