Supervisor Anderson's priority has always been to improve the lives of his constituents and make County government work for them. Since taking office in January 2021, Supervisor Anderson is proud of his legislative actions and accomplishments, but is even more proud of the hundreds of constituents whose lives have been positively impacted as a result of Team Anderson's laser focus and hard work. Check out a few stories below of how Supervisor Anderson and his staff have helped his constituents flourish.
Mike, a North County resident who owns a cabin in Julian, contacted Supervisor Joel Anderson on February 24, 2022, regarding the loss of his home due to the 2003 Cedar Fire. Mike has been in the process of trying to rebuild, but due to many factors and red-tape, the project kept getting delayed. After nearly 20 years, Mike remains hopeful that he can one day rebuild his cabin.
Once Mike contacted his Supervisor, Joel Anderson's staff put him in contact with the Building & Zoning Department under Planning & Development Services. By the next day, Mike had received a response from the County.
Mike wrote to Supervisor Anderson, saying, “I got more than I thought possible in a very short time. I have all the details to complete my process and heard back from numerous county building/planning people today. Thank you.”
With only a few weeks left before San Diego’s famous “Big Bay Boom” Fourth of July fireworks show, Pyro Spectaculars was struggling to find appropriate storage for their fireworks. In desperate need of storage space with San Diego County’s largest fireworks shows on the line, Pyro Spectaculars reached out to local elected officials for assistance.
A County parcel in East County was identified as an ideal place to temporarily store the fireworks until the Fourth of July, but additional approvals and permissions were required to use the property.
After receiving a referral from State Senator Brian Jones’ office, Supervisor Joel Anderson’s office jumped into action and connected Pyro Spectaculars with the County’s Planning and Development Services and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to receive the necessary approvals.
One week later, Pyro Spectaculars received full permissions to store their fireworks, and the largest fireworks show in California – which brings in over $10 million to the San Diego Region and benefits the Armed Services YMCA’s programs for local military families – will take place as planned.
“We extend our sincere gratitude for all who contributed to securing
storage to ensure another great fireworks show. This was truly a team
effort and a fantastic example of how government works behind the
scenes to benefit all San Diegans,” shared Eve Mazzarella, a
representative for Pyro Spectaculars, in an email to Anderson’s
“I am thrilled that my office was able to play a role in ensuring another successful year for San Diego’s Big Bay Boom fireworks show,” said Supervisor Joel Anderson. “The annual Big Bay Boom presents a vital opportunity to boost our regional economy, support our local military families, and gather as a community to celebrate our nation’s birthday. I’d like to thank the County staff who came together and quickly found a solution to save one of San Diego’s favorite patriotic events.”
Liberty Charter High School is located at the former campus of Alpine Elementary School, which closed its doors in 2019. During the school site’s indefinite closure, families flooded the new Alpine Library next door. Since the former elementary school’s crosswalk was already being removed as part of the County’s school decommissioning process, a new crosswalk was proposed closer to the library entrance – just a few hundred feet away from the school site. The County Department of Public Works (DPW) staff completed comprehensive traffic study and received approval from the Board of Supervisors, establishing a new crosswalk to meet the needs of library goers, Alpine residents, and future students if a school were reestablished. Three years later, students are returning to the campus; but this time, young drivers, both in-training and newly licensed, will be frequenting the area.
Liberty Charter Principal Debbie Beyer initially requested Supervisor Anderson's office to look into redrawing the school site’s original crosswalk and his staff connected Debbie to DPW right away. However, they quickly learned that the County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) does not place two crosswalks within a few hundred feet of each other due to safety and traffic disruption concerns. After learning the school’s original request would not be feasible, Supervisor Anderson organized a site visit on August 16th inviting school administrators, concerned parents, and County staff to discuss other safety options. As a result of that meeting, DPW implemented six safety enhancements to the area surrounding the school:
"I am grateful to the staff and parents at Liberty Charter High School for contacting my office, so we could work together to find creative solutions to provide the safest road conditions possible for our students," shared Supervisor Anderson.
In July, one of Supervisor Anderson's constituents, Vickie Kalinoski, contacted his office in need of assistance.
There was overgrown vegetation obstructing the visibility of drivers exiting the the freeway at the intersection of Dunbar Lane and Chocolate Summit Drive in El Cajon. Ms. Kalinoski called Anderson's office over the weekend with this issue and Team Anderson staff promptly contacted the Department of Public Works (DPW). By Tuesday of the coming week, DPW crew connected with Vickie and were already clearing both sides of Dunbar Lane. Ms. Kalinoski met the DPW crew on-site that day to personally express her gratitude for their "quick job." Vickie shared how thankful she was that Team Anderson "is always out there to help people."
Below are "before and after" photos of the vegetation clearing!
Gian Paolo Croce is the co-owner of Mediterraneo Bistro, a three generational family-owned Italian restaurant which has served the East San Diego County community for over 25 years. The Croce family was thinking of creative ways to make their restaurant and bar a more fun, family environment. That’s when Gian Paolo had an idea.
While recalling old memories, Gian Paolo remembered fondly how his family would go to places like Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Busters to play games and spend time together. The family agreed on their next project: adding arcade games to the bar area to create entertainment for customers of all ages.
As soon as the games were added, the family immediately noticed a shift for the better in the restaurant’s atmosphere. “Families were coming in and playing games together. The moms were meeting for lunch while the kids were playing pinball. It was really beautiful to see,” Gian Paolo said.
But six months later, the Croce family encountered an obstacle. The family received a notice from the County of San Diego alerting them that their restaurant was in violation of a county ordinance. Gian Paulo took it upon himself to coordinate with the County to amend the violation. What he discovered was disheartening.
According to a decades old ordinance, unincorporated businesses are prohibited from having “amusement devices” such as arcade games in the same areas where alcohol is sold. This prohibition, however, does not apply to businesses in the City of San Diego. For instance, Dave & Busters, a national chain known for its arcade games and alcoholic beverages, is free to conduct business without violating county ordinances. Why then is a local family business just thirty minutes away unable to do the same?
Not ready to give up, Gian Paolo reached out to County Supervisor Joel Anderson. “I got… this heartfelt response where someone actually cared about what I was saying,” Gian Paulo said.
In response to the Croce family’s dilemma, Supervisor Anderson authored a proposal to repeal the outdated ordinance along with his colleague Vice Chair Nora Vargas. On its first reading earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Anderson and Vargas’s proposal. On August 16, 2022, the Board held a second reading and officially approved to allow amusement businesses in the unincorporated area.
“As soon as I heard the Croce family’s story, I knew we needed to take action. I am grateful for Gian Paolo and his family for bringing this outdated ordinance to my attention, so we can ensure businesses in the unincorporated area receive the same opportunity as those in the cities,” shared Supervisor Anderson. “This is a great example of how one constituent can make a big impact when they reach out to my office.”
Gian Paulo expressed his excitement now that the Mediterraneo Bistro will be able to bring families together again with food, drinks, and games in Alpine: “[Anderson’s office] jumped through so many hoops to make this thing pass, and they passed it! I’m so grateful.”