Meet Susan Guinn – the Real Candidate for County Clerk

by on May 30, 2014 · 0 comments

in Election, Politics, San Diego

Susan GuinnMeet Susan Guinn

By Doug Porter

This week I met with Susan Guinn, the attorney who is challenging Ernest Dronenburg for County Clerk, and came away impressed.

Here’s a little background via the LGBT Weekly:

Local activists started to work against Dronenburg, but needed a candidate who could comprehend and do the job.

Enter Susan Guinn, a member of Equality California’s board of directors, whose resume is eerily perfect for a job few understand. She is a lawyer and business woman who has helped the County recover money and protected businesses and families from inappropriate taxes, fees and exploitation. As a volunteer, she has worked to engage children in building healthy communities and a healthy planet.

Guinn might not be the progressive firebrand some would want, but the job is to implement policies fairly, not make them. Guinn will do that. If you’ve never voted for this office before, it’s well worth a trip down the ballot to replace one of the last men to challenge marriage equality with one of our own.

Here are some excerpts from my conversation with Susan Guinn. I think they make a strong argument for her competency.

What motivated you to want to run for this office?

This office is critical to the health of San Diego County. It is responsible for setting the taxable value for close to $4 billion dollars in business and residential property throughout San Diego County as well as managing most of our important documents and some licensing, including marriage licenses. It is the economic engine that runs the county and for many businesses and families, their property tax bill represents the largest yearly bill they are required to pay. It matters who is at the helm.

I decided to run for the office because the incumbent doing a terrible job. He is bad for business, bad for families and has abused his elected position to promote his own ideology, rather than following the law.

Tell me about your experience with property valuations, since the UT wanted to make such a big deal out of it.

Due to the nature of my legal practice, I have undertaken hundreds of cases which have ultimately required business or residential property valuations to be completed. For example, I have fought for businesses and families following catastrophic events, such as fires, to make sure they were able to rebuild and get back to work.

Tell me about the use of technology to manage millions of documents.

In litigation representing LA County against big tobacco companies as well as many other large cases, millions of documents are produced and must be managed. I have first­hand experience selecting software, managing staff and the organization and access to millions of documents to streamline the legal process.

Let’s hear some details about the outdated systems I’ve heard about currently being used by the clerk’s office:

Did you know that millions of documents such as deeds, birth certificates and marriage licenses, are only accessible via microfiche? That is a piece of technology that became available in 1906. You have to drive down to the office, physically search through documents, and hope if you can find them that they are legible. And if you can’t find it, the office will gladly help you, for approximately $120. Non-governmental companies have many of these same documents available on-line.

Can you talk specifics about community outreach and educational programs that you would initiate?

It’s time to get the employees out from behind the desk. I want to go into the communities, set-up in schools, gyms, churches, community centers etc., and bring laptops. We will help businesses and families complete their appeals, answer questions, provide information about services, and connect people with other resources in their area. Essentially, “Bring us your paperwork, and let’s get this figured out.” If we can actively go to people who don’t have the resources to appeal or don’t understand the system, and help them save money, they can spend that money on providing for their families.

The offices are so inaccessible to a lot of people, particularly those in underserved communities without reliable transportation. Downtown, Chula Vista, Kearny Mesa, El Cajon, and San Marcos are not exactly centralized locations to a county that can take more than two hours to get across.

So let’s go to them. Let’s get to work getting the people the services their taxes pay for. Let’s also invite other government offices to join us as well as local non-profits who are providing services for the area.

Susan Guinn has been endorsed by the San Diego Free Press editorial board. For a complete list of our endorsements, go here. For a last minute voter cheat sheet, go here.


This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at San Diego Free Press, an online media partner with the OB Rag.

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