Guy McWhirter

WEBER, BABER LEAD IN TIGHT RACE IN LA MESA

 

Update November 7, 2018:  With 39% of precincts tallied, Weber and Baber maintain the lead with 27.43% and 25.94% respectively over McWhirter at 24.79% and Myers at 21.84%. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Akilah Weber and her sons at Democratic Party celebration downtown

November 6, 2018 (La Mesa) — One of the closest races in East County is unfolding in La Mesa, where incumbents Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter face tough challenges from physician Akilah Weber and retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers.  Weber is currently in first place with 27.06% of the vote, narrowly leading over Baber at 26.22% and McWhirter at 25.03%, with Myers at 21.68%.  But only five of 33 precincts have been counted as of midnight.

The offices are officially nonpartisan, but Weber and Myers are endorsed by Democrats while Baber and McWhirter are backed by Republicans.  The “blue wave” that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives thus far appears to have split in La Mesa.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS: FOUR CANDIDATES VIE FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Dave Myers, Bill Baber, Akilah Weber and Guy McWhirter

 

September 29, 2018 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Councilmembers Bill Baber and Guy McWhirter are running on their records. Their challengers, retired Sheriff’s commander Dave Myers and physician Akilah Weber, are running on the slogan “Elect a cop and a doc.” East County Magazine sat down with all four candidates on our radio show, originally aired on KNSJ. 

Key issues in La Mesa include affordable housing and development vs. community character, downtown revitalization, crime and public safety, public health,  marijuana regulations, the city’s climate action plan, and a potential new library.

You can click the audio links to hear each interview, and scroll down for highlights. Candidates are listed in the order that they scheduled their interviews.

Audio: 

Interview with Dave Myers, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Bill Baber, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018
Interview with Dr. Akilah Weber, La Mesa City Council candidate 2018
Interview with Guy McWhirter, La Mesa City Councilmember on candidacy 2018

GROUP OPPOSED TO PARK STATION WEIGHS IN ON LITTLE FLOWER HAVEN CONTROVERSY; 2 COUNCILMEMBERS RESPOND

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2017 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Village Voice, originally founded to halt the Park Station proposed highrise project, has published an editorial on its Facebook page criticizing a proposed apartment project on the site of the former Little Haven convent The editorial also suggests that a proposal to eliminate the city’s design review board would simply clear hurdles for developers in the future. 

The La Mesa Village Voice editorial states in part, "Do you care about development in the Village? If so, you must read this. You may not be aware of the Little Flower Haven Apartment Complex Development that is being proposed at the old covenant on La Mesa Blvd. It may not affect you, it may not interest you, but the way the council responds to the developers pushing it through should – because it’s a window into the future of La Mesa."

Read the full editorial and discussion, including extensive comments by Council members Guy McWhirter and Kristine Alessio (photos, top left):  https://www.facebook.com/LaMesaVillageVoice/posts/1398618196853750 and see highlights below of the editorial and online responses below.

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%.

MCWHIRTER RESPONDS TO CANDIDATE QUESTIONS IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

October 31, 2014 (La Mesa)—Guy McWhirter cancelled his radio interview last week, stating that he needed to assist his daughter, who is expecting a baby soon.  He asked for questions to respond to in writing. 

You can hear the radio interviews with the other four candidates, and read highlights from their interviews here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/la-mesa-candidates-air-depth-views-interviews-east-county-magazine

 

For McWhirter’s written responses to our questions, click “read more” and scroll down.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BIG MONEY AND HIT PIECES INFLUENCING OUR LA MESA POLITICAL SEASON

 

By Marcia Tolin

Editor’s note:  La Mesa Today reports that Guy McWhirter has admitted to funding the negative mailers targeting his opponent, Mary England, and funneling the money through the non-local “Public Safety Advocates” PAC. England in fact has the endorsement of La Mesa’s police, fire and public employees’ associations. The same PAC sent a negative mailer on an Alpine candidate.  The mailer was similar in style to a second mailer sent anonymously, which listed endorsements for other candidates by 115 Alpine residents, some of whom have denied making the endorsements.

October 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--For the first time that I can remember, defamatory mailers or “hit pieces” have been delivered in La Mesa from big money and outside interests.  Mary England who has the only endorsement by the La Mesa Police Officers’ Association is being attacked by a “PAC”, or Political Action Committee calling itself “Public Safety Advocates” out of Encinitas.  The PAC is specifically targeting just one candidate, the only woman and the one with the most experience running in a field of five for the two open seats on the La Mesa City Council.  Why now and for this position?  Who is really behind this?

If we follow the money, we don’t have to look very far. Public records (Form 496) shows a contribution from Guy McWhirter, who donated $5,000 on 10/13/2014.  The “Public Safety Advocates” who have thus far put out three hit pieces on Mary have received their money not only from Guy McWhirter, but from many builders and developers, and a local Diamond dealer, CK Diamonds who is owned by Charles “Chuck” Kaderabek from El Cajon.

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.