Mark Arapostathis

2016 LOCAL HEROES HAVE THEIR OWN RED CARPET MOMENT

 

East County News Service

March 2, 2016 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce held its 8th annual Salute to Local Heroes on Wednesday, February 24th at the Town & Country Hotel--and celebrated its own group of “Oscar” winners with a Mardi Gras themed event.

FULL HOUSE TURNS OUT TO HEAR MAYOR AT LA MESA CONVERSATIONS

Next events: The town library – Nov. 18, holiday mixer Dec. 3

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2015 (La Mesa) – A packed crowd turned out at Johnny B’s restaurant in La Mesa last month for a mixer hosted by La Mesa Conversations.

Mayor Mark Arapostathis spoke on Oktoberfest,  which this year was scaled back to two days with fewer vendors but more emphasis on the festival’s German roots.  This Oktoberfest was run by the La Mesa Village Merchants Association, without the Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor addressed how Oktoberfest has changed through the years, reminiscing about past festivals and how the changes have impacted the community and local merchants.

A representantative from the merchants' group also have a preview of upcoming events including Christmas in the Village, a grand reopening of the downtown streets and the centennial legacy project unveiling.

MAYOR ARAPOSTATHIS TO SPEAK THURSDAY AT JOHNNY B’S FOR LA MESA CONVERSATIONS MIXER

 

 

East County News Service

October 20, 2015 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis will be the special guest speaker at a no-host social mixer to speak on La Mesa’s Oktoberfest.  He will also be available to chat with guests afterword on topics of interest.

The event, hosted by La Mesa Conservations, will be held Thursday, October 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Johnny B’s Burgers, Brew & Spirits, 8393 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa.

CONDITIONS MUST BE MET BEFORE LA MESA OKTOBERFEST PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED

Concerns raised over merchants group's solvency and credibility during heated hearing

By Kristin Kjaero

August 3, 2015 (La Mesa) – Whether or not there will be an Oktoberfest 2015 is in the hands of the La Mesa Village Merchants Association (LMVMA).

On Tuesday, the Council voted 4-1 to grant conditional approval for this year’s Oktoberfest, with Council member Ruth Sterling voting against. The deal requires the LMVMA to pay all outstanding debt plus a 25% security deposit and meet a scheduled list of new requirements giving the City oversight of LMVMA’s outside contracts for the event, before an Oktoberfest permit will be issued.

If all deadlines are met, Oktoberfest 2015 will be smaller and shorter: two days instead of three, closing an hour earlier, and held only in the downtown area east side of Spring Street. However, if any deadline is not met, Oktoberfest will be automatically cancelled with no further Council action required--and no refunds.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD FOR LA MESA OKTOBERFEST 2015

Debt from 2014 leaves future wide open

 

Photo: Councilmember Ruth Sterling states, "I feel for the Merchants, I feel for the situation, believe me I do, but when you have the money and you know you owe the money, you’ve got to get your priorities straight. I would say the same thing to my children, if they got the rent to pay and they’ve got other things to pay. You get your priorities straight and pay the rent, or you’re going to be out on the street."

 

By Kristin Kjaero

May 30, 2015 (La Mesa) – The operation of this year’s Oktoberfest is up in the air, with the door open for a new organizer to potentially take over. Last week, the city of La Mesa received an application from the La Mesa Village Merchants Association for the 2015 Oktoberfest, but the Merchants’ group still owes the city $37,229 for past events including last year’s Oktoberfest.  Without ruling on the application directly, the city added a phrase to its special event application policy that empowers the City Manager with discretion to pre-qualify and negotiate with applicants.

 The Merchants Association proposed to pay both its past debts and future costs by taking over the entire event without the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s participation, combined with a request asking the Council  to roll back cost recovery to 50%. The Merchants group also promised to place future proceeds from 2015 into an escrow account so the City would be the first paid from future event revenues. 2015 Car Show series, funded annually by Oktoberfest profits, was also cancelled last week by the Merchants.

This isn’t the first time that the Merchants Association’s finances have led to a change in the way the City processes applications for special events.

ARAPOSTATHIS DEFEATS LA MESA MAYOR ART MADRID, BABER & MCWHIRTER WIN COUNCIL RACES

 

Photo, left: Baber and McWhirter's victory party at Tiramisu Trattoria in La Mesa

 

Republicans, developer-backed candidates in Council race

Updated November 5, 2014 (La Mesa) - Mayor Art Madrid, who has led La Mesa for the past 24 years, has been unseated by Councilman and teacher Mark Arapostathis.  With 100% of precincts counted, Arapostathis has received 58.8% of the vote to Madrid's 41.11%.

MUD FLIES IN LA MESA MAYORAL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2014 (La Mesa)—The campaign for La Mesa’s Mayoral race has turned negative.  Mayor Art Madrid’s campaign committee has sent a mailer to voters titled “The Real `Dr. A’ regarding his opponent, Councilman Mark Arapostathis. 

Arapostathis has responded with a detailed e-mail to East County Magazine saying the claims are untrue and “intended to deceive.” He added that La Mesa residents are “sick and tired of negative politics; that is why we need to change.”

WHO WILL BE LA MESA’S MAYOR?

 

Key issue: Does the city need a full-time mayor, or can the job be done part-time?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mayor Art Madrid (left) and Councilman Mark Arapostathis (right)

October 15, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s mayoral race is shaping up to be one of the hottest political contests in East County this election season, with two long-time community leaders vying for the city’s top job.  Both are long-time La Mesa residents with extensive experience in politics and community service. East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with both candidates to talk about their records, their views on leadership, and their visions for La Mesa.

MARK ARAPOSTATHIS, “DR. A” AIMS TO BRING “POSITIVE” ATTITUDE TO MAYORAL JOB IN LA MESA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15,2014 (La Mesa) – Councilman Mark Arapostathis, twice named Teacher of the Year (by the County and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District), says a lesson he’s taught his students for 23 years is to always “be positive.”  He’s running against long-serving Mayor Art Madrid and says that if elected, he wants to bring “greater unity to the Council, which has been a bit divided.”  He holds a PhD degree and also heads up the Peter Pan Jr. Theater and C. Hook Theatre programs. 

He’s served on the La Mesa City Council for eight years.  Now with a term limits initiative on the ballot, he observes, “My window of opportunity may close” to run for mayor, since passage of the measure would limit the ability of long-serving council members to later run for mayor.

LA MESANS MEET CANDIDATES AT CHAMBER DEBATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Mayoral candidate Mark Arapostathis and Mayor Art Madrid (top); City Council candidates (left to right) Bill Baber, Patrick Dean, Mary England, Pete Gregorovic, Guy McWhirter

September 25, 2014 (La Mesa)—Candidates  for La Mesa’s mayoral and city council races made their cases to voters at a forum held by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce last week, tackling issues ranging from future development to public safety, pensions, and homelessness. 

Art Madrid, who has served as La Mesa’s Mayor for over 24 years, faces a challenge from Councilmember/teacher Mark Arapostathis.  Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the La Mesa Council. They are Bill Baber, an attorney and La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member; Patrick Dean, a chef and member of  La Mesa’s Community Services Commission; Mary England, president of La Mesa Chamber of Commerce;  Pete Gregorovic, a business attorney and youth sports leader; and Guy McWhirter, an insurance agent.

For key points made by each candidate, as well as links to video opening statements and raw audio of the debate, click "read more" and scroll down.

MAYOR MADRID LAUNCHES REELECTION CAMPAIGN, RUNS ON RECORD OF SUCCESS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2014 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid held a press conference yesterday, flanked by his supporters,  to formally launch his reelection campaign.  “I pledge that the city will continue to be properly managed and that I will vigorously protect its character and heritage,” said Mayor Madrid.  He cited successes under his leadership during his 24-year tenure as Mayor and his 10 years previously on the City Council, as well as a decade serving on civic boards and commissions.

“In 1990 when I was elected Mayor, my commitment then was to help make La Mesa the best community in the region in which to live and raise a family,” said the Mayor, adding that his leadership, collaborative governance and management skills have helped fulfill that dream.  “I’ve led the transformation of la Mesa into a vibrant, proactive and inclusive community that continues to attract new families and businesses to our city.”

LA MESA RACES HEAT UP : ARAPOSTATHIS TO CHALLENGE MADRID FOR MAYOR

 

Ewin to step down, leaving two vacancies to fill on Council

By Miriam Raftery

April 6, 2014 (La Mesa) – The filing deadline isn’t until  August for La Mesa’s city council and mayoral races.  But at least two candidates have already declared their intention to vie for Mayor.  Art Madrid announced on East County Magazine’s radio show that he is seeking reelection. Listen to interview here.  Councilman Mark Arpostathis held a press conference to announce he plans to challenge Mayor Madrid. View video of his announcement here.

Whether Aropstathis wins or loses the mayoral challenge, it will open up his seat on the city council.  In addition, long-serving Councilman Ernie Ewin announced this week that he will not seek reelection and has further indicated he will not run for mayor, San Diego Rostra reported. That leaves two open seats on La Mesa’s  council –and a potential shift in the balance of power and priorities for La Mesa.

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.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THE SHAME OF LA MESA--COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST FAIR TRADE, BOWS TO CORPORATE INTERESTS OVER HELPING PEOPLE


“The City, on its own website, already supports many initiatives that show preference to some businesses over others—and rightly so, to promote the public good… Where were the so-called pro-life members of the council last night? Why, casting their votes on behalf of companies represented by an out-of-town Chamber of Commerce instead of showing compassion for unborn babies, children and families.”
 

By Meg Jensen
 

October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council fell one vote short last night of joining major cities and small towns across America in becoming a “Fair Trade Towns USA” city. The resolution would not have cost the city a penny. It would, however, have enabled consumers to have information on retailers in La Mesa who have voluntarily agreed to carry at least two fair trade products certified to have been made without the use of child labor, slavery, or use of dangerous chemicals that harm workers and their unborn children.

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.

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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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