Skip navigation.
Home

Politics




EL CAJON'S MAYOR LEWIS RESIGNS

 

October 25, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis has resigned, effective immediately.  In his resignation letter, the Mayor  cited health reasons, including cancer, a dislocated shoulder and a minor stroke in 2010. “Unfortunately at times, this has caused me some difficulties in clearly communication my thoughts, including during the recent interviews  that have caused understandable concern,” he wrote, adding that he is stepping down to avoid further concerns by citizens and to “allow our City Council and community o move forward in their work to make this City the finest place it can be.”

He added, “I deeply love our town and have given a major portion of my adult life to its wellbeing and, so, this is a bittersweet moment for me."

COUNCIL POSTPONES ACTION ON TERM LIMITS AFTER VIGOROUS DEBATE

By Alex Riggins

October 23, 2013 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to once again delay a vote that could put term limits for the mayor and the city council on ballots next year.

After nearly an hour of discussion by the council and public comments, Councilmember Ernie Ewin motioned for the matter to be delayed once again so that he and the council could have more time to decide if they will put the matter on the ballot themselves.

“I want this to be vetted, and to give us all a chance to come back and really think about this,” Ewin said as he motioned for the delay.

MAYOR LEWIS IN CONTROVERSY OVER COMMENTS ON CHALDEANS

 

Full tape of interview  reveals comments praising Chaldeans in addition to remarks deemed culturally insensitive by cricis

By Miriam Raftery

October 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, a crowd of Irarqi Chaldean community members denounced  remarks made by Mayor Mark Lewis in an interview with Progressive Magazine for an article published in May.  Critics denounce the remarks as insensitive and reinforcing racial stereotypes. 

Supporters say the comments were taken out of context.  An audiotape of the full one-hour interview posted by RawStory in fact reveals many positive statements made by the Mayor about Chaldeans, as well as the remarks that stirred controversy.  Some backers of the Mayor have suggested a financial motive behind the criticism emerging months after the story first ran, noting that a leading critic represents Chaldean store owners chafing under a newly enacted city policy restricting alcohol sales.

EL CAJON APPROVES HOTEL AGREEMENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2013 (El Cajon ) – By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council today voted to enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Excel Hotel Group to develop a Marriott Courtyard hotel at the northeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Rea Street in the Civic Center block. 

The proposal hinges on the state selling and to the city of El Cajon at the corner of Magnolia and Rea.  The City would then sell the land to Marriott for a dollar and give up a portion of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) for a few years.  At the end of ten years, the city expects to receive enough revenue from property taxes and TOT to repay the city the cost of the land.

“It sweetens the pot for them to spend several million dollars,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine.  He calls the deal a “win-win” for all parties.

EARLY VOTING BEGINS FOR NEW SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

October 22, 2013 (San Diego) – Voters in the City of San Diego began casting their ballots for a new mayor Monday.

The Special Municipal Election will fill the vacancy left after Bob Filner resigned.

The Registrar of Voters (ROV) office opened its doors for the first ballots at 8 a.m. Monday morning and will be open for voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Election Day, Nov. 19, when the hours will change to 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. As expected for a first day, the turnout has been light.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: SUPERVISORS WEIGH INCREASING OUTREACH TO RURAL VETERANS AFTER ECM INVESTIGATION

Highlights of El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee and San Diego agenda items for this week

Update October 24, 2013:  Supervisors unanimously approved the feasibility study on bringing veterans' services to libraries countywide.

By Miriam Raftery

County Supervisors and local city councils have several significant measures on their agendad impacting East County this week.

On Tuesday at 10 a.m., Supervisors will hear a proposal by Supervisor Dianne Jacob to extend the county’s outreach to veterans. This proposal is being introduced in response to an East County Magazine investigation that found a lack of County veterans’ services in rural East County. 

Supervisor Jacob’s proposal asks the County’s Chief Executive Office to report back in 120 days on the feasibility of using county libraries for veterans services, which would add 34 additional locations for  County Veterans Services representatives to meet with veterans.

SANTEE COUNCIL VOTES TO APPROVE ANNEXATION OF CASTLEROCK

6

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2013 (Santee) – Santee’s City Council has voted to allow annexation of the controversial Castlerock Development project, meaning the land will be transferred from San Diego to Santee.  Pardee Homes plans to build 283 single family homes, 147 multi-family dwellings and a public park at the project. 

The Council has fought to oppose Castlerock on the boundary of Santee and San Diego, but the City of San Diego approved it.  Unable to block the project, Santee’s Council decided to allow annexation so that developer fees and property taxes from the new homes will be paid to Santee. In turn, Santee will provide services as fire protection.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS TO HOLD NEIGHBORHOOD DAY AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE OCT. 21

 

October 17, 2013 (El Cajon)--Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) will host a Neighborhood Day in East County.  Residents are encouraged to come share their ideas, ask a question, and get an update about what's happening in Congress at her signature town hall style event.

Davis’s Neighborhood Day will be held in the Griffin Center on the Grossmont College campus in El Cajon on Monday, October 21, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

CONGRESS VOTES TO END SHUTDOWN

 

Update October 17, 2013:  President Obama signed the measure into law last night, ending the shutdown.

By Nadin Abbott

October 16, 2013 (San Diego)--Tonight both the House and the Senate voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling—just in time to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on our national debt by tomorrow’s deadline. The measure will fund the Government until January 15 and raise the ceiling until February 17. Moreover, a conference committee between the House and the Senate to discuss the budget has finally been appointed.

Among San Diego’s Congressional delegation, only Republican Duncan Hunter was unwilling to prevent a default on America’s debts, casting a “no” vote.  Republican Darrell Issa joined with Democrats Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters to vote in favor of the continuing resolution to find the government and end the shutdown. Overall in the House, 285 voted yes and 144 voted no. 

The vote in the Senate was overwhelming, with 81 of 100 Senators voting for the bill, including most Republicans.  California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein both voted yes.

D-DAY: WILL THE U.S. DEFAULT ON DEBT?

 

By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott

October 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – If Congress and the President don’t pass a spending bill and raise the debt ceiling, tomorrow the United States will default on its debts for the first time in our nation’s history. 

The heads of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce representing businesses, the AFL-CIO representing labor unions, and the nonprofit United Way have all urged Congress to end the shutdown and avoid a default. 

If the nation defaults on its debts, economists warn this could trigger a stock market crash, soaring interest rates, and a global recession.  The U.S. would be unable to borrow money and would be able to spend only cash on hand creating an uncertain future for all who rely on federal money, including Social Security and Medicare recipients.  Foreign creditors could seek to cash out their U.S. bond holdings, leaving the government unable to pay its debts.    Standard and Poors has downgraded the U.S. credit rating in reaction to the stalemate in Washington, CCN.

FILNER PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR CHARGES

Plea agreement ends his political career

By Miriam Raftery; photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

October 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Just hours after California Attorney General filed charges against Mayor Bob Filner, the former mayor pled guilty to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery. Under a plea agreement, Filner will never seek public office again.

The victims were not named, identified only as “Jane Does.”  The felony case entailed Filner kissing a woman against her will and using the “Filner headlock” to restrain her.  Prosecutor Melissa Mandel  stated that the midsdemeanors  included kissing a woman on the lips without consent at a “Meet the Mayor” event and fondling another woman’s buttocks while having a photo taken at a rally.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS MOVES TO FORCE VOTE TO OPEN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

October 12, 2013 (Washington D.C.) --As the economically damaging government shutdown entered its 12th day, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) took an extraordinary legislative step to bypass the Speaker of the House and force a vote to open the government.

“A majority of the Congress wants to end the government shutdown and stop the economic harm it is causing,” said Davis. “Legislation to open the federal government is sitting on the Speaker’s desk, having passed the Senate two weeks ago. Unfortunately, he won’t let the House vote. This move will apply the necessary pressure to force a vote to end the shutdown.”

Davis joined her House colleagues in signing what is known as a discharge petition to require the Speaker to bring the Senate-passed government funding bill to the House floor for an immediate vote. If a majority of the House signs the petition, a vote would be scheduled.

EL CAJON COUNCIL POSTPONES ECPAC NAME CHANGE

  

Kaboom! and New City Seal/Logo/Motto in works

By Janis Mork

October 11, 2013 (El Cajon)- At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Mark Lewis made a request to rename East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) to El Cajon Performing Arts Center. Lewis insisted, “Now is the time to name it, because we’re in El Cajon..”

At the suggestion of Mayor Pro Tem Bill Wells, however, Council opted to delay a decision until mid-2014, when a manager for ECPAC is expected to be in place.

Congresswoman Susan Davis Won’t Get Paid During Government Shutdown

 

 

Oct4ober 10, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)-- Sharing the plight of federal workers, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) and 111 other representatives of the House as well as 41 State Senators have decided not to accept their paycheck or are donating them to charity, as reported by CNN.

LA MESA POSTPONES ACTION ON TERM LIMITS, MOVES FORWARD ON CHICKEN ORDINANCE

 

By Alex Riggins

(October 9, 2013 (La Mesa)--The La Mesa City Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday to postpone a decision on whether to place a measure on the November 2014 ballot regarding term limits for the mayor and council members. The item, introduced by Vice Mayor Kristine Alessio, is the first step towards imposing limits on the number of consecutive terms that councilmembers could hold office.

NEW STATE LAW BANS CALIFORNIA FROM COOPERATING WITH FEDS ON INDEFINITE DETENTION

 

 

Sweeping measure also applies to other laws that violate Constitution or state law

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2013 (Sacramento) – In a rare show of bipartisanship, Governor Brown has signed into a law a bill that passed the Legislature almost unanimously.  The measure makes California the third state to nullify provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing indefinite detention of citizens.

However California’s law goes farther, banning state cooperation with federal authorities on enforcement of any federal law that violates the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution or California law.  The bill also prohibits use of state funds for such purposes.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: HOT ISSUES ON THIS WEEK’S AGENDAS IMPACTING EAST COUNTY

 

See what’s on the agendas for city councils in  El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee, and the San Diego Supervisors this week

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)  - Chickens, term limits, renaming a theater, the Castlerock housing project, a regional water plan and a proposal to boost beekeeping in the backcountry are among the hot items impacting East County that will be heard this week.

GOVERNOR VETOES BILL THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED LEGAL RESIDENTS WHO ARE NOT CITIZENS TO SERVE ON JURIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown today vetoed Assembly Bill 1401, which would have allowed permanent lawful residents who are not citizens to serve on juries. 

“Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don’t think that’s right.”

JUDGE CHIDES ISSA FOR HYPOCRISY IN SEEKING EXEMPTIONS FROM SHUT-DOWN

 

October 5, 2013 (San Diego) –San Diego Congressman Issa (R-49) got a scolding from a federal judge after he asked to have a lawsuit that he filed be heard despite a federal shutdown. 

Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Issa’s request, noting that “while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown.”  Issa voted for a controversial spending bill passed by House Republicans that sought to defund the Affordable Care Act, prompting the shutdown after the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to approve the measure.

HOUSE APPROVES RETROACTIVE PAY FOR FEDERAL WORKERS

 

Shut down to cost San Diego region $7 million each week

October 5, 2013 (Washington D.C.) --  By a unanimous vote, the House of Representatives approved back pay to all furloughed federal workers for the full duration of the federal shutdown.  The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223), was approved by the House of Representatives 407-0 during a rare Saturday session.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS COSPONSORS BILL TO PAY BACK FURLOUGHED WORKERS

 

October 2, 2013 (San Diego)--Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to provide retroactive pay to federal workers regardless of their furlough status.  If enacted, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) will ensure that federal employees impacted by the government shutdown receive retroactive pay for the full duration of the federal government shutdown.

The San Diego region is home to more than 45,000 federal workers, many of whom have been placed on furlough status and will not receive back pay without congressional action.

YOUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOW OFFICIALLY SHUT DOWN: WHAT’S IMPACTED AND WHAT’S NOT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Since Congress failed to pass a spending bill by the September 30th deadline, funding stops for many government services.  This occurred because House Republicans are refusing to approve any spending bill to keep the government operating unless it includes taking all funding away from federal healthcare reforms.  Democrats control the Senate, which has refused to approve such a measure and President Obama has said he would veto it even if the Senate passed it.

So how might this impact you or your family?

SUPERVISORS URGE FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO KEEP RAMONA AIRPORT TOWER OPEN AS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LOOMS

 

September 30, 2013 (Ramona) – With the federal government nearing a shutdown, Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Ron Roberts have issued a press statement emphasizing the importance of keeping the Ramona Airport traffic control tower open. The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year targeted the facility – a hub of aerial firefighting operations -- for closure due to sequestration, but extended the funding to October 1.  In recent weeks, the FAA has not publicly disclosed its plans for the tower and the looming shutdown is heightening worries about the facility’s future.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: FROM P.A.C.E. TO PINECONES, THERE'S A LOT THAT'S HOT ON LOCAL AGENDAS THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- This week, we highlight upcoming items on the agendas for the Lemon Grove City Council and tehl Lakeside Community Planning Group.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

From P.A.C.E. to pine cones --Lemon Grove Council and Lakeside Community Planning Group agenda items

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES ZERO FEE FOR MERCHANTS UNDER NEW ALCOHOL SALES ORDINANCE

 

 

Members also vote to shut down red light cameras

By Janis Mork

September 29, 2013 (El Cajon) - At Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, Council unanimously voted to not set a fee on sale of alcohol. The councilmembers also voted 4-1 to permanently remove  the red light cameras, with Mayor Mark Lewis voting against the measure.

First was a resolution on the annual alcohol sales regulatory fee under the new Deemed Approved Alcohol ordinance, which restricts sale of single-serve alcohol containers and cracks down on stores selling to minors or people with a series of alcohol-related arrests.

It’s important we have a zero fee,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick. ”Then it has no effect on businesses that operate legally.”

DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES COUNCILMAN ALVAREZ FOR MAYOR

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 25, 2013 (San Diego)--In a potentially race-changing move, the San Diego County Democratic Party last night voted to endorse Councilmember David Alvarez for San Diego Mayor.

This means two things for the young Councilmember.  The party will now work for him and no other candidate, including walking precincts, phone banking and any mailings to party members.

On the eve of the Democratic Central Committee meeting, Alvarez released this video to tell his story.  Raised in Barrio Logan, he has pledged to support social, economic and environmental justice. A former social worker and political activist, he is married with a young child and a second on the way.

IT'S OFFICIAL: NO MORE RED LIGHT CAMERAS IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2013 (El Cajon) --  El Cajon's City Council has given a green light to getting rid of red light cameras, voting on Tuesday to shut them down permanently.

Back in February, El Cajon’s Council voted to temporarily halt using the city’s 10 Redflex red light cameras while a six month study was conducted to see if there was any impact on safety. The cameras have been covered up since February 27.

SANTEE CITY COUNCIL TO OPEN WITH HINDU MANTRAS FOR FIRST TIME

 

Santee City Council, incorporated in 1980, will reportedly have its first Hindu invocation on September 25, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

HOUSE SPENDING BILL EXTENDS PROTECTIONS FOR MONSANTO

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – A spending bill passed by the House has drawn fire over its efforts to eliminate funds for healthcare reforms. But a less well publicized clause could also pose risks to human health by banning federal courts from stopping sale of genetically modified seeds, preventinglawsuits even if their products cause harmful health effects or harm small farmers, such as by contaminating organic foods.  

The law has been dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by consumer groups and a petition has been launched asking the Senate to eliminate the special interest language protecting the biotech industry at the expense of consumers and small farmers.

Syndicate content