Dave Roberts (California politician)

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Dave Roberts
Member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for District 3
In office
January 7, 2013 – January 9, 2017
Preceded by Pam Slater-Price
Succeeded by Kristin Gaspar
Member of the Solana Beach City Council
In office
Personal details
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Riverton, Connecticut
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Wally Oliver
Children Robert, Alexander, Julian, Joseph, Natalee and "Manny"
Residence Solana Beach
Alma mater The Citadel
American University (B.A., M.P.A.)
Religion Presbyterian
Website www.SupervisorDaveRoberts.com

David W. "Dave" Roberts (born 1960) is an American politician from Solana Beach, California. He is the county supervisor for San Diego County, representing district 3, which includes portions of San Diego and most of north San Diego County. He used to be the Mayor of Solana Beach.[1] He is a Democrat.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born and raised in Riverton, Connecticut, in 1960. His family has resided in Connecticut for 11 generations since 1629. After graduating from Northwestern Regional #7 high school he attended The Citadel, but left after he was beaten by a fellow cadet because of his sexual orientation.[2] He wound up at American University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a BA in political science/economics and an MPA. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School for State and Local Leaders, and the U.S. Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College and Squadron Officer School.[3]


He was a Vice President for Government Relations with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an international non-profit, but retired from that position when he was sworn in as county supervisor.[4] Before that he worked as a Corporate Vice President in the healthcare business unit at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Earlier he served as a budget analyst for the Department of Defense and as a staffer for Senator Lowell Weicker.[5] He has also served as a federal advisory commission member in the administrations of President George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the Department of Health and Human Services. He used to be co-chair of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Advisory Panel of Outreach and Education. Since becoming a county Supervisor in 2013, he has gained more state and national experience. In 2014, he was elected Second Vice President of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). In addition, he serves as co-chair of both the National Association of Counties (NACo) Membership Committee and Immigration Reform Task Force and as an active member of the CSAC and NACo Health Steering Committees.

Elective office[edit]

Solana Beach City Council[edit]

He was elected to the Solana Beach City Council in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. He served as Mayor in 2008 and as Deputy Mayor in 2011-2012. While on the council he is credited for work on traffic calming projects, a local coastal plan, business relations, opening new parks, a plastic bag ban, and support for the arts and North Coast Repertory Theatre.[6]

San Diego County Board of Supervisors[edit]

He was elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 2012 to represent District 3, replacing retiring supervisor Pam Slater-Price. He narrowly defeated Republican Steve Danon, chief of staff to Congressman Brian Bilbray, in the November 2012 runoff election.[7] The race was so close that Danon did not concede until nine days after the election.[8] The final tally was 51.14% for Roberts to 48.86% for Danon.[9] He was sworn in on January 7, 2013.[10]

Roberts is the only Democrat on the Board of Supervisors, which has consisted only of Republicans for more than two decades.[5] (Local elections are nonpartisan under California state law, but most officeholders do identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans.) As supervisor he hopes to strengthen the county's mental health services and launch a solar energy initiative.[2]

From June to November 2015, Roberts chaired the San Diego County Behavioral Health Advisory Board Suicide Reduction Workgroup which made 10 recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to reduce suicides in San Diego County. To date, two of the 10 recommendations have been implemented. In November 2015, he was unanimously elected First Vice President of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). In February 2016, he was unanimously elected as one of two California representatives on the National Association of Counties (NACo). In January 2016, Roberts' colleagues unanimously elected him as Chair Pro Tem of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, his third year in a county board leadership position.

In 2016 he ran for re-election. His opponent was Republican Kristin Gaspar, the mayor of Encinitas. The result was too close to call for more than a week after the election. At first Roberts was in the lead by 2,200 votes, then Gaspar pulled ahead by 15 votes with many ballots still to be tallied.[11] By Thanksgiving, Gaspar's lead had grown to 1,090 votes, after steady gains throughout the preceding week.[12]

Allegations of hostile work environment[edit]

In May 2015, two of Robert's former staff members filed claims against the County of San Diego seeking monetary relief while alleging various acts of wrongdoing by Supervisor Roberts including misuse of County resources and employee favoritism. A third former employee filed a similar claim in June 2015. Roberts has denied all of the allegations made against him.[13] Roberts does admit that he sent what he termed to be "jovial texting" to County staff stating that a particular employee, Harold Meza, should keep him warm on a Dounty trip and mentioned how he plans to sleep in the same bed with him on a separate trip. Meza subsequently filed a lawsuit against two of the former staffers who had filed claims against the county regarding Robert's alleged behavior, for spreading “salacious rumors in the workplace.” Roberts was not named in Meza's lawsuit.[14]

On September 15, 2015, the San Diego Union Tribune and Los Angeles Times newspapers, reported that the Board of Supervisors of San Diego County had agreed to settlements totaling $310,000 for three former staffers of Dave Roberts in relation to various claims of the Supervisor creating what was summarized as a hostile work environment. The four presiding County Supervisors who agreed to the settlement also released a statement which stated, “In the opinion of the Board, activities that occurred in the District 3 Supervisorial office, at a minimum, showed poor judgment by the Supervisor. And, although not conclusive, the investigative material surrounding the inappropriate use of County funds, promoting a hostile work environment, an alleged bribe, campaigning on County time, improper use of a County vehicle and retaliation against District 3 staff members is significant and a matter of concern for the Board of Supervisors. If lawsuits were to be filed by the three former staff members and Supervisor Dave Roberts is named as a defendant, the County would be required to retain outside counsel for him at County expense. According to County Counsel, the litigation cost to defend Supervisor Dave Roberts through trial in the three cases, win or lose, could exceed $1 million. In addition, "we believe it is unlikely we would prevail on all three claims.” The board also expressed concern that inconsistencies in Roberts' various statements may have harmed his credibility in court if the claims went to trial.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Roberts is a married homosexual man; he and his spouse Wally Oliver have five adopted children.[5] They live in Solana Beach in the former home of singer Patti Page. Roberts and his oldest son are both Eagle Scouts. Roberts and his spouse are active members of North San Diego County Adoptive Parents Association and Friends of the Solana Beach Library. In 2014 amid the statewide drought, they removed over 6,000 square feet of turf and installed artificial turf to save over 165,000 gallons of potable water per year. http://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2014/09/15/supervisor-replacing-lawn-artificial-turf-save-water/


  1. ^ "Solana Beach Council". City of Solana Beach. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Walker, Mark (December 15, 2012). "Supervisor-elect turned hazing into lesson". North County Times. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "David W. Roberts, Deputy Mayor". City of Solana Beach. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Same Sex Parenting Becoming 'Normal' in an Evolving Society". San Diego Free Press. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Perry, Tony (November 23, 2012). "Dave Roberts brings diversity to the San Diego County supervisors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Solana Beach makes way for new council". San Diego Union Tribune. December 12, 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Roberts Defeats Danon In Race For San Diego County Supervisor". KPBS Midday Edition. November 7, 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Dave Roberts becomes new county supervisor". CBS Channel 8. November 15, 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Board of Supervisors District No. 3". Presidential General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Walker, Mark (January 8, 2013). "Roberts becomes fresh voice on Board of Supervisors". San Diego Union Tribune. 
  11. ^ Stewart, Joshua (November 18, 2016). "Gaspar overtakes Roberts in supervisor race — by 15 votes". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Presidential General Election Results". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. November 23, 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Supervisor Roberts' staffer countersues accusers". News10 San Diego. 11 June 2015. 
  14. ^ http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jun/12/allegations-leave-san-diego-supervisor-roberts/
  15. ^ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/sep/15/dave-roberts-settlement-county-accusations/
  16. ^ http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-payment-supervisor-20150916-story.html