By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Brian Maienschein became an assemblyman on Monday, stating his priorities are to make California a more business-friendly state and to protect education funding.
“I am really looking forward to being sworn in,” the 43-year-old Carmel Mountain Ranch resident said on Friday. “I’m excited to represent my community.”
Maienschein was elected to a two-year term last month to represent the state Assembly’s 77th District. It includes Poway, Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Sabre Springs and Rancho Penasquitos. The district is one Maienschein knows well, having lived in the area since childhood and graduating from Poway High.
Though a Republican, Maienschein said he has “always been somebody who worked with those of both parties to get things done.”
The former two-term San Diego City Councilman representing District 5 (2000-2008) was most recently the United Way Commissioner of the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and juris doctorate from California Western School of Law.
He is the divorced father of two elementary-age daughters, Taylin and Brenna.
“There’s a number of things in California that increases bureaucracy,” Maienschein said when talking about ways to make the state more business-friendly. “For example, there are more than 500 commissions. Not all need to exist. We can save taxpayer money and reduce regulation as well.”
After taking office, Maienschein said he will be able to speak more about his methods to protect education funding too.
Maienschein said there are many ways to reduce expenses and be more efficient. As an example, he mentioned Project 25, which he created while at the United Way. Through the effort, the most expensive chronically homeless were identified and with the help of various agencies, the cost of long-term housing and services for them were consolidated and reduced from $7 million to less than $2 million.
“If we can do (something similar) on a wide scale we can solve problems and save money,” he said.
As for other issues, Maienschein said he is interested in improving fire prevention and opposes the high-speed rail project because “it is such a waste of money and time.”
Maienschein said that like his years on the San Diego City Council he will be “very accessible” to constituents and “active and visible in the community.”
Until the lease expires this spring, Maienschein said his district office will remain at 9909 Mira Mesa Blvd., Suite 130, which was occupied by his predecessor, Nathan Fletcher. Afterward it will likely be relocated to the Rancho Bernardo area. His chief of staff will be Lance Witmondt, who filled the same post for him when on the council, and field representatives will be Rob Knudsen and Michael Lieberman.
Maienschein’s first local appearance as an assemblyman will be at the Conservative Order for Good Government luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in the Bernardo Heights Country Club. Also speaking will be Congressman Duncan Hunter and San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey.
The luncheon is $20 for non-COGG members. RSVPs are due this Friday. Contact Carol Prendergast at 858-676-6186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.