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East County News Service

December 19, 2014 (La Mesa)--It was the end of an era last Tuesday night at the La Mesa City Hall, where Mayor Art Madrid stepped down after a quarter of a century at the helm—one fourth of the time since La Mesa became a city.


Newly elected Mayor Mark Araposthis was sworn in by a Greek orthodox priest. In addition to the new Mayor, two new Councilmembers, Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter, were sworn in to replace retiring Councilman Ernie Ewin and fill the vacancy left on the Council by Araposthis’ ascension to the Mayoral seat.

The public packed the Council Chambers.  Mayors from other cities and state officials came with proclamations to honor the long-serving outgoing leaders. City Manager Dave Witt praised the accomplishments of Madrid and Ewin, noting that despite disagreements through the years, they also had much in common as they worked for the betterment of La Mesa.

Madrid reminded those present that future La Mesa officials will be judged by their actions.  Then he listed a few of his own, including revitalizing the downtown village, the Centennial celebration, and redevelopment of Fletcher Parkway. 

Former San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy swore in McWhirter and Baber, a former Murphy staffer.  The new council moved briskly through an agenda of non-controversial items before adjourning to a reception next door at the Police Department, ending an era and preparing to usher in a new one when the council convenes for its first full session in January.


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And you're as cowardly as you

And you're as cowardly as you are dishonest, Mr./Mrs. "Bums." Consider (if you're able) from behind the safety of your pen name, Art's threat to abridge the First Amendment and sue Chris Tanner. That not only made the news, it drew the sharpest criticisms and rebukes from informed legal opinion city wide. "Never in the news"? That must be why people were calling me from as far away as upstate New York and asking, "What's up with your mayor being fished out of a puddle of his own puke and being driven home by the cops?" Not sordid? Does telling voters that his opponent, Mark Arapostathis, is a "fat fa__ot," and "mentally ill" meet your definition? Or how about referring to the women on the council with the "C" word? Is that bad enough for you? How about walking into Handful of Wildflowers and telling the owner that he'd ruin her business (and mine) due to her association with me? Think honest, upright politicians do those kinds of things? Can you name another council member who's done the same? And as for fiscal responsibility, it was Art Madrid's kowtowing to city unions and his unwillingness to address the matter of pension reform that largely landed the city in 66 million dollar hole. I am [not] sorry "throw the bums out," because the biggest problem with America today isn't even really the scum-bag politicians like Art, it's voters like you who repeatedly elect and make excuses for them. (PS--Merry Christmas.)

I am sorry Craig... are full of it as usual. I worked with Art for over 20 years and cant remember any "sordidness". I do remember a city that was NEVER in the news as there was never any thing "sorid" to report. Lets see if this new crew can run the city with the same financial responsibility as Art did.