Colin Parent

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL PLANS FOR SPECIAL ELECTION TO REPLACE DR. WEBER

By Alexa Oslowski

May 31, 2021 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa City Council is on track to fill  Dr. Akilah Weber’s former seat with a special election, but the date remains uncertain. The vacancy occurred after Dr. Weber won a special election to the state Assembly, filling a vacancy left when her mother, Shirley Weber PhD, was appointed Secretary of State.

The Council has until a June 18 deadline to announce an appointment process or call for an election, under the city charter. But on April 27, the Council meeting ended in no decision after a 2-2 vote, with Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Councilman Bill Baber in favor of an election and Councilmen Jack Shu and Colin Parent in favor of an appointment.  So the Council agreed to postpone its decision until the May 11 Council meeting.

On May 11, a still divided Council agreed to monitor the California Secretary of State's office for announcements of the recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom, since a special election for Dr. Weber’s seat would be less costly if timed to coincide with the statewide recall race and should also generate higher voter turnout.

SAN DIEGO SKY GONDOLA TO SOAR INTO EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Skye Ryder

Image:  Artist's rendering of a reimagined Chase Bank in La Mesa, topped by a Sky tram station.

April 1, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Sky rides at the San Diego Zoo and Sea World are among the most popular attractions for visitors. Now an aerial gondola adventure is coming to East County.

The idea is a joint proposal by East County’s newly elected Supervisor Joel Anderson and La Mesa City Councilman Colin Parent, also a spokesman for Circulate San Diego, which promotes advancing mobility choices for communities across our region.

Back in 2017, then-County Supervisor Ron Roberts suggested expanding the ride to downtown San Diego.  Roberts said,  “I was looking at the zoo ride, and I was thinking, ‘You know what, if we just kept going across the freeway to Sixth Avenue and went downtown.’ That would be fun.”

The current board of Supervisors is now embracing that concept – and carrying it a step further. (Read more)

PARENT, SHU LEAD IN LA MESA CITY COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: left to right: Allan Durden, Colin Parent, Mark Papenfuss, Kristine Alessio, Jack Shu, Laura Lothian

November 3, 2020 (La Mesa) – Councilman Colin Parent and Jack Shu, both endorsed by the Democratic Party, are leading in the La Mesa City Council race with 25.15% and 24.76% respectively in a field of six candidates with two seats up for grabs.  If the current lead holds, incumbent Kristine Alessio may lose her seat.

While some feared an anti-incumbent backlash in the wake of the May 30 riot, that does not appear to have impacted the leaders in this race.  However, both Parent and Shu supported formation of La Mesa’s Citizens Police Oversight Board and a citizens advisory committee on homelessness. Parent appears to have weathered controversy over developer donations over a proposed homeless shelter that was later withdrawn by the county. 

Shu told ECM, ""The early results look very good but I'm waiting for more ballots to be counted before presuming anything.  However, there is a clear message that La Mesa is ready for positive change. I'd like to thank the community for the tremendous outpouring of support we've received and my campaign team and volunteers who did a phenomenal job."

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA CANNOT TRUST COLIN PARENT

By Aaron Amerling

 

October 29, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Over the past four years, it has become apparent that the citizens of La Mesa can not trust Colin Parent to do what is in the community's best interest, and only what’s in his personal or donor’s best interests.

COUNCILMAN PARENT LOSES POLICE UNION ENDORSEMENT AFTER VOTE FOR POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD, ALSO DRAWS SCRUTINY OVER DONATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Officers Association (LMPOA) announced yesterday that it has withdrawn its endorsement of Councilman Colin Parent.  The LMPOA cites several reasons for its withdrawal, which was announced the day after Parent cast the deciding vote on a 3-2 Council decision to establish a police oversight board.  Parent joined with Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Councilmember Akilah Weber to pass the measure over the objections of the LMPOA, which had requested the ordinance first go through a meet-and-confer process so that the officers’ union could request changes.

The two Councilmembers who voted against the police oversight board,  Kristine Alessio and Bill Baber, have both been endorsed by the LMPOA previously.

Officially, the LMPOA offered these reasons for withdrawing its endorsement of Councilman Parent.  “Ever since he aggressively sought and received our endorsement earlier this year, Councilmember Parent has become untrustworthy and unreliable. Whether it was his lack of transparency with the citizens of La Mesa regarding the homeless housing facility, or his broken commitment to protect the rights of workers, we can no longer in good conscience continue to recommend to the citizens of La Mesa that Colin Parent deserves your vote.”

HIGHLIGHTS AND VIDEOS OF ALL SIX LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

 

 

Updated with highlights from all three participating candidates' statements during the forum, plus links to interviews with three other candidates who were not available for the forum.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: left to right: Allan Durden, Colin Parent, Mark Papenfuss, Kristine Alessio, Jack Shu, Laura Lothian

October 11, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At East County Magazine's recent virtual forum for La Mesa City Council candidates, candidates offered their ideas for addressing the compelling issues facing the city including police/racial justice/public safety issues in the wake of protests and a riot, downtown redevelopment, housing, homelessness, budget priorities, COVID-19 relief and more.

Three of the six candidates running participated in the forum: Councilman Colin Parent, as well as challengers Allan Durden and Jack Shu.

To view video of candidate forum, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH6GkbU9ayo&t=3085s

To read highlights of the forum, and more information on all candidates, scroll down.

Three other candidates were unable to participate in the forum due to schedule conflicts, but provided separate video interviews via Zoom, which are posted below, along with highlights of their statements:

NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR CIRCULATE SAN DIEGO'S 2020 MOMENTUM AWARDS

 

By Colin Parent, Circulate San Diego

September 14, 2020 (San Diego) – Circulate San Diego announced today the 2020 nominees for their annual Momentum Awards. The nominees are listed below.

Circulate San Diego’s Momentum Awards recognize the people and projects in the San Diego region that are creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods. This year’s awards also include a special category for COVID-19 Innovation, to highlight the efforts made to transform streets and policies during the ongoing pandemic.

The 2020 Momentum Awards will be online-only on October 1st, at 5:30 p.m. Attendance is free, but registration is required to receive information for how to participate in the event. Registration and event details are online at http://www.circulatesd.org/gala2020.

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES TO APPEAR IN VIRTUAL CANDIDATE FORUM THURSDAY, SEPT. 3

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: La Mesa City Council candidates Allan Durden, Colin Parent, Mark Papenfuss, Kristine Alessio, Jack Shu, and Laura Lothian.  Four of the six candidates have agreed to participate.

August 29, 2020 (La Mesa) – Six candidates are vying for two seats on the La Mesa City Council. East County Magazine invited all candidates to participate in a candidate forum this Thursday, September 3 at 7 p.m. Have a question for the candidates?  You can send it to editor@eastcountymagazine.org by 12 noon on Thursday.

Four of the six candidates have confirmed they will participate.  Shown in the photo above, they are Allan Durden, Mark Papenfuss, Councilman Colin Parent, and Jack Shu.  Councilmember Kristine Alessio and Laura Lothian are not available but agreed to do an interview with ECM via Zoom, which we will post when completed.

The forum, held virtually via Zoom due to COVID-19,  will be live-streamed on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine   Video will also be recorded and posted at www.EastCountyMagazine.org after the forum. We thank the #FacebookJournalismProject for supporting our virtual candidate forums during the pandemic.

Below is information on all candidates running, listed in alphabetical order:

REPORT URGING ACTION ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING RELEASED

Source: Circulate San Diego
 
February 1, 2020 (San Diego) – Supervisor Nathan Fletcher (photo, center) and affordable housing advocates joined Circulate San Diego for the release of “Fair Share,” Circulate’s report that details how San Diego is not receiving its fair share of affordable housing and transportation funds.
 
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program is a state grant program that funds the construction of affordable housing and transportation projects that address San Diego’s homelessness and housing crisis, and greenhouse gas reductions goals. Unfortunately, the San Diego region received $14 million less than it would if it had won grant funding proportionate with the County’s share of California’s population in the last grant cycle alone.
 
“As this report makes clear, we need to move together as a region to make San Diego more competitive for funding that can lower housing costs, reduce traffic congestion, address climate change - all while building a San Diego for all” said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

TALKING TRANSPORTATION: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH COLIN PARENT AND KRISTINE ALESSIO

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2019 (La Mesa)  The future of transportation has sparked debate across our region. SANDAG and MTS are both moving forward on goals to boost transit access with options such as better trolley and bus service with high-speed rail as a long range option.

But what about reducing traffic gridlock and meeting transportation needs of residents in areas that currently lack adequate transit options?  Should building massive housnig projects in the backcountry that add to traffic gridlock be curtailed? 

Recently,  East County Magazine’s radio show interviewed La Mesa Councilmembers and attorneys Colin Parent and Kristine Alessio on transit issues. Parent  is director of Circulate San Diego and Alessio is the Vice Chair of SANDAG’s regional planning committee.  

Click here to hear our full interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

A GREEN FUTURE DAWNS IN LA MESA: COUNCIL VOTES TO OFFER A COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY OPTION FOR RESIDENTS, JOINING SAN DIEGO AND CHULA VISTA

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2019 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Council members voted unanimously 5-0 on August 13th for a landmark agreement to form a joint powers agreement (JPA) with the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista to create a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and give La Mesa residents an alternative to SDG&E for purchasing power.

La Mesa Vice Mayor William “Bill” Baber was on the subcommittee leading the efforts on this matter. “With this vote, La Mesa took another step forward on the path to 100% clean energy!” Baber told ECM via e-mail.

CALAWARE ATTORNEY: COUNCILMAN PARENT SHOULD RECUSE FROM VOTING ON FARMER’S MARKET

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2019 (La Mesa) – An attorney with Californians Aware (CalAware), an organization that protects the public’s rights in open government matters, has advised ECM that Councilman Colin Parent should likely recuse himself from tonight’s vote on the La Mesa Farmer’s Market for showing bias prior to public testimony.

Four applicants have submitted applicants. Three would keep the market downtown and one, Grossmont Center, would move it to the regional shopping mall.

ECM sought Calaware's opinion after Councilman Parent posted a notice on the NextDoor forum urging residents to email a form letter to fellow councilmembers asking that the farmer’s market be kept downtown. A resident sent us a reader’s editorial and a letter to the full Council and  City Manager complaining of bias.  

Parent also sent a media advisory announcing a press conference to be held at 5 p.m., before tonight’s meeting, which he plans to hold with Brian Beevers, who currently operates the farmer’s market along with the La Mesa Village Association. The media notification states,  “ Both support the current location and date of the Farmer’s Market.”

LA MESA CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO MOVE FARMER’S MARKET TO DOWNTOWN VILLAGE

 

 

 

Updated with revised start date of May 5th for the Farmer's Market

 By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 March 30, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa residents will soon be able to stroll the heart of the downtown village to shop for fresh produce, crafts and other items on Friday afternoons and evenings.  The  La Mesa City Council voted 4-1 at Tuesday’s meeting to move the Farmer’s Market to the downtown village on a six-month trial basis.  It will be run by the La Mesa Village Association instead of the city as a special event each Friday  from 3 to 7 p.m. starting May 5th, with street closures from 1 to 8 .p.m.

 The change has drawn support from many shoppers and some businesses, but has also engendered opposition from restaurants concerned about losing regular patrons on their busiest night of the week and neighbors with noise and parking concerns.

 The new market is projected to be approximately double in size of the current Friday night farmer’s market near the civic center, which must  ultimately move due to redevelopment plans.

LA MESA COUNCILMAN PARENT NAMED INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CIRCULATE SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

July 18, 2017 (La Mesa) – Circulate San Diego has announced that Colin Parent will serve as the organization’s interim executive director, filling the void left by departure of former executive director Jim Stone, who is joining the Elementary Institute of Science.. Parent also serves as an elected member of the La Mesa City Council.

Circulate San Diego is a nonprofit organization that  works to promote public transportation, active transportation (walking and bicycling), and accommodate sustainable growth.

MAYOR WELLS LEADS EFFORT TO OPPOSE SANCTUARY STATE BILL, LAUNCH “SAFE CITIES” EFFORT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 31, 2017 (El Cajon )—El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells is leading efforts among local officials opposed to Senate Bill 54, which would declare California a sanctuary state.  Officials from several local cities joined  Wells in a press conference March 29th at the El Cajon Police Department, where about 25 protesters who support the sanctuary measure also turned out.

Opponents of SB 54 claim it would make communities less safe and put federal funds at risk.  They have launched their own website, www.mayorsforsafecities.org

Critics disagree, and one local official contends that backers of the Safe Cities website have disseminated "alternative facts"  that mislead the public on SB 54.

DEMOCRATS WIN SEAT ON LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

Medical pot measure also passes

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2016 (La Mesa)—Attorney and affordable housing advocate Colin Parent, a Democrat, has won election to the La Mesa  City Council,  narrowly defeating incumbent Ruth Sterling, a Republican.  Councilwoman Kristine Alessio,  an attorney, won reelection.  Parent will be the lone Democrat on the five-member Council.

Sterling has long been one of La Mesa’s most popular politicians, winning past reelections by wide margins. But she missed a key La Mesa debate this election cycle due to falling and breaking her arm.  Sterling had initially announced she would not seek reelection,  but later changed her mind after constituents urged her to run.

With 100% of precincts counted but late mail-in ballots and provisionals remaining to be tallied,  Alessio has 35.55% of the vote (6675 votes), Parent has 35.35% (6450 votes) and Sterling 30.11% (5654 votes).

READER’S EDITORIAL: LA MESA COUNCIL RACE CAREENS INTO THE GUTTER

 

By Gene Carpenter and Anthony Mc Ivor

November 4, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Earlier this week, many La Mesa residents found a rude surprise in their mailboxes. It was a particularly vile attack mailer targeting La Mesa Council candidate Colin Parent.  The piece is slick, but  intellectually dishonest and shabbily written.  After three polite debates in city venues, who would use the post for such a vulgar purpose? 

DECEPTIVE HIT PIECE LANDS IN LA MESA MAILBOXES

 

Update with comments from the Lincoln Club President and links to prior concerns raised about the PAC by the FPPC.

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2016 (La Mesa) — A hit piece mailer on La Mesa City Council Colin Parent has been sent by a shadowy political action group tied to his opponent.

The mailer deceptively states Parent moved to La Mesa only to run for Council and mentions he’s lived in Sacramento and San Diego.  It fails to mention his long and deep ties to East County.  Parent went to Fuerte Elementary School near Mt. Helix, had his first job on La Mesa Blvd. with the East County Development Council, grew up going to local La Mesa hang-outs such as the Aquarius roller rink, was active in Boy Scots and graduated from Valhalla High School in the Grossmont Union High School District before attending UC San Diego and later, getting a law degree in New York.

LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES SET FOR FORUM TUESDAY, OCT. 18

 

East County News Service

October 15, 2016 (La Mesa)—Three candidates vying for two seats on the  La Mesa City Council are slated to appear in a forum  on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m.in the La Mesa Police Department’s community room.

This forum will be sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the  American Association of University Women.

Candidates are incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio,  as well as challenger Colin Parent.

LA MESA COUNCIL VOTES 3-1 TO MAKE IT HARDER TO GET ITEMS ON AGENDA: COUNCILWOMAN STERLING BLASTS DECISION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2016 (La Mesa) – By a 3-1 vote, with Councilwoman Ruth Sterling opposed and Councilman Guy McWhirter absent, La Mesa’s City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a measure that requires signatures of two council members to place any measure on the ballot. 

Councilmember Ruth Sterling blasted the action in an e-mail to ECM. “They diminished the people’s right to know, the government’s transparency, “ she said of the Council majority.”This is the people’s government. That fact was ignored.”

Sterling said City Attorney Glenn Sabine  indicated there are conflicting writings on whether such action might violate the Brown Act,  making it a “gray area.”

LA MESA COUNCIL CANDIDATES OFFER DIFFERING VIEWS ON HOMELESSNESS, HOUSING, TRANSIT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MORE

 

By Janis Russell

Hear audio of candidates' response on homelessness by clicking the orange link above

September 16, 2016 (La Mesa)-Last night, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum for La Mesa City Council candidates at the La Mesa Community Center.  Councilmember Kristine Alessio and newcomer Colin Parent participated; Councilmember Ruth Sterling was unable to attend due to surgery on a broken arm.The candidates agreed on some issues, such as helping local businesses thrive, but offered divergent views on others, such as how to address homelessness and transit funding.

Mary England, President/CEO of the Chamber, welcomed attendees. Bill Hammett, a Chamber board member, was moderator for the forum.

Audio: 

audio of candidates' responses on homelessness

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN PARENT: ATTORNEY, ENVIRONMENTALIST AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCATE RUNS FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview with Colin Parent, originally aired on on KNSJ Radio: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

August 25,2016 (La Mesa) – Recently,  we  sat down for an in-depth interview with Colin Parent, a lawyer with extensive experience as an affordable housing expert in the Governor’s administration. Currently he’s the policy counsel/attorney for Circulate San Diego, an nonprofit that advocates for public transit, safe and pedestrian-friendly streets, safe routes to school, and smart growth issues.  He’s also cofounder of La Mesa Conversations, a civic discussion group.

Now he’s running for the La Mesa City Council in a three-way race for two seats currently held by incumbents Ruth Sterling and Kristine Alessio.

“I’m running to improve La Mesa,” says Parent, who calls La Mesa a great place, but adds that it can be even better.  Here are the ideas he discussed:

Audio: 

Interview with Colin Parent, La Mesa City Council candidate 2016