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Mayoral Candidates in the Hot Seat: Kevin Faulconer

San Diegans will cast ballots next week in a special election to replace Bob Filner. Our viewer poll indicates great concern about ethics and integrity by whomever assumes office. In this CBS News
Mayoral Candidates in the Hot Seat: Kevin Faulconer

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diegans will cast ballots next week in a special election to replace Bob Filner. Our viewer poll indicates great concern about ethics and integrity by whomever assumes office. In this CBS News 8 report, Phil Blauer sits down with Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

The SDSU grad has been on the council since January 2006 and is taking his first crack at the mayor's office. The Point Loma resident has been endorsed by the Republican party and by former mayor Jerry Sanders, now president of the chamber of commerce.

With less than a week until Election Day, Faulconer feels confident he'll be San Diego's next mayor following the scandal that drove Bob Filner from office.

"I think the last year has taught us that leadership matters. Principles matter. People want a mayor who they know where he stands, and that's what they're gonna get with me. I'm proud of my record, I'm proud of what I've done to put the city back on track. I'm going to hold true to those values and those beliefs and those principles," Faulconer said.

The quest for a new Chargers stadium has been going on for the better part of 10 years now. More than 22% of the people who responded to our poll said a new stadium is their main concern. Where does Faulconer stand?

"As mayor, I'm going to work to ensure that we keep the Chargers in San Diego. I'm less concerned about where a stadium may or may not be located. What I'm primarily concerned about is any financing plan has to protect the taxpayers. That'll be my number one, two and three objectives," he said.

Our CBS News 8 poll also indicated great concern for the city's infrastructure. What's Faulconer's best solution?

"You have to have a mayor that has the political will and leadership that says we are going to invest these dollars into our neighborhoods. I have a neighborhood fairness plan which talks about doing just that starting with our most neglected community's, streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, taking those dollars that we've saved on pension reform, cutting the bureaucracy, reinvesting those back into our neighborhoods. You have to have a mayor that understands that and is going to do that," Faulconer said.

"When it comes to public safety issues such as fewer fire stations and a shrinking police deparment, the 46-year-old offers solutions if he's elected to the top job.

No matter where you live in San Diego, you deserve emergency response times. When you call 911, you're going to get the best and brightest, whether it's the police department or the fire-rescue department. I've been working on this already, I'm not waiting until I'm elected mayor, started with the recruitment and retention program for our police officers. Our city is 133 officers short. I'm going to get us back up to full staffing, I'm going to invest those dollars into training, into our department," Faulconer said.

Many participants say that the education of our youth is extremely important.

"Education is tremendously important to our family, as it is to every San Diego family. The mayor has a role to play, and I will do that. Particularly my focus is going to be… our after-school programs and our rec centers and our libraries, giving children and families the opportunity… to expand them. That's a real opportunity for the mayor," Faulconer said.

The married father of two boys knows former mayor Bob Filner won his campaign on a neighborhood's first platform. Is Faulconer planning on going down the same road?

Neighborhoods First is a great platform. Unfortunately, Filner's actions didn't back that up. He didn't put the dollars to do the right thing. I'm gonna do the right thing. I'm gonna continue to cut the bureaucracy at City Hall so we can reinvest those dollars into our neighborhoods. I'm gonna continue to insist on competition for city services so we can put those dollars back into our neighborhoods. Probably most importantly, I'm going to continue to insist that we hold true to the reforms of pension reform and other financial reform so we have money so we have money for every San Diego neighborhood," Faulconer said.

As far as an increase to the commercial development linkage fee, Faulconer opposes it, saying it puts jobs in jeopardy and sends the wrong message to businesses.

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