The Coast News Group

Horn touts finances, public safety in final State of County speech

REGION — County Supervisor Bill Horn touted the county’s strong fiscal position, its numerous public safety initiatives and efforts to assist the region’s veterans in his final State of the County speech.

Horn, giving the speech for the fifth time, is set to leave his post in 2018 due to term limits. He said the county is in “great condition.”

“We are setting new standards… We’ve set high goals, and we are reaching them,” Horn said.

Horn said an achievement he is most proud of is the county investment pool’s Triple-A credit rating from Standard and Poor’s, which the investment pool has had for 14 straight years, as well as the county’s Triple-A bond rating.

Supervisor Bill Horn touts finances, public safety in his fifth and final State of County speech this week.  Courtesy photo
Supervisor Bill Horn touts finances, public safety in his fifth and final State of County speech this week. Courtesy photo

“I intend to keep this excellent credit rating for as long as I am supervisor,” Horn said. “With term limits, this board will be changing.  I challenge the next generation of supervisors to maintain this high standard and protect our pristine credit rating.

It will require fiscal responsibility and the courage to say no,” Horn said.

Following his remarks on the county’s fiscal status, Horn turned his attention to law enforcement, which he said is facing challenges as the result of Proposition 47 and earlier state laws that allowed lower-level offenders to serve their time in county jails as opposed to state prisons.

Horn reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the county from the potential effects of these laws.

“It won’t be easy, but I commit this county’s full resources to protect our families, homes and neighborhoods,” Horn said. “We have outstanding deputies working hard to protect us and they deserve our support.”

Horn highlighted the Sheriff’s Department gang intervention programs, as well as the construction of the second phase of the Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility, and the new Lakeside Sheriff’s substation as part of the county’s continuing efforts at strengthening law enforcement.

He also highlighted the county’s efforts at taking care of the region’s large population of veterans, declaring 2016 the “year of the veteran” and outlining several projects throughout the county aimed at serving the veteran population.

These include the new county Military and Veterans Department, the new North Inland Family Resource Center and Veterans Resource Center scheduled to open in Escondido this summer, the county’s partnership with the successful “25 Cities Initiative” with a goal to end veteran homelessness and chronic homelessness; and two initiatives spearheaded by board members Dianne Jacob and Greg Cox in their respective districts.

Horn began his speech by honoring Fallbrook resident Vince Moss for his 50 years of volunteer service to the North County community. Moss, known as “Mr. Fallbrook,” received the “Guardian of the Water” award, for his various community activities.