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La Mesa City Council




READER’S EDITORIAL: TERM LIMITS A BAD DEAL FOR LA MESA

By Kristin Kjaero

October 20, 2014 (La Mesa) -- Don’t be fooled by Prop K. La Mesa voters have a term limits proposal for City Council on their ballots, but it’s unnecessary, undemocratic, and won’t work as advertised.

This election we'll have a majority with two years or less experience on our City Council. Yes, you read that correctly: no matter who wins, there will be two new people, plus a third half way through a first term - all without term limits in place.

And although it’s called the “three consecutive terms limit,” Prop K would actually allow candidates to run again after sitting out one 4-year cycle. The only thing it would limit is voters’ choices.

READER'S EDITORIAL: A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

 

The first in a series of essays from No Term Limits in La Mesa to examine the underlying assumptions and principles around term limits, whether they are “needed” or work as claimed, and just what side effects they may bring with  them.

By No Term Limits in La Mesa

September 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--Proponents of term limits claim that term limits are needed because incumbent advantage makes it impossible for a challenger to win. But is this assumption really the case?

LA MESA COUNCIL SNUFFS OUT E-CIGARETTES AS COUNCILWOMAN LIGHTS UP

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2014 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s City Council voted to snuff out electronic cigarettes – prompting one Councilmember to light up in protest.

By a 4-1 vote, the council majority voted to restrict electronic cigarettes in the same manner that cigarettes are already regulated.  The lone no vote came from Councilwoman Kristine Alessio, who lit up an e-cigarette and a standard cigarette to compare the vapor and smoke levels that wafted across the Council Chamber.

LA MESA COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST CELL PHONE BAN FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS DURING MEETINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2014 (La Mesa) - La Mesa’s City Council voted down a proposal by Mayor Art Madrid that would have banned Councilmembers from using their cell phones during public meetings, including closed sessions.  Mayor Madrid argued that since members of the public in the audience are asked to silence their cell phones, council members should, too.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: WHAT'S ON THE AGENDA THIS WEEK IN BOULEVARD AND LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- This week, the hottest meeting in town will be the Boulevard Planning Group, which has a busy agendawith many major items slated for its meeting on Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training/Community Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  View full agenda.

Planners will hold a question and answer session on a new Boulevard Fire Station – and consider whether a moratorium should be requested for new large-scale commercial projects until Boulevard Fire Stations are verifiably staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The agenda also includes major energy projects and some controversial water issues.

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.

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.

LA MESA COUNCIL VOTES TO DEFUND PBID CONSULTANTS, MAY CONSIDER MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT

 

By Janis Mork

September 12, 2013 (La Mesa)- At Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, Council got a status report and update of  a revised and scaled down Planned Business Improvement District (PBID) development plan  from two members of the PBID  Formation Committee, Lynn McRey and Bill Ratan.  Council voted 4-1 to stop funding consulting fees for the faltering PBID effort,  dimming prospects for a PBID in La Mesa’s future. Mayor Art Madrid was the lone dissenting vote.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES INCREASED SEWER SERVICE RATES

 

By Janis Mork and Jake Christie

May 30, 2013 (La Mesa)- La Mesa’s City Council unanimously approved increasing sewer service rates at its May 14 meeting. For the average family, the rate will rise by 7% in each of the next two years. Ironically, citizens' successful effort at conserving water has reduced city revenues--and was among the factors cited by Council to justify the rate hike, which drew strong objections from some residents present.

FEDERAL SEQUESTRATION CUTS HIT HARD IN LA MESA; CITY ELIMINATES MOST PUBLIC SERVICES FOR ELDERLY AND YOUNG PEOPLE

 

March 27, 2013 (La Mesa)—The federal government has slashed Community Development Block Grant funding for La Mesa from $800,000 a few years ago down to just $350,000 this year. As a result, the City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to completely eliminate funds for all public services funded by CDGB, except for fair housing. The cuts fall largely on programs that help the elderly, poor and disabled.

Funds will be axed for the Alzheimer’s Association, East County YMCA Summer Camp, Meals on Wheels of Greater San Diego, San Diego Youth Services, Elder help, Interfaith Shelter Network, Senior Community Centers, and more.

Mayor Art Madrid called the elimination of public services a “tough decision” necessitated by federal sequestration cuts. Sequestration mandates cuts across the board in nearly all federal agencies as a result of Congress failing to reach agreement on how to reduce federal debt and resolve the federal budget.  Democrats sought a combination of revenue increases and budget cuts, while Republicans have blocked such proposals, holding out for cuts-only solutions.

HOMELESSNESS, DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE, AND FILLING VACANCIES ON COMMISSIONS TOP LA MESA COUNCIL AGENDA

 

January 20, 2013 (La Mesa) – La Mesa City Council will hear a presentation Tuesday regarding the San Diego Grantmakers’ Homelessness Working Group’s “Keys to Housing: Ending Family Homelessness Initiative.”  In addition, a status update on construction of the downtown streetscape will be presented.

Also on the agenda are interviews of applicants for city board and commission vacancies, council committee reports, and discussion of council travel policy, among other items.

LA MESA TO HOST TOWN HALL MEETINGS

January 10, 2013 (La Mesa) – In an on-going commitment to communicate with residents, all five members of the La Mesa City Council will host two Town Hall Meetings. The open-forum sessions are scheduled at the following locations:

LAST MINUTE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY POURS INTO LA MESA COUNCIL RACE

By Kristin Kjaero

November 5, 2012 (La Mesa) -- ECM reviewed the October 25 final financial reports before the election, and discovered that special interest money from out of town and out of state has poured into the La Mesa City Council race.

The California Real Estate Committee PAC located in Los Angeles filed an Independent Expenditure Report that showed they spent $30,000 on mailers for Laura Lothian, and had received a $7,716 contribution for a poll from the National Association of Realtors Fund located in Chicago.

ONE STOP SHOP FOR VOTERS: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ELECTION

By Kristin Kjaero

October 10, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Absentee Ballots went out yesterday. Do you have a particular topic that would influence your vote for La Mesa City Council? See what the candidates have said in their own words at candidate Forums.  Topics are organized alphabetically in categories, to make it simple to find what you are looking for.

 

We also provide links to their websites and articles from prior campaigns, for those who want to know more about the candidates themselves and their histories.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: VIDEO OF THE 2ND LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM

 

Forum offers candidates a chance to touch on more topics from Parking in the Village, to the Homeless at the Library, to Global Warming.

 

By Kristin Kjaero

September 29, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The League of Women Voters hosted the second City Council Candidate Forum.

East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words, and we have provided separate video links so you can peruse their responses topic by topic. 

DEVELOPMENT ISSUES DOMINATE LA MESA CANDIDATES’ FORUM

 

Candidates Clash Over Their Visions for City’s Future

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Five candidates for two seats on the La Mesa City Council — Kristine Alessio, Patrick Dean, Laura Lothian, Shannon O’Dunn and 20-year incumbent Ruth Sterling — met September 13 for the first candidates’ forum of the campaign. Held at the La Mesa Community Center on Memorial Drive and sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the 90-minute forum centered mostly around finances and development, specifically around downtown and the La Mesa Village area, but it also touched on issues like the city’s responsibility towards homeless people and whether it should declare itself a fair-trade zone.

LA MESA CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 27

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--The League of Women Voters will sponsor and moderate a candidate forum for La Mesa City Council candidates in the 2012 election. The forum will be held on September 27 from 7 to 9 pm at the La Mesa City Council Chamber.

VIDEO: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM

By Kristin Kjaero

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted the first City Council Candidate Forum, and East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words.

LA MESA APPROVES CITY BUDGET, ENDS CITY FUNDING FOR OKTOBERFEST SECURITY


Councilman Dave Allan announces he will not seek reelection

 

August 10, 2011 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council by a 5-0 vote approved a revised biennial budget. Revisions included a state takeaway of $215,000 in vehicle licensing fees formerly allocated to La Mesa.

READER’S EDITORIAL: TIME TO TRIM TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR LA MESA OFFICIALS

By Scott Kidwell, La Mesa


August 8, 2011 (La Mesa)--Anyone who has ever been to a convention for business purposes, and I have, will likely agree that they can be loaded with seminar after seminar of presentations that will bore you to sleep faster than a handful of tranquilizers. While there can be worthwhile educational purposes I have always suspected, given that the seminar attendance rarely actually totals the overall numbers at the event, attendees go and get a vacation under the banner of legitimate business expense.

 

If it is your company then that is your business to make that decision. However, when public funds are involved should there not be a little more scrutiny?

READER’S EDITORIAL: MORE TAXPAYER-PAID JUNKETS COMING TO LA MESA?

 

By Scott H. Kidwell, La Mesa

 

At the June 14, 2011 La Mesa City Council meeting Mayor Art Madrid moved to remove the city from the East County Economic Development Council and rather use the $5,000 annual membership fee to allow city officials to do more travel to defend city financing at state and federal levels. Time will tell how worthwhile this plan will be.

 

But in as much as the Mayor claims to have not "seen one scintilla of benefit to the city from being a member" of the ECEDC I recommend a couple things to ensure maximum return on this travel investment.

LA MESA COUNCIL TO CONSIDER PUPPY MILL BILL DEC. 14


Store targeted by measure reveals today that it is going out of business

December 1, 2010 (La Mesa) – On December 14 at 4 p.m., La Mesa’s City Council will consider an ordinance proposed by San Diego Stop Puppy Mills. The proposed law would prohibit pet stores from buying dogs from puppy mills and other breeders.

 

Since February 2009, the group has been protesting against Pet Works in Grossmont Center, alleging that the store sells dogs raised in puppy mills with inhumane conditions. Today, East County Magazine contacted Pet Works and learned that the store plans to shut down.

SUSPICIOUS CAMPAIGN MAILER HITS LA MESA MAILBOXES

Legality in question

East County News

Update: A Union-Tribune article here revealed that Peter Cuthbert, 83, admitted responsibility for the mailer, which he says was sent to 15,000 addresses in La Mesa. A less than repentant sounding Cuthbert was quoted, saying, "If I get in trouble for doing this, I'll pay the fine."

EXPANDED ONE-STOP SHOP INFO FOR LA MESA VOTERS

By Kristin Kjaero and Miriam Raftery

 

October 24, 2010 (La Mesa) -- With the election nine days away, ECM offers La Mesa voters this expanded collection of interviews, video clips, debate and news coverage for candidates on their ballots. 

 

 

 

CHURCH INVITES CANDIDATES TO FORUM ON SOCIAL ISSUES

Homelessness, crime, affordable housing, youth and senior issues among topics discussed

By Kristin Kjaero

October 5, 2010 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents got a chance to see a different side of the City candidates last night, when the La Mesa First United Methodist Church invited them to a forum on social issues, in what has become a Church tradition for the last three election cycles.

STANDING ROOM ONLY AT LA MESA CANDIDATE DEBATE

By Kristin Kjaero and Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2010 (La Mesa) -- It was standing room only at the League of Women Voters’ La Mesa Candidates Forum last Wednesday.

East County Magazine was there to videotape for those unable to attend the event. Video links follow at the bottom of this article.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS HOSTS SERIES OF FORUMS ON CANDIDATES AND BALLOT MEASURES

 

September 29, 2010 (San Diego's East County)--The League of Women Voters of East San Diego County is hosting a series of forums about ballot measures, as well as candidates for the La Mesa and El Cajon City Councils, and the Grossmont High School District Board.

 

The series of events are as follows:

LA MESA SPOTLIGHT: CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE KEVIN RYNEARSON

 

Candidate Says he has the Right Chemistry for City Council

By Kristin Kjaero

In Part VII of this series on election races in La Mesa, East County Magazine spotlights City Council candidate Kevin Rynearson. For this series we asked all candidates the same set of questions on local issues, with an open invitation to bring up anything else they would like to discuss at the end of the session. We want each candidate to speak for themselves.

September 27, 2010 (La Mesa) – Kevin Rynearson is a 28-year-old student currently working on his third year defense and PhD in organic chemistry at UCSD, specifically in RNA anti-viral therapies for Hepatitis C. Now he thinks he has the formula to improve La Mesa.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS HOSTS LA MESA CANDIDATE FORUM TONIGHT

Are you voting in the November election on races for La Mesa Mayor and City Council?

 

Be an informed voter!

 

September 29, 2010 (La Mesa) -- Come to the League of Women Voters La Mesa Candidate Forum tonight, September 29, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the La Mesa City Council Chambers, 8130 Allison Avenue, La Mesa CA 91942.

LA MESA SPOTLIGHT: INCUMBENT COUNCILMAN MARK ARAPOSTATHIS

A Lifetime of Learning the City from the Inside Out

By Kristin Kjaero

In Part VI of this series on election races in La Mesa, East County Magazine spotlights Incumbent City Councilmember Mark Arapostathis. For this series we asked all candidates the same set of questions on local issues, with an open invitation to bring up anything else they would like to discuss at the end of the session.

 

September 26, 2010 (La Mesa) -- Incumbent Councilman Mark Arapostathis, 43, is a hometown boy and local teacher who knows the city from the inside out. He was born and raised in La Mesa, went to Lemon Avenue Elementary, La Mesa Middle School and Helix High School, earned his B.A., M.A. and PhD in education locally, and has spent his entire career teaching since 1991 in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. He currently teaches second grade at Rolando Elementary School.

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