The Kevin Faulconer Interview
Kevin Faulconer opens on everything from changes he plans to make to where he likes to grab a burger and a brew.
Your last name is often misspelled and spoken incorrectly. For the record, how is it pronounced? It’s FALL-con-er, but as long as people are close, that’s fine.
You and former mayors Jerry Sanders and Maureen O’Connor are all San Diego State University grads. What does that legacy mean to you? I’m a proud Aztec through and through. I keep in touch with the university and friends that I went to school with.
In light of recent charges against police officers, any plan to shake up the department? We appointed Shelley Zimmerman as the first female police chief in city history. I am confident she will provide a fresh perspective.
How will the city find $900 million to fill all its potholes? We’ll move aggressively on managed competition, and put 50 percent of all new tax revenue collected by the city toward road repairs.
How can San Diego become a mega-region with Tijuana? We can do so much more economically as a mega-region than either San Diego or Tijuana could do on its own. I will continue to push the federal government to reduce border wait times that are costing billions annually in economic activity. I plan to maintain an office in Tijuana and hire a director of binational affairs.
Why will 401(k) plans for city employees work better than pensions? The switch to 401(k)s is projected to save$1 billion in pension costs over the next three decades. It’s not a bad deal for city employees—most receive a 401(k) match from the city of nine percent, while public safety workers get 11 percent. The private- sector match is typically three percent.
You’re pro-bike infrastructure for San Diego. Is bicycling part of your own exercise routine? It was before the campaign, and I’m looking forward to getting back into it. I did train for the Million Dollar Challenge Ride [a 620-mile cycling event benefiting challenged athletes].
Favorite spots to grab a bite and a brew? I’ve always been partial to the original Karl Strauss, and always liked Red Trolley beer. Nicky Rottens for a burger. Monkey Paw. Bay Park Fish Company.
What do your kids think about their dad being mayor? They’re used to dad being a councilman and being on TV. They’re happy that I won. At the same time, they’re focused on school, sports, and Nickelodeon.