SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT, RESPOND TO OUR QUESTIONS

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

October 8, 2018 (Santee) – This is the first time Santee has held district elections, where the winners will each represent a specific neighborhood instead of being voted on by the city at large. We sent questionnaires to the seven candidates running for three City Council seats in Santee, asking the same questions of everyone. Six candidates replied. Their thoughtful responses address a range of issues such as balancing growth and open space, also offering some fresh ideas, such as creating a community choice energy program for Santee.

Below are their answers in full to our questions, along with a link to their ballot statements for more information, arranged by district and in alphabetical order within each district.

DISTRICT 1

EVLYN ANDRADE-HEYMSFIELD (photo right)

Website developer/business owner

View ballot statement

Questions:

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications? 

I am running for City Council because the current City Council is not listening to the voices of the people. I want to put the needs of the people of District 1 first and do what's best for our city and quality of life. I want to prioritize the needs of our residents when decisions are made. With a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, I bring years of experience planning, implementing and managing multiple projects and roles in ambiguous and rapidly changing environments. I am a software engineer, have co-founded my own business and bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the City Council. I bring years of management experience from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where I oversaw a $6M program budget and an office of 20 people. The most relevant experience I have is my work as the Chair of the Staff Advisory Council representing all of the school's staff members. I listened to staff members’ grievances and brought solutions to the Dean. My work led to increased transparency and accountability of the Dean’s executive suite, improved school-wide communication, 360-degree evaluations of senior management, and most importantly improved overall satisfaction for staff. I brought staffs' voice to the decision-making table and would do the same for Santee citizens.

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments?  For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

We need to protect Santee from overdevelopment and increased traffic congestion. We need responsible development. We need development that our infrastructure can support. Development that will not add to our traffic gridlock and that we can protect from fire dangers. Most importantly we need development that falls within our General Plan. We need to have the infrastructure in place before increasing density. Let's prioritize alleviating traffic and not make it worse by adding 6,000+ vehicles to our roads with Fanita Ranch. I stand with the residents in Santee and oppose the 3000-unit Fanita Ranch Development.

c. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

We need to protect Santee from overdevelopment and increased traffic congestion. We also need new sources of revenue to address our upcoming deficit.

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

1. I would like a community-owned municipal fiber network in our city, which would bring high-speed gigabyte internet to our residents at a low cost, with the prospect of high wage jobs and competition for Cox and AT&T. This could generate millions of dollars in revenue by utilizing some of the infrastructure already built. This would also attract more businesses to Santee that rely on high-speed internet.

2. Community Choice Energy is proven to provide cleaner power at lower rates. We need to establish Community Choice Energy (CCE) which could bring much-needed revenue to our city while saving our residents 5-10% on their energy bills. The revenue from CCE could be used to put solar panels on city buildings which could save $50,000/month in SDG&E bills. This will also be a key factor in meeting our emission reduction goals from the State.

3. The East County Economic Council is working to find out where our residents work with the goal of attracting employers of those workers to open offices in Santee. I am in full support of these efforts as it will both bring in new tax revenue and reduce the number of commuters on our roads.

4. I am an advocate for small businesses and would like to help more open in Santee. I want to help speed up the process for small businesses to get their permits approved. I would like to move to a streamlined paperless system like the City of San Diego.

5. I support the movie theater project and bringing a hotel to Santee which will also bring in new taxes to our city.



e. What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

I support the General Plan Protection Initiative and have spoken in favor of it at City Council meetings. The Council’s decision to study the measure was a delay tactic beneficial to the Fanita Ranch developer. It was a waste of $40,000 taxpayer dollars. The Initiative should have been on the 2018 ballot.

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space? 

Development on Fanita Ranch that overwhelms our streets and places people in the path of a firestorm is not appropriate. Development that our infrastructure can support is welcome. It goes back to responsible growth. Developers are allowed incentive bonuses for the inclusion of affordable housing under the established legal process. Affordable housing should be included with attractive projects in the right locations. Most importantly, we need development to remain consistent with our General Plan.

g. Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents.  Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

Our current mobile home parks have rent control, I want to ensure their rent control is protected. Many people in the city including senior citizens live on fixed incomes and may not be able to make ends meet if their rent were to increase so this isn't just about money, it's about our citizens' wellbeing.

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

Current City Council Member Stephen Houlahan

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

ElectEvlyn.com and https://www.facebook.com/electevlyn

j. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or this race?

I want to be a voice for the people of Santee - not the corporate or developer interests that control the current City Council. I do not accept contributions from developers. A majority of the contributions I have received have come from Santee residents. I have walked door-to-door and spoken to thousands of our residents, I hear their concerns and their desire for a City Council who will actually represent their voices.



ROB MCNELIS (photo left)

Vice mayor, real estate and mortgage business owner

View ballot statement

Questions:

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications? 

I am running for Re-election to the Santee City Council because I have been the only consistent vote on Council that is defending our annual budget and not allowing frivolous spending to further deplete the general fund. With the increases in insurance and an increasing pension deficit combined with increases in labor contracts the city can not afford to pretend that some outside agency is going to bail us out. We need to be pragmatic about this and prepare for these increases. 

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments? For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

 I have worked with Mayor Minto to establish and fund the Hwy 52 Coalition to bring together surrounding Cities, the County, SANDAG, Caltrans, and the Federal Govt. to bring real solutions to the expansion of the 52. I re-implemented the Capital Improvement Fund to actually prepare for our current and future failing streets and the relining of our underground corrugated metal pipes. This provided us funding to scope and repair pipes that were as much as 90% disintegrated and fix them before we were faced with multiple sink holes. I also kept the Council from raising sales tax rates in Santee when surrounding cities were raising theirs (I do not believe a city can tax itself into prosperity).     

c. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

The biggest issue for sure is the budget. If the city does not continue to maintain a fiscally conservative stance while also continuing to attract new businesses the reserves will be depleted in the next 5 years (though I know for many citizens the biggest concern is traffic and as stated in the answer for question "b." above, we are working diligently on solutions for that as well). 

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city? I have been working with a hotel builder to come to Santee and they are just waiting for the County of San Diego to release the lot for sale. This will bring some much-needed Transit Occupancy Tax revenue to the city. I also changed the zoning for the old Santee School site to General Commercial so the school district could actually sell that land to a developer that will bring in some more retail and office space that will also bring us sales tax and property tax revenue.  

e. What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

I think that it would have been irresponsible of the council to approve or deny the initiative without having the fiscal study done. The proponents for the initiative were all well aware of the time constraints to get the signatures qualified by the registrar of voters and that after that the city has 30 days to get the fiscal impact study done and they still did not turn the signatures in until the last minute. I am opposed to the initiative as it has many of what I think are unintended consequences. It was proposed as an initiative to "Stop Traffic" and to "Stop Fanita Ranch". What it actually does is ties the Councils hands from being able to make amendments to an outdated General Plan. Cities should update their General Plan every 5 years, but the cost to do so is significant ($150K-$200K), so that is why Santee put it off for 15 years. For example, Lantern Crest was trying to expand their memory care facility for seniors that are battling Alzheimer and Dementia, but this calls for a general plan amendment so they will now have to wait until the 2020 election to have the citizens of Santee vote for it (and of course Lanterncrest has to a bare the cost of adding the project to the ballot).    

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space?

Though there have been thousands of additional cars added to our city streets over the last 4 years, the latest SANDAG report showed that 71% of the cars at the Mast/HWY52 entrance are NOT Santee residents. They are people that are using Santee as a shortcut to bypass the bottle-necking at the 67/52 merge and the 5/52 merge. This has been a new phenomenon nationwide and is mostly be blamed on the WAZE app (just google search waze vs cities). There are hundreds of small and large cities across the nation that had relatively no traffic on their streets and are now inundated with pass through traffic. The bad part is that there is no permanent solution other than make the streets more difficult to pass through (add stop signs, speed bumps, signals, etc.). But when you do this to discourage outside traffic, you now make it cumbersome for your actual residents. People have even tried posting false traffic accidents on the app until they get blocked from the app all together. In a nutshell the more capacity you add to your city streets, the more the app will route people down it. If the street already has local resident traffic on it, the less the algorithm sends short-cutters that way. When questioned about the unintended consequences representatives were quoted to say, "Traffic on city streets is the price of innovation".   

g. Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents. Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

I am not sure where this question is coming from as I fought to make sure most all of the Santee senior mobile home parks have a rent control ordinance in place. The one that does not still have rental increase protections in place to make sure our Seniors are never priced out of their homes. 

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

The San Diego County Republican Party, the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs Association, The California Republican Assembly, and the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

www.RobMcNelis.com

DISTRICT 2

RONN HALL, Councilman and insurance business owner (photo right)

View ballot statement

Questions:

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications?

I have served on the Santee City Council for four years. I have been very active in working hard for our great city. I wish to help complete the work that I have started.

My qualifications include my duties as a Board Member on: MTS (Metropolitan Transit System), SANDAG Borders Committee, SANDAG Regional Planning Committee (MTS Rep), and first Alternate to the SANDAG Board of Directors, and a Board Member for the ECEDC: The East County Economic Development Council. My prior committee duties have included CSA 69 Medical, Heartland Communications and Mission Trails

Committee. Personally, I’m also a Board Member for The Santee Lakes Foundation and member of the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club.

As a business leader, I have previously served as a Board Member and Past-President of the Santee Chamber of Commerce. With the help of other Chamber members, we were instrumental in establishing the Santee Street Fair—now one of the largest street fairs in the county. I am committed to helping promote businesses both as a business leader and a Council Member. I’ve worked with other Santee community groups and events including: Santee Santa’s, Santee Relay for Life, the Waddle and Trot, Concert at the Lakes and the Santee Car Show. My personal goal is to bring Rotary’s official motto, “Service Above Self,” to my work within the community and at the Santee City Council.

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments? For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

As a Board Member for MTS, I worked to not only improve but to save the Bus Service for west side of Santee. We have redesigned the route and now offer hourly service. I ‘ve worked to ensure that the City Staff will be more responsive to our citizens: developing a new city website, bringing in a new movie theater, working to address traffic issues in our city and working to fix corrugated pipes under the streets. I’ve worked to promote Santee to the business community by attending different forums, ICSC Shopping Center Conventions, and personally contacting businesses to make sure Santee is considered in their future

c. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

Traffic issues are among the most important issue in Santee. I’ve worked at both MTS and SANDAG to help shorten the timeline on repairs for the highway 52. The new Highway 52 coalition has been formed to find funding solutions through Federal, state and local means. The homeless is another pressing issue but we are looking into ways for the homeless to receive meaningful help.

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

Santee, like other communities faces a challenging future. From an immediate financial concern, the yearly increases to the Sheriff’s contract and the local PERS costs need to be addressed. Costs must be controlled to ensure the financial success of the city.

e. What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

The SGPPI will make it challenging to proceed in a positive way into the next decade. As a current Council Member, I must protect the city on any excessive liability. The cost to study the measure was far less than the cost to litigate it. The main reason this ballot measure was delayed was that the originators failed to present it in a timely manner.

The current General Plan is over fifteen years old. The design of the current GP started prior to 2000. Y2K was one of the biggest concerns back then, the iPhone was just a drawing on someone’s desk, Uber and Lift didn’t exist. Much has changed in eighteen years; self-Driving Cars, and even computers that can be held in our hands are now readily available. We must look toward the future! Most changes to the GP have been minor and appropriate. I feel that the best way to handle this is to start over: let’s put all the responsible and interested parties in the room and start the next decade with a new general plan that works as best as possible for all.

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space?

The State of California has developed the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). The purpose of the RHNA numbers are to help ensure local governments prepare to accommodate growth in their communities. SANDAG has accepted these numbers: 171,000 housing units in San Diego County by 2035. These would translate to about 6,300 new home units in Santee.

Traffic is the biggest problem in Santee and adding that number of housing units could add over 10,000 trips a day to the current traffic congestion. This would cause many problems to our city. We are currently working to readjust these number to a much lower level. Walking this tightrope is difficult—we must be aware that the State has the power to override our concerns and issue building permits without our consent. We cannot allow this to happen.

g. Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents. Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

Santee has many mobile home parks that are currently covered under a rent control

agreement. Prop 10 is currently on the ballot for November. And while I don’t agree with it, it’s outcome will dictate the rents into the future.

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

http://ronnhallcitycouncil.com/endorsements/

50+ elected, many organizations, and personal.

The East County Chamber of Commerce and SDAR are pending.

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

http://ronnhallcitycouncil.com/

j. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or this race?

No

RUDY REYES – Did not respond to our e-mail or a phone message.

SDSU program director

DISTRICT 3

ZACK GIANINO (photo left)

Student representative

View ballot statement

Questions:

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications? 

This election will determine whether the people will gain a real voice in city council decisions. Development interests have controlled the city council for too long and the result has been a replacement of popular businesses like the Omelette Factory and Pinnacle Peak with residential housing that creates traffic gridlock and doesn’t add enough to the General Fund to pay for service demands. My candidacy represents a check and balance to developer power entrenched at the Santee City Council. My youthful drive, energy, determination and intellectual capacity to understand complex issues and build bridges is my key qualification. These traits have been developed in higher education (UCSD) and utilized in legislative service and entrepreneurial business.

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments?  For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

The infrastructure for the existing residents of District 3 has long been neglected. Developments that increase density, impact our streets and do not comply with the Santee General Plan are repeatedly approved at city council without adequate consideration for our infrastructure needs. This must change. I want to put the people of District 3 first.

c. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

Developers have excessive influence at city council that allow them to profit at the expense of Santee residents. Residents need to gain a real voice on critical issues that impact their quality-of-life. My campaign does not accept developer dollars because developers should not be able to purchase favor from decision makers who should impartially decide projects. The needs of existing residents should come before the profiteering of out-of-town developers. Well planned development can enhance our city if citizen input is incorporated into land use decisions.

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

Let’s maximize our strengths and stop subsidizing residential developers that expect to profit from population growth at our expense. Stop rezoning commercial parcels to residential. Welcome innovative attractive businesses in our Town Center so we can continue revenue growth while slowing population growth. We are blessed with a unique setting of natural parks and golden hills that can be a magnet for high technology and outdoor oriented businesses. Let’s not lose the physical setting that makes Santee great and family friendly. The revenue drivers will come. Those drivers can include a pedestrian oriented entertainment district along the river in our Town Center and a State Park on the northern hills of Fanita Ranch.  We can boost the local economy by establishing Community Choice Energy (CCE). CCE provides cleaner power at lower rates. The energy dollars that are not exported to shareholders of SEMPRA/SDG&E remain with local residents and can be spent in local businesses. Establishing competition to SDG&E can provide significant savings to the city.

e. What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

I not only support the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, but I signed and circulated the petition. The Initiative asks developers to comply with our highest land use law. If they refuse to do that and the council approves a project anyway, then developers must also convince the people at election. The Initiative provides an important check and balance that has been very effective in other communities that have adopted similar General Plan Protection Initiatives, such as Poway. The council’s decision to delay the vote to 2020 cost taxpayers $40k and was an anti-democratic benefit delivered to the Fanita Ranch developer. The decision is another graphic example of why we need new council members that are not running on behalf of the existing power structure.

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space? 

The Santee General Plan is the guide for balancing these complex issues because it has gone through both community and environmental review. Developer’s should not be allowed to escape the law. Development that is pedestrian oriented is more affordable to potential residents and the city. Sprawl development is expensive for the city to serve and unaffordable for first time home buyers. By rejecting sprawl, we can encourage efficiency, affordability and reinvestment in underutilized or poorly developed sites. Mixed use developments near public transportation can be a valuable addition to the city when they are required to avoid or adequately mitigate their impacts.

g. Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents.  Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

I will advocate for mobile home residents on legislative issues such as rent control and costs of living. Electricity and water rates have been rising in order to pay for building the infrastructure required to serve developers projects. Community Choice Energy can provide the competition that keeps rates stable. Living by the General Plan can reduce population growth that increases the demand expensive water infrastructure.

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

Santee City Councilman Stephen Houlahan

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

People can contact me by going to www.ElectZackGianino.com, find me on Facebook at Zack Gianino, or email me at electzackgianino@gmail.com.

j. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or this race?

I want people to know that this election is by far one of the most critical elections Santee has had in years. So many issues are facing our city and the people want a representative that listens to their ideas about how to solve them.

Too often, we have people proclaiming to have the answers to our issues, but I truly believe we the people of Santee have the solutions to our own issues. We just need a voice—I will be that voice. Since I do not have conflicts of interest, special interests will not be able to drown out the voices of residents.

LAURA KOVAL (photo right)

Santee Lakes Parks and Recreation Director

View ballot statement

Questions:

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications? 

I am running for Santee City Council District 3 because I have 30 years of executive leadership experience and am qualified to help to city resolve looming budget shortfalls, estimated to reach almost $7M in the next 5 years. As the Director of Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, one of the top-rated parks and campgrounds in the nation, I have direct responsibility for job growth, revenue generation and tourism in the city of Santee.

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments? For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

FIX THE 52!  There are approximately 200K residents employed in the Inland/East County region. 145K commute outside the region to work. There are 27K employed in Santee. 94% commute out of Santee to work. I am committed to a REAL fix to traffic congestion.

The immediate need for more lanes on SR52 will not be addressed by SANDAG for another 30 years. As an original stakeholder and investor in the Mayor’s Highway 52 Coalition, I am part of the group that has hired federal lobbyists to help secure funding for traffic relief projects.

You do not need to live in Santee to join the coalition and be part of the solution.

c. What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

Budget Shortfalls. An immediate concern is the city’s looming $800,000 budget deficit next year that is estimated to reach almost $7M over the next 5 years. I am the only candidate with real-world experience to help solve the city’s financial shortfalls, without jumping to raising taxes as a first resort.

As a business professional with 30 years of experience, I am the only candidate with real budget oversight experience. I create and manage budgets that generate revenue, provide jobs, reinvest in Santee, and implement change.

Because this council seat is only a 2-year term, the city’s budget will be a top priority for me.

A voice for Santee seniors. I have spent a lot of time listening to our seniors about their concerns and will be a strong and persuasive voice for them when I am on council. Their transportation concerns center around things like getting to and from doctor’s appointment, social outings and the store. Like all citizens, they want to feel safe in the community.  They also would like a community center.

I was the first candidate with ideas and funding mechanisms for new transportation options for seniors, am the only candidate endorsed by the Deputy Sheriffs Association and Santee Firefighters, the only candidate with experience running a community center (Santee Boys and Girls Club), and the only candidate that has been actively involved in the process to bring a community services center to Santee.

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

I have more than ideas, I have results. As the Director of Park and Recreation at Santee Lakes, 3 years ago I developed a strategy that increased revenue by $2M and reinvested those funds in Santee Lakes’ improvement projects. The improvements I’ve directed at our self-sufficient park and campground have resulted in increased occupancy and tourism in Santee, and a 30% increase in TOT revenue paid by Santee Lakes to the City of Santee, which represents almost half the TOT tax the City receives.

There is not a lot of room for new development in Santee. Development that seeks to grow the local economy from within will bring new wealth to our region in the form of jobs, increased revenues, and a vibrant local business/entertainment sector. We must attract businesses that provide high-wage jobs to increase our tax base. We must also remove barriers and streamline processes for our established local businesses, should they wish to modernize.

e. What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

Unfortunately, the London Moeder report did not answer my questions about the impacts to local businesses; it primarily focused on real estate development, which is not a priority to me.

Because I believe in the economic gardening principles of local growth, I want to understand more about this measure on the 2020 ballot to feel confident it does not have any unintended negative consequences for local business development. As I explained before, we need local revenue growth to save our budget.

I am in the process of gathering more information from other cities with similar ordinances, so I will have a more informed opinion by the time we all vote in 2020.

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space?

Workforce housing is a complex issue that impacts all of us in different ways. Due to advances in healthcare, seniors are living longer than projections (which is great!) and staying in their homes. The next generation is holding on to the houses they bought at the right time that would be hard to afford in today’s market. And, the younger generation can’t find housing, so they are staying at home with their parents, moving in with multiple roommates or leaving the state to find housing.

My daughters (23 & 24 years old) are college educated, employed, and living with multiple roommates. They don’t see much opportunity for housing and have expressed that staying in San Diego is probably not an option long term. I worry about the future of our economy when our best and brightest young people leave the region.

That said, Santee does not have much room left for development, and as expressed before, my top priority is the budget, not residential development. 

Non -retail commercial and industrial building in Santee would likely bring traffic in a counter-flow direction during rush hour traffic congestion and provide new jobs and revenue, so I think that form of development makes sense for Santee.

g. Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents. Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

The City of Santee is fortunate to have agreements to preserve rent control protections with our local mobile home parks. SMOAC is an important advocate for our seniors and I will continue to support their efforts.

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

I think citizens will care that I am Public Safety’s choice (Deputy Sheriffs Association, Santee Firefighters) for City Council.

A personal hero and friend, Captain Jack Ensch USN (ret.) former director of Padres Military Affairs, former Vietnam POW, Navy Cross recipient has endorsed me.

I am honored that Mayor Minto was my first endorsement. He was impressed with my unique perspective and extensive background in business and felt I would be a great addition to council.

And a former colleague and friend, Bruce Bochy, who was a mentor for me in management and a teammate off the field is a supporter of mine.

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

www.laurakoval.com

j. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or this race?

I am a native East County resident and 26-year resident of District 3 in the City of Santee. I was born at Grossmont Hospital, am an El Capitan High School alum, track and field scholar-athlete, and graduate of San Diego State University.

I began my career in recreation as the Director of the Santee Branch of the East County Boys & Girls Club, spent 25 years and was responsible for the largest revenue center with the San Diego Padres, an am the current Park and Recreation Director at the award-wining Santee Lakes.

Fun fact: my great grandparents lived in the house that is now Café 67 in Lakeside.

LYNDA MARROKAL (photo left)

Retired manager

View ballot statement

Questions

a. Why are you running for the Council and what are your most important qualifications? 

Our family has been in Santee since the 1940’s. My mother Mildred was on the Planning Committee started in 1968 to incorporate the city of Santee. Our family was honored for their contribution to the city with a street bearing their name, Marrokal Lane. This taught me the importance of being involved in the community and continuing our family legacy.

An entrepreneur from an early age, I opened a cab company called “Town and Country,” worked in private investigation and protection field under a former secret service agent for President Ford for nine years which gave me a keen insight into the justice and criminal system. 

L&M photography studio opened in 1984 by ma and my mother Mildred and is still operating today. This has given me a long history of doing business in Santee, and insight into how the city needs to support small businesses,

I have run one of the top Orthopedic practices at Paradise Valley Hospital, for over 20 years, and was a crucial person in the creation of a multimillion-dollar charity fund called “The Unfunded Program” at Paradise Valley Hospital. This fund provides patients with no means to pay for medical care and expenses to receive the care they need. This program has helped thousands and continues to help those in need to this day. 

Finally, as an owner of over 3.5 acres of Santee, I have a personal interest in the city flourishing, and because of this I have been actively attending city council meetings for years, and I understand the importance of the people's voice being heard. 

b. For incumbents, what do you view as your most important accomplishments?  For challengers, what do you believe needs improving?

N/A

c.  What do you believe are the most important issues facing Santee and how would you address them if elected?

I feel our city is heading into some troubled times financially.  We need to start immediately working together to solve the issues.  One person alone cannot do this, but I believe with the cooperation of everyone we can bring balance to the budget and avoid these pitfalls.

d. What ideas do you have for strengthening the economy of Santee and the fiscal strength of the city?

We need to focus on are commercial development and encourage extended stay hotels and other large projects that bring in high revenue. Secondly before we allow big housing projects to begin, we need to carefully review our infrastructure see how it will impact the city on many different levels.

e.  What is your position on the Santee General Plan Protection Initiative, and on the Council decision to study the measure and postpone putting it on the ballot?

Council was put in a very difficult decision regarding this ballot.  I was in favor of it being put on 2018, but it did not give council enough time to research the impact it would have on our city.

f. How would you balance demands for more housing including affordable housing against concerns about traffic gridlock and loss of open space? 

Rethink the use of land to protect our citizens by building away from major fire areas, which are better suited for industrial use.

g.  Santee has many mobile home parks and renters concerned about increasing rents.  Do you have any ideas to address their concerns?

We need to protect our senior citizens at all cost, they are on fixed incomes as well as serve our low-income families struggling to survive. Santee is known for thinking out of the box, the first-time buyer program was great until buyers couldn’t find homes that qualified for the program. We need to look into other ideas, tiny homes, granny flats, repurposing builds and take a look at what other successful cities are doing to solve this problem.    

h. Who are your most important endorsements?

I’m honored to be the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party. I believe this is the most important endorsement you can have. I am proud to represent the party and honored by their endorsement and faith in me. 

i. Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

Where can people get more information on you – website, Facebook page, etc.?

Website: https://lmarrokal.wixsite.com/citycouncil

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamarrokalforcitycouncil

Instagram: @Lynda4citycouncil

j. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or this race?

My campaign is real and honest, I respect my opponents’ views and have nothing to say that is negative about any of them. Born and raised Santee THIS IS MY HOME and I just want the city to be run by compassionate council members that care about their people.