League of Women Voters of California
Full Biography for Jay La Suer
Jay was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, grew up in San Diego and El Cajon. He attended Grossmont High School and graduated from El Cajon High School in 1957. Jay enlisted in the United States Army in 1958, and served in the 101st Airborne Division until August, 1961 when he was Honorably Discharged.
After returning to El Cajon, he joined the San Diego Police Department. During the six years he served on the S.D. Police Department, Jay attended Grossmont Community College. In 1967 he resigned from the police department and attended college full-time at San Diego State. He received his BA in Public Administration in 1969, and then joined the San Diego Sheriff's Department in 1970. He advanced through the ranks and retired in January 1995 as Undersheriff, second in command to the Sheriff.
During his 25 year career with the Sheriff's Department, he attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy. He also earned a Lifetime Teaching Credential from the California Community College System, and taught at Grossmont Community College, Miramar Community College and National University.
In 1963 Jay married his wife Lynn Reed. They raised two daughters and now have three grandsons, all who live in the East County area. As a young father, Jay coached both AYSO Soccer and La Mesa Bobbysox, where he served as President.
By 1990 Jay grew tired at the constant attempts of politicians to enact special tax districts, pass bond measures, raise rates and fees, and their attempts to disguise taxes with nondescript names. He believed that government should be required to live within a budget, just as families must. He decided that rather than complain, he would attempt to do something about it. He ran for election to the La Mesa City Council and was elected to the City Council in 1990, re-elected in 1994 and again in 1998. In each election, Jay was the top vote getter.
Jay has always been staunchly opposed to tax and fee increases. He voted against every attempt to add new taxes, increase taxes or add fees in the City of La Mesa. As recently as 1998, he was able to prove a consultant wrong, thereby convincing his colleagues to reject a proposed sewer tax increase. He is a strong supporter of Proposition 13. Jay chose quality redevelopment rather than raising taxes to improve the revenues to a city. He was a driving force in bringing the COSTCO Redevelopment to La Mesa, resulting in the city realizing over a million dollars in revenues within its first two years.
With his background in law enforcement, Jay knows good law enforcement equals a safe community. He has been a strong supporter of law enforcement and has been instrumental in the addition of several new police officers to the La Mesa Police Department.
After being elected to the City Council, Jay was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Metropolitian Transit Development Board. Since being appointed to the board he has fought against unreasonable rate increases, increased vehicle registration fees, the Coronado Bridge Toll, requirements for developers to contribute to freeway development and all other attempts by government bodies to ligislate and create additional taxes and fees.
As a member of the La Mesa City Council, he has worked to simplify the process and reduce the cost of building permits. He introduced and was able to obtain approval for a modified building permit that allows home owners to improve their property without being negatively impacated by additional property taxes. He was instrumental in reducing the size and cost of government in La Mesa and at the same time improving working conditions for city employees.
For his positive work on the La Mesa City Council, Jay was presented with the "Legislator of The Year Award" from Associated Builders & Contractors in 1994. For his work in support of the Boy Scouts of America he was presented with the "Member of Distinction Award" in 1994. In April 1999, Jay was presented the "Samuel Adams Award for Outstanding Leadership" from the Local Government Council. He was among 50 winners selected from more than 84,000 local jurisdictions nationwide.
In 1998 Jay was elected to the Republican Central Committee. And, again Jay received more votes than any other candidate. He was then elected Chairman of the 77th Assembly District Caucus. Jay was elected Vice Mayor in August 1999.
Jay retired from Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) as Senior Director of Education in December 1999. He had administered one of the largest construction trades apprenticeship programs in California. In his first year as Senior Director of Education, he was instrumental in the growth of the program from just over 100 apprentices to over 400. In the next six months the program grew to over 600 apprentices. In 1998 he was presented with the National ABC Award for the best apprenticeship program in America.
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