Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
June 5, 2018 — Elecciones Primarias de California

Condado de San DiegoCandidato para Supervisor, Distrito 5

Photo de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern

Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern

Oceanside City Council Member
24,804 votos (16.3%)
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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • Ensuring North County receives the services we deserve
  • Fighting for our fair share of public safety funding
  • Protecting public safety



Profesión:Oceanside City Councilmember
Councilmember, City of Oceanside — Cargo elegido (2006–current)


San Diego State University BA, Business Administration (1974)


North County deserves a Supervisor who is on our side – who will fight to protect taxpayers, solve our traffic problems, and grow our local economy with good-paying jobs while standing up to downtown San Diego politicians who don’t understand or care about North County values.

Jerry and his wife, Blake, have lived in Oceanside for over 40 years. While County government is headquartered in downtown San Diego, the decisions made by the Board of Supervisors impact North County’s quality of life every day. From homelessness to healthcare, and from the courts to air quality, North County needs an effective representative who understands our unique challenges and won’t settle for the status quo.

Jerry Kern’s record as an educator and founder of a pioneering charter school, as president of the local Chamber of Commerce, and as an experienced elected official with the courage to say “no” to special interests, ensures that North County will have the effective advocate on the Board of Supervisors that North County deserves.

First elected to the Oceanside City Council in 2006, Jerry also serves on the city’s Economic Development Commission as well as the Arts Commission. Regionally, he represents San Diego County on the Community Engagement Panel for the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) where he is working with state and federal officials to remove the spent nuclear fuel to a safer location.

Jerry is a fiscal conservative who fought to hold the line on city spending, upgrade police and fire protection, get tough on gang violence, address homelessness and the county’s housing crisis. He has worked tirelessly to attract new businesses that have strengthened his city’s tax base and generated hundreds of new jobs.

¿Quién apoya a este candidato?

Featured Endorsements

  • Senator Pat Bates
  • Assemblymember Rocky Chavez

Funcionarios electos (2)

  • Assemblyman Randy Voepel
  • Oceanside City Councilman Jack Feller

Individuos (2)

  • Former State Senator Bill Morrow
  • Former Assemblyman Bruce Thompson

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de KPBS and the League of Women Voters (San Diego and North County San Diego chapters) (6)

Should the county spend more of its budget reserves on increasing social services? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

My philosophy of government is that it should be in the service delivery business. Accumulating excess reserves does not serve the citizens well. After determining what the appropriate level of reserves should be the remainder should either returned to the taxpayers or used for budget priorities.

Should the county invest more of its budget reserves in its affordable housing trust fund? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

Putting money in a trust fund will never build the amount of hosing that is needed in the County. Lowering the fees and regulations that will allow for more attainable housing to be built will go further in solving the housing crisis.

Do you support measures to stop the criminalization of homelessness? The basic human behaviors of many homeless people (like sitting, sleeping and bathing in public) are against the law. Please provide specific examples of measures you would support.
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

Sitting and sleeping in public are not a problem; it is the other activities that take place that eventually lead to health risk to all of us. The Hepatitis A crisis is an example. I brought the Homeless Outreach Team to Oceanside to assist in making contact with the homeless to see if we can connect them with services.

Do you support increasing housing density in unincorporated San Diego County? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

I support increasing housing density in the unincorporated area of the Count where appropriate. We need to increase housing and placing more housing along the transportation corridors would be the most appropriate locations

Do you support permitting, regulating and taxing marijuana in unincorporated San Diego County? Why or why not?
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

I support regulating and taxing marijuana in San Diego County. The voters of the state and county passed prop 64 and our jobs as public officals is to carry out the will of the people. I have been working over a year to write the marijuana regulation for Oceanside that deal with cultivation, testing, distribution, manufacturing and dispensing. I would like to take those regulations to the County

Do you support the county’s Climate Action Plan? Why or why not?                                          
Respuesta de Jerome M. "Jerry" Kern:

Some of it I support, like the reduction of Green House gasses, but I am very concerned that it may add up $15,000 to the price of a new home. The Revised plan has lower that cost but it still has consequences that are detrimental to the housing crisis. 

Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

I am running for Supervisor to protect our quality of life and ensure North County receives the services we deserve.


If elected, I will fight to protect taxpayers, solve our traffic problems, protect public safety, and grow our local economy with good-paying jobs while standing up to downtown San Diego politicians and special interests who don’t understand or care about North County needs.


My wife and I have lived in North County for more than 40 years. I have served as a member of the armed forces, a public school teacher, founder of a pioneering charter school, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, and as an elected official with a record of standing up to special interests.


As an Oceanside Councilmember, I have fought to hold the line on city spending, supported pro-jobs policies, upgraded police and fire protection, got tough on gang violence, and addressed homelessness. As a result, Oceanside has brought in high-paying jobs, vibrant restaurants, and new amenities to serve the public.


As Supervisor, I will be the effective advocate that North County deserves. That’s why I am supported by local elected officials and community leaders, not downtown politicians and special interests.

Documentos sobre determinadas posturas



Public safety is the top priority of our county government. As your County Supervisor, I will fight to ensure our district receives the public safety resources it needs in order to reduce response times and ensure safer communities.

Rebuilding our Probation Department

As a result of new laws that have altered our criminal justice system, our County Probation Department is stretched to the limit.


Despite the increase in the overall workload, overtime hours have been cut, meaning that officers have to do more with less time. In certain areas of the county, our probation officers are facing up to double the recommended workload. As a result, some cases are falling through the cracks, particularly in the back country, meaning that dozens of individuals on probation aren’t being adequately supervised.


In addition, as a result of AB 109, a number of felons who were previously serving time in state prison were transferred to county jails, meaning they were now being supervised by probation officers -- this entirely new population has created additional challenges.


In addition, there are instances when Deputy Sheriffs have encountered individuals on probation who are potentially in violation of their probation terms; however, when the Probation Department is contacted to manage these individuals, understaffing has made it difficult for probation officers to answer these calls in a timely manner, leaving the deputies unable to properly cite or arrest the offender.


As a result, morale at the department is low, as officers are overworked and underpaid. Consequently, the department now faces recruiting and retention issues that will only make it even more difficult to provide the staffing necessary to address these new public safety challenges.


As County Supervisor, it will be my priority to focus on ensuring our Probation Department is staffed at the levels necessary to monitor offenders in order to keep our communities safe.


Maintaining a First-Rate Sheriff’s Department

Our county’s Sheriff’s Department is one of the finest agencies in the entire country, and the men and women who serve on the front lines have been doing an excellent job at addressing crime and quality of life in both contract cities and the back-country.


Hiring the most qualified officers didn’t just happen by magic -- it was because our county was willing and able to invest in the department by ensuring competitive compensation in order to recruit new talent and retain experienced deputies. As a Supervisor, I’ll insist on utilizing a salary survey of comparable local agencies to ensure we remain competitive.


By maintaining adequate staffing of skilled deputies, we can ensure fast response times, community policing, and a better quality of life.


Meanwhile, there are always new and emerging public safety challenges, and it’s important our department is adequately prepared to address them.


As a result of new sentencing laws, growing mental health problems, the opioid crisis, and other factors, our deputy Sheriffs are facing new challenges, changing populations, and new areas that need to be addressed. The County Board of Supervisors must be focused on ensuring the department has the adequate staffing and resources to address these new challenges.


Resolving unintended consequences of criminal justice reforms

Over the past few years, California has seen a number of changes to its criminal justice system. Most prominent among those changes were made through the Public Safety Realignment Act (AB 109), Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative (Proposition 47), and the California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative (Proposition 57).


The state Legislature and Governor implemented AB 109, with voters supporting Proposition 47 and 57. Unfortunately, these bills have created a number of unintended consequences within our criminal justice system that need to be addressed.


Accordingly, I propose the establishment of a commission to study the impact of state criminal justice reforms throughout our county. Comprised of individuals from law enforcement, non-profits, and the community, this commission would focus on studying the new challenges these laws have created, as well as opportunities on how to best ensure these reforms are working in a manner that protects public safety while still achieving their original goals.


While these reforms have been implemented at the state level, there are adjustments we can make at a local level to reduce the negative unintended consequences of these laws.


Protecting Our Back Country Communities

As we saw in 2003, 2007, and again in 2014, wildfires can strike at any time and in any place. The County of San Diego has made a number of important strides over the past several years to ensure our regional fire authority has the tools, resources, and policies in place to quickly respond to future fires, but it’s important we remain vigilant in ensuring our firefighters have what they need to get the job done.


Accordingly, as your Supervisor, I’ll do the following to ensure our community is as prepared as possible for potential wildfires:


  • Diligently monitor response times for all areas of the district in order to identify potential problem spots and ensure resources are being allocated efficiently.

  • Conduct multiple meetings per year with firefighters and local Chiefs to ensure I hear from direct stakeholders regarding the issues they face.

  • Regularly spend time at our county’s fire stations and participate in ride-alongs to absorb information, gather input, and anticipate issues.

  • Look for opportunities to utilize new or outside funding sources to procure equipment or upgrade infrastructure at our fire stations.

  • Work collaboratively with our fire authority and public services department to ensure we reduce debris and bush throughout our county that could be a fire hazard.




Since public safety should be the top priority of county government, that’s where our focus and resources belong. As your Supervisor, I’ll ensure my constituents and the men and women serving on the front lines have the public safety resources they deserve.



As an Oceanside Councilmember, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of our city’s efforts to revitalize Oceanside city, particularly the downtown area. Not only have we brought desired restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and other businesses, but we did so with community buy-in and approval.


By creating a vision for our community, developing and implementing a plan, and working with local stakeholders, we’ve been able to transform our downtown, strengthening our economy and providing hundreds of new jobs in Oceanside.

It’s this same approach I wish to bring to North County. By building a vision and working as a community, we can create a healthy, growing economy over the long-term.

North County is one of the most prosperous and healthy economic regions in our entire state. We’re home to a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, biotechnology, green technology, healthcare, education, and many others.

While our region has seen tremendous economic growth over the past few years, it’s important we continue working to build an economy that can withstand a future recession, is full of high-paying jobs, and offers opportunities for everyone to prosper.

With several cities, dozens of rural communities, as well as tribal nations, North County is a diverse collection of economic regions with unique strengths and needs. Accordingly, the region needs leadership that is able to work collaboratively within this economic ecosystem to implement a unifying vision for the region.

Strengthen Regional Partnerships

  • The county should work closely with influential organizations such as the North San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego North Economic Development Council to identify strategies to recruit and retain businesses of all sizes and industries.

  • Work with universities, manufacturers, and other industries to create partnerships with local school districts to establish a talent pipeline to provide qualified job candidates over the long-term.

  • Assist other local governments to ensure a regional, coordinated approach to advocating policies that will allow businesses to grow and prosper.

  • Through collaboration with other local governments and organizations, we can leverage our regional strength to more effectively secure state or federal grant money devoted toward economic development.

  • Working together, we should establish an economic vision for the region, created through a collaborative, community-based engagement with the region’s public and private partners. The process will provide the region an opportunity for stakeholders and citizens to specify community values, describe our situation, and prioritize our shared goals.

Recruit and Retain Businesses; Grow the Next Generation of Employees

  • Support policies that reduce the cost of living in North County, ensuring companies have plenty of local talent available to hire. With a steady pool of available workers, North County will be a more desirable place for businesses to open their doors.

  • Our region should aggressively work to recruit businesses exploring expansion. We must ensure we are adequately promoting what North County has to offer for businesses and corporations seeking new opportunities for growth.

  • Apply County grant money to programs that implement programs geared toward building skillsets for the next generation of workers and ensuring our youth are prepared and trained to enter a 21st Century Workforce.

Support Agriculture and Tourism

  • With more small farms than any county in the entire United States, we must support policies that ensure agriculture remains a vibrant and stable part of our North County economy. As the economics of farming grow more and more difficult, it’s important to protect the private property rights of farmers and oppose policies that could hurt our agricultural industry.

  • Work to connect farmers with researchers to improve techniques for growing, processing, packaging and distribution, and to introduce new products and create new market linkages to increase our agricultural sector competitiveness.

  • Developing a new generation of farmers is crucial to sustaining agriculture as an industry sector in our region. We should work with secondary education and others to promote agricultural career choices through creation of coursework, including business management as well as agriculture topics.

  • Support efforts to promote North County tourism and expand tourist destinations. This vital part of the economy provides jobs, visitors to hotels and restaurants, and dollars spent in our community.

Cut Red Tape

  • Ensure County government is operating as quickly and efficiently to provide new businesses with the opportunity to open their doors and begin hiring as soon as possible.

  • Support a regular review of county rules and regulations, to ensure we remove any unnecessary regulations that hamper business growth, eliminate duplicative regulations, and ensure the permit process is as streamlined as possible.

  • Allow residents and business to ‘flag’ regulations they deem to be unnecessary, costly, or duplicative. Regulations that receive a sufficient number of flags should receive priority review and require a policy response.

  • Hire a District 5 staff representative to serve as a business liaison to work directly with existing or prospective companies to help guide them through the resources available from county government to help them grow and expand.


North County has practically unlimited potential for economic growth and prosperity, but only if county government operates in a more efficient and collaborative manner. As your Supervisor, I’ll work hard to make it easier to do businesses to open their doors, grow, and ensure job opportunities for the next generation of North County residents.



North County residents deserve adequate transportation dollars -- my plan would deliver just that.

I opposed Measure A, the fraudulent SANDAG $18 billion sales tax increase. SANDAG misled voters about key facts. It neglected North County needs and it lacked accountability and transparency.  

After voters rightfully rejected this proposal and the SANDAG scandal that followed, it’s clear we need a new approach to transportation funding in our region. Under our current system, transportation is funded through an opaque process without adequate public input. Instead of a fair allocation of funds throughout the county, transportation funding tends to flow toward downtown San Diego interests.
Residents of North County deserve their fair share of transportation funding. With increasing congestion, unfilled potholes, and needed infrastructure repairs, it’s critical that we establish an efficient, effective, and equitable method of allocating transportation funding.
Accordingly, if elected Supervisor, my principles for transportation funding will be:

  1. ACCOUNTABILITY – Previous SANDAG transportation proposals have lacked accountability when it came to how the funds were spent. They have essentially provided a blank check in the form of multi-decade tax increases. Any future transportation plans should allocate funding based on whether or not prior deadlines were met, projects have been completed, and budgets have been followed. We shouldn’t be asking taxpayers to hand over more funds if those responsible have mismanaged taxpayer dollars.
  2. BALANCE – A key flaw of Measure A was its lack of funding for the types of projects that North County residents would benefit from. Rather than funding repairs to potholes in unincorporated areas or needed expansions of I-15 and SR-78, Measure A instead dedicated roughly 42 percent of funding to public transit and 14 percent to highways. This overwhelmingly benefited the City of San Diego while neglecting the needs of suburban North, East, and South County. Any future transportation funding must take a more careful approach to ensuring fair funding for all regions, not just those that are well-populated and politically influential.
  3. PUBLIC INPUT – Rather than solicit as much public input as possible, Measure A was mostly drawn up in a downtown office with minimal opportunity for citizens to share their transportation priorities. SANDAG then spent millions of dollars on public relations in an effort to sell their plan to the public. This was backwards, and an unfair use of taxpayer dollars. Future transportation proposals must incorporate significantly more public input in an open and transparent manner.
  4. REFORM – The Measure A projections scandal that occurred at SANDAG highlighted a much bigger problem: We’ve got a giant government bureaucracy making major decisions that impact every resident of our county, with very little direct accountability to taxpayers. In theory, the SANDAG bureaucracy is overseen by a board of directors composed of elected members of area city councils and the board of supervisors. But in practice, the board of directors mostly rubber-stamps the staff recommendations, and when was the last time a city councilmember won or lost a local election because of their voting record on SANDAG.

    We can either continue using the same failed methods for transportation funding, or we can establish a new approach that gives taxpayers what they deserve. Leaders throughout the region need to come together, go back to the drawing board, and establish a new process for allocating transportation funding that is transparent and accountable to voters.

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