El Cajon City Council

TRANSCRIPT OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM: POLICE ISSUES, ECONOMY, MARIJUANA AND MORE SPARK HEATED CONVERSATIONS

 

Transcription by Jonathan Goetz

October 18, 2016 (El Cajon) - Seven candidates vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council participated in a lively forum at Grossmont College on October 5th:  Stephanie Harper, Ben Kalasho, Hubert Cabrera, Steve Goble, George Glover, Joseph Fountain and Vikie Butcher.  Incumbents Bob McClellan and Star Bales, along with challenger Paul Circo, declined to participate citing travel and scheduling conflicts.

Topics included the police shooting, building a new animal shelter, reopening the performing arts center, sales tax in El Cajon, marijuana regulation, strengthening our community and improving police relations with minorities, poverty and unemployment.

Each candidate had one minute to respond to questions  from  moderators Miriam Raftery of the East County Magazine,  Karen Pearlman from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Albert Fulcher from the East County Californian, and  Marya Fani from  Mega Network, followed by audience questions.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS FROM PUBLIC ON POLICE SHOOTING

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery contributed to this story.

October 13, 2016 (El Cajon) — During public comment at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, residents voiced a range of opinions on the recent police shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly suffering a mental health crisis when an officer advanced on him, gun drawn, then fired after Olango drew a vaping device resembling a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at the officer.

Here are highlights of public comments on the shooting:

7 EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATES WILL BE AT TONIGHT'S JOURNALISM FORUM AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2016  (El Cajon) –El Cajon residents are invited to attend a Journalism  Forum featuring candidates running for the  El Cajon City Council.  The forum, co-moderated by journalists from four major media outlets, will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grossmont College at Griffin Gate in Griffin Center. (See map.)

Bring your questions, meet the candidates and hear their ideas and goals for El Cajon.

The moderators will be: Miriam Raftery,  editor of East County Magazine, Karen Pearlman, reporter for the San Diego-Union Tribune, Albert  Fulcher,  editor of the East County Californian, and Marya Fani, broadcast journalist at Mega Network. 

LINCOLN CLUB ENDORSES IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE 2016

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

Photo: Council members Star Bales and Bob McClellan, Sept. 27, 2016

October 4, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The Lincoln Club, a conservative San Diego pro-business lobbying group that favors small government and low taxes, according to its website, has endorsed three candidates in the El Cajon City Council race. They are six-term Councilmember Bob McClellan, a retired car dealer, Councilmember Star Bales, who formerly served on the city’s Planning Commission and the El Cajon Arts and Culture Commission, and former Planning Commissioner Paul Circo.

A DIVERSE FIELD OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Ten candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three City Council seats in El Cajon. Councilmember Tony Ambrose has chosen not to run for re-election, which means the Council will see at least one new face after the November 8 election.   

The candidates reflect the growing diversity in El Cajon, including Latino, African-American, and Middle Eastern candidates.  Though the race is nonpartisan, the list includes several prominent Democratic and Republican community leaders , five with party endorsements,  as well as lesser known challengers-- all vying to pick up an open seat or unseat one of two incumbents on the Council.

IT’S OFFICIAL: 10 CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — Planners, business and marketing leaders, a teacher, a restaurant partner, and a mother/ex-deejay are among the ten candidates who have qualified for the ballot to run El Cajon’s City Council in November, the city clerk confirms.

IT’S OFFICIAL: EL CAjON COUNCIL VOTES TO PUT DISTRICT ELECTIONS ON THE BALLOT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council voted 4-0 (with Councilman Bob McClellan absent) on Tuesday, August 9, to put district elections on the ballot.

If approved by voters in the November 8, 2016 election, districts will be finalized in 2017 and utilized from 2018 forward.

Mayor Bill Wells first directed staff to look into the issue back on July 14, 2015. He was concerned that numerous state and federal Voting Rights Act lawsuits have forced similar sized cities and jurisdictions to switch from at-large seats to district elections.

You can read questions and answers from a public forum here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/22153

The question on the ballot will read:

Do you approve amending Section 201 of the City of EI Cajon Charter to require election of City Council members by geographic districts in which they reside beginning with the general municipal election to be held in 2018?

The full text is as follows:

6 CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL—BUT DEADLINE MAY BE EXTENDED IF COUNCILMAN AMBROSE DOESN’T FILE BY THURSDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 10, 2016 (El Cajon) – Three seats are up for election on the El Cajon Council. All are currently held by incumbents.  Council members Bob McClellan and Star Bales have filed to run for reelection and qualified to appear on the ballot, according to Monica Zech, the city’s public information officer.  But so far, Councilman Tony Ambrose has not.

EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP FOR EL CAJON DISTRICT ELECTION PROCESS DRAWS A CROWD

 

By Janis Russell

August 5, 2016 (El Cajon) - Yesterday evening, the City of El Cajon held an educational workshop at Lexington Elementary School. It was for the public to attend and get information on the district election process that the city’s voters will get to vote on this November. The voters will vote to either approve and change to district election, or vote to not approve it. The district election would be for the El Cajon City Council.

EL CAJON SETS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS AUG. 4

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A city-sponsored measure is being proposed for the November 2016 general municipal election. If approved by voters, it would amend El Cajon’s City Charter to establish district elections for City Council seats beginning in 2018.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO ACCEPT ECPAC BIDS, HEARS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON HOMELESS PROGRAMS

 

Council also heard reports on the district election process and new animal care facility 

By Janis Russell

Photo: assistant city manager Majed Al-Ghafry

July 27, 2016 (El Cajon) - At yesterday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, council members heard more about the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) bids and comments on East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC). They also got updates on the new animal care facility and the district election process. Councilmember Bob McClellan was absent.

MIXING AND MINGLING WITH LOCAL ELECTORAL CANDIDATES AT POLITICS IN PARADISE

 

By Janis Russell

July 4, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) - The East County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ‘Politics in Paradise’ at the Water Conservation Garden on July 1st. This year, instead of a panel of speakers, the public got to mix and mingle with the local candidates. Then, throughout the night, candidates came up in three different groups to introduce themselves and explain why they’re running.

EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY POSITIONS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 8, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for Commissions as listed below. The filing period ends January 14, 2016, at 5:30 p.m.  Applicants will be interviewed and appointed on January 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon, CA 92020.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS BUZZ OVER BEEKEEPING PROPOSAL, SDG&E ELECTRIC VEHICLE GRID PLAN, AND ABATEMENT OF SUBSTANDARD HOUSING

 

 

By Janis Russell

Photo: ECPD Chief Jeff Davis is sworn in.

December 13, 2015 (El Cajon)-El Cajon’s City Council had a busy agenda last Tuesday, including the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), SDG&E’s  plan for vehicle grid integration, a beekeeping buzz, and issues faced by residents ranging from a home overrun by rabbits to a residence where residents were displaced due to flooding and a collapsed roof.  The City also swore in a new Police Chief and appointed a new Interim Mayor.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO OUTSOURCE CUSTODIAL SERVICES

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted this week to outsource custodial services at all 22 city facilities to NMS Management, Inc.  The move is expected to save the city $350,000 to $400,000 a year.

EL CAJON HEARS VIEWS ON ECPAC PARTNERSHIP WITH ROCK CHURCH

 

Council also adopts fees for second-hand shops

By Janis Russell

September 10, 2014 (El Cajon)- At yesterday’s El Cajon City Council meeting,  many people expressed their views once again on the city’s proposed long-term lease of East County Performing Arts Center to Rock Church—with the majority present opposed to the deal.

PROTEST PLANNED THURSDAY OVER MEGA-CHURCH PLAN TO LEASE ECPAC; LEGAL ACTION TO HALT DEAL THREATENED IF CITY PROCEEDS

 

 

City rejected earlier proposal by citizens' group

Theater managers speak out, object to City's actions, CityBeat reports

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2014 (El Cajon) – Citizens Oversight Panels (COPS) is organizing a rally tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. outside the East County Performing Arts Center at 210 East Main Street in El Cajonon to protest a proposed partnership between the City of El Cajon and Rock Church to lease the theater. 

“We will be delivering a 30-plus page letter spelling out the legal case against the city should they go ahead with their plans to lease this public theater to the Rock Church, which is clearly unconstitutional,” says Ray Lutz, founder of COPS, on a Facebook page for the event. “Come and support the reopening of ECPAC as a performing arts and entertainment center and not as the new location for a mega church.”

TWO RESIDENTS SELECTED FOR EL CAJON VETERANS' COMMISSION

 

August 14, 2014 (El Cajon)--The El Cajon City Council has filled two vacancies on the City of El Cajon Veterans’ Commission. During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the City Council selected Leo P. Dano and George V. Glover.  Mr. Dano is a United States Army veteran and his term on the commission expires on January 31, 2017.  Mr. Glover is a veteran member of the United States Coast Guard and his term expires on January 31, 2015.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD WITH PARTICIPATION IN EAST COUNTY REGIONAL WATER REUSE STUDY

 

Council also approves changes to fee schedules

By Janis Russell

July 30, 2014 (El Cajon)- Following an administrative hearing last week, El Cajon City Council voted unanimously to participate in the East County regional water reuse study.

JIMMIE JOHNSON DAY ESTABLISHED IN EL CAJON

                    

 

By David Dickens

Photo, left by Randy Jordan: Mayor Bill Wells presents proclamation to Jimmie Johnson

 

June 17, 2014 (El Cajon)-- On this beautiful day in downtown El Cajon,  friends, family, fans, and promoters gathered to pay honor to NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO FUND SAN DIEGO YOUTH CHOIR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2014 (El Cajon) – By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council on Tuesday voted to grant $10,000 to fund the San Diego Youth Choir, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community youth choir based in El Cajon. The group’s mission statement is to empower young leaders through musical excellence.  It’s mantra is “Empowering San Diego County youth, one note at a time.”

“What it really is, is an investment in children’s future,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine. “$10,000 today could save us $100,000 tomorrow in police costs and property crimes.”  He added that performing together also builds self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment, as well as forging bonds that can last a lifetime.  “My son still has close friendships in Hollywood that started when he was in Christian Youth Theater in San Diego,” Kendrick recalled.

 The San Diego Youth Choir (www.youthchoirsd.org) aims to be housed in a central location in El Cajon with state of the art rehearsal space, practice rooms, dance rooms, and a recording studio.

CANDIDATES FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL REFLECT DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND VIEWS

Photo:  Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council.  This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting.  The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED THROUGH DECEMBER 4 FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL OPENING

 

December 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the El Cajon City Council.   The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m. and applications are available at the city’s website. 

To be eligible, you must be a resident and a registered voter when you apply and throughout your term of office.  The seat is open to fill the vacancy left when Councilman Bill Wells was appointed Mayor, after former Mayor Mark Lewis resigned.

ALCOHOL ORDINANCE ON EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA FOR AUGUST 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Council will consider an ordinance to restrict alcohol sales at its next meeting on August 27.

The law aims to restrict sales of single-serve alcohol containers to individuals with repeated arrests for alcohol-related offenses.  The law would not affect restaurants or bars.  It would restrict sales at future stores and would also require current stores to comply with the law. 

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST ADDING SEWER SERVICE CHARGES ON TAX BILL

 

By Janis Mork

 July 25, 2013 (El Cajon)- At the July 9 El Cajon City Council meeting, Council voted against putting sewer service charges on the property tax bill after 168 residents objected to the proposal.

Dennis Davies, Deputy Director of Public Works, informed Council of the proposal to take sewer bi-monthly bills (six times a year) and include those charges with the property tax bill.

QUIETER STREETS? IT'S ALL PART OF NEW PAVING IN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- This past Tuesday, Michael Griffiths from the El Cajon Public Works Department gave a PowerPoint presentation to El Cajon City Council about the pavement maintenance program underway since 2006 and set for completion in 2014. City Manager Doug Williford stated that this program affects businesses and residents.

Before Griffiths began, he acknowledged junior engineer Katie Odiorne, who put the PowerPoint slides together. First, he presented a scale of old to new street pavings from 1-100.

WELLS, AMBROSE WIN REELECTION IN EL CAJON; MCCLELLAN LEADS KALASHO BY SLIM MARGIN

November 7, 2012 (El Cajon )—In one of the few victories for local conservatives thus far in the November 2012 elecitons, Councilmembers Tony Ambrose and Bill Wells have won reelection to the El Cajon City Council with 18.25% and 16.26% of the vote in the 8-person field. Councilman Bob McClellan is the likely victor in the third seat, with a narrow edge over challenger Ben Kalasho, 14.95% to 13.95%.

COUNCILMAN WELLS MAKES HIS CASE FOR RE-ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2012 (El Cajon)—Councilman Bill Wells, a conservative who staunchly opposes new taxes and led efforts for El Cajon to become a charter city, seeks reelection to the El Cajon Council.  He is one of seven candidates in the hotly contested race. 

In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, Councilman Wells discusses his accomplishments and plans for the future.

RACISM AND DIRTY POLITICS IN EL CAJON COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2012 (El Cajon)—Three challengers running for office in the El Cajon Council race have made allegations including sign-stealing, racism and pressure on local merchants to back incumbents and suppress messages from other candidates.

On September 25, John Gibson with the Hamann Companies, a backer of  incumbents Bill Wells and Tony Ambrose,  made racially-charged remarks  about Iraqi Chaldean candidate Ben Kalasho in a City Council meeting.  The comments came after the Kalasho campaign accused Gibson, along with an incumbent Councilman, of involvement in removing and defacing Kalasho campaign signs.

EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATE CHRIS SHAMOON WANTS TO MAKE JOBS, EDUCATION AND HEALTHY COMMUNITIES HIS PRIORITIES

By Miriam Raftery

“Fix the poverty rate and schools, then long term we will have a great city.” – Chris Shamoon

October 2, 2012 (El Cajon )—Chris Shamoon has big dreams for El Cajon. A successful business owner and recent law school graduate, Shamoon says he was approached by local business owners to run for El Cajon City Council. His platform extends far beyond the business community, as he seeks to represent needs of all people in the city—and tackle head-on the root causes of poverty, health and education problems dismissed by some candidates as unsolvable or not the role of the city to address.

Shamoon, one of seven candidates vying for three seats on the Council, shared his vision in an exclusive interview with ECM.

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