Stephen Houlahan

SANTEE ENDS EVICTION MORATORIUM FOR COVID-19-AFFECTED TENANTS, APPROVES UPGRADES TO TELEVISE MEETINGS

By Mike Allen

July 25, 2020 (Santee) -- The Santee City Council voted to halt a moratorium on evictions of tenants who cannot pay their rent due to the coronavirus, citing the continuance of other financial back-up programs aimed at that purpose.

In a 4-1 vote at its July 22 meeting conducted via teleconference, the Council halted Santee’s moratorium effective July 31. The Council majority said a statewide moratorium on evictions of tenants remains in effect, and because the court system has not been operating, there aren’t any evictions happening anyway.

“As much as I hate to say this, I think we should rely on the state (to provide protections to tenants unable to pay their rent),” said Mayor John Minto. “We should give direction to staff to end this moratorium on a city level and allow it to proceed on the state level.”

Councilman Stephen Houlahan cast the sole no vote, and said the city should maintain the city’s eviction moratorium, a symbolic gesture of providing yet another safety net to local tenants who cannot pay their rent due to financial problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


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HOULAHAN DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR SANTEE MAYOR

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee Councilman Stephen Houlahan wants a larger say in molding the city’s future and has declared his intention to run for mayor, opposing incumbent Mayor John Minto.

Houlahan says the main issue motivating him to throw his hat into the ring is the disturbing trend by a majority of his Council colleagues to consistently undermine Santee’s General Plan and approve higher density projects.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: OPEN LETTER TO SANTEE COUNCIL MEMBER LAURA KOVAL - PUBLIC INTEREST MOTIVATES PRESERVE WILD SANTEE

By Van Collinsworth, Director, Preserve Wild Santee
 
January 14, 2020 (Santee) -- At the last meeting, the new Vice-Mayor Laura Koval waited until after I had addressed the council and returned to my seat to suggest that Preserve Wild Santee and/or other environmental organizations work is financially motivated. To be clear, and as has always been the case, I will engage with any council member at the podium to address their directed remarks, as I did with the mayor. From my perspective, waiting until I cannot respond to make this suggestion of financial motivation, demonstrates the weakness of your position.
 

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SANTEE ADOPTS DISTRICT ELECTIONS WITH MINTO-MADE MAP

 

By Mike Allen

 View full-size map B adopted by Council here.

 April 14, 2018 (Santee) -- Santee’s ongoing process of shifting from voting for their representatives by all city voters to a system of district elections took another step to reality last week when the council adopted a map made by Mayor John Minto and held the first reading instituting the change.

 Minto offered a map he drew that divides the city into four areas and with a close balance of some 13,000 people in each district. His motion also called for a change in the cycle of elections that results in two council seats being elected every four years starting in 2020. The mayor’s position will remain at large, or selected by all city voters.

 His motion, which was seconded by Councilman Ronn Hall, passed 3-2 with Council members Brian Jones and Rob McNelis opposed. The second reading and adoption of the law and the map is scheduled for April 25.


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SANTEE BANS SMOKING ON TRAILS, TAKES FIRST STEP TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

January 12, 2018 (Santee)--Smoking or vaping on Santee’s city trails such as the Walker Preserve and near Mast Park will no longer be legal following the City Council’s amending its code at its Jan. 10 meeting.

The newly amended law, that also bans smoking electronic cigarettes in the same areas, takes effect after the second reading of the measure Jan.24.

With the vote, Santee joins the rest of the 18 cities and San Diego county in prohibiting smoking on public trails, which is an obvious fire hazard. But the change didn’t go far enough for nearly all the speakers who testified before the council took its vote.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CASTLEROCK NEIGHBORS UNLOAD AT SANTEE OFFICIALS OVER HOUSING PROJECT

 

Update: Hear our interviews with Stephen Houlahan and  Preserve Wild Santee leader Van Collinsworth on environmental issues in Santee by clicking the audio link.

 

Mike Allen

Photo: Councilman Jack Dale moderated meeting on Castlerock project November 29 with elected officials, city workers, and representatives from developer Pardee Homes.

December 3, 2016 (Santee) -- Angry residents near the Castlerock housing project lashed out at Santee city officials and representatives from developer Pardee Homes during a public meeting November 29, saying the way the project is unfolding is nothing like the plans they saw earlier this year.

Audio: 

Interviews: Stephen Houlahan and Van Collinsworth

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

MINTO AND HOULAHAN WINNING IN SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left:  Stephen Houlahan

November 9, 2016 (Santee) – With 36% of precincts counted,  Councilman John Minto,a retired police officer, is maintaining a 10 point lead over felow Councilman and realtor Rob McNellis in the race to become Santee’s next Mayor.  Current Mayor Randy Voepel tonight won election handily  to the State Assembly over Leo Hamel.

Though Santee’s Council has long been heavily influenced by developers and real estate interests, Stephen Houlahan,  running on an environmental platform,  appears likely to defeat  two pro-development opponents.


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OUT OF TOWN MONEY FLOWS TO SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATE

 

East County News Service

Photos, left to right: Stephen Houlahan, Mason Herron, and Dustin Trotter

November 7, 2016 (Santee) — Santee City Council candidate Mason Herron has raked in $58, 246 in campaign contributions from 131 individuals, of whom only 6 live in Santee, including himself.  That’s 95% of donations coming from outside Santee.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: SELLING OUT SANTEE WITH A DEVELOPERS’ DELIGHT CAMPAIGN

 

By Van K. Collinsworth, Executive Director/Resource Analyst

savefanita@gmail.com

October 31, 2016 (Santee)--Analysis shows 98% of Santee City Council candidate Mason Herron's donors are from outside of Santee; much of these contributors are easily identified as being traffic gridlock producing development interests. (CA Form 460’s are required disclosures.)

In contrast,  Stephen Houlahan has not taken any developer dollars and 76% of his contributors are Santee residents.


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