Ruth Sterling

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).

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

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.

ELECTED OR APPOINTED CITY CLERK IN LA MESA?

East County News Service

Update May 15, 2014:  by a 4 to 1 vote, with Mayor Art Madrid opposed, Council voted to move forward with this proposal, with voters having the ultimate decision on a future ballot measure to make the City Clerk an appointed position.

May 12, 2014 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday, May 13 the La Mesa City Council will discuss whether to place an item on the November election ballot to change the City Clerk position from one that is elected to a staff position that would be appointed.

Citing the increasing complexity of the position, Council Members Ernie Ewin and Ruth Sterling wrote, “City Clerk responsibilities require professional skills and expertise in areas such as election law, records management and conflict of interest regulations.”

Among other things, the Clerks Office must have a thorough knowledge of election procedures and the public notification requirements of the Brown Act.

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COUNCIL POSTPONES ACTION ON TERM LIMITS AFTER VIGOROUS DEBATE

By Alex Riggins

October 23, 2013 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to once again delay a vote that could put term limits for the mayor and the city council on ballots next year.

After nearly an hour of discussion by the council and public comments, Councilmember Ernie Ewin motioned for the matter to be delayed once again so that he and the council could have more time to decide if they will put the matter on the ballot themselves.

“I want this to be vetted, and to give us all a chance to come back and really think about this,” Ewin said as he motioned for the delay.

STERLING, ALESSIO WIN LA MESA COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (La Mesa) – Councilwoman Ruth Sterling won reelection to the La Mesa City Council, with 28.06% of the vote.  Attorney Kristine Alessio  also won election with 25.27% of the vote, replacing retiring Councilman David Allan, the Council’s only Democrat, for the second of two seats.

Despite more than $37,000 in special interest money from real estate interests poured into an independent expenditure campaign in support of her candidacy, realtor Laura Lothian finished last out of five candidates, with 10.15% of the vote.

LAST MINUTE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY POURS INTO LA MESA COUNCIL RACE

By Kristin Kjaero

November 5, 2012 (La Mesa) -- ECM reviewed the October 25 final financial reports before the election, and discovered that special interest money from out of town and out of state has poured into the La Mesa City Council race.

The California Real Estate Committee PAC located in Los Angeles filed an Independent Expenditure Report that showed they spent $30,000 on mailers for Laura Lothian, and had received a $7,716 contribution for a poll from the National Association of Realtors Fund located in Chicago.

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ONE STOP SHOP FOR VOTERS: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL ELECTION

By Kristin Kjaero

October 10, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Absentee Ballots went out yesterday. Do you have a particular topic that would influence your vote for La Mesa City Council? See what the candidates have said in their own words at candidate Forums.  Topics are organized alphabetically in categories, to make it simple to find what you are looking for.

 

We also provide links to their websites and articles from prior campaigns, for those who want to know more about the candidates themselves and their histories.

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS: VIDEO OF THE 2ND LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM

 

Forum offers candidates a chance to touch on more topics from Parking in the Village, to the Homeless at the Library, to Global Warming.

 

By Kristin Kjaero

September 29, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The League of Women Voters hosted the second City Council Candidate Forum.

East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words, and we have provided separate video links so you can peruse their responses topic by topic. 

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DEVELOPMENT ISSUES DOMINATE LA MESA CANDIDATES’ FORUM

 

Candidates Clash Over Their Visions for City’s Future

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--Five candidates for two seats on the La Mesa City Council — Kristine Alessio, Patrick Dean, Laura Lothian, Shannon O’Dunn and 20-year incumbent Ruth Sterling — met September 13 for the first candidates’ forum of the campaign. Held at the La Mesa Community Center on Memorial Drive and sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the 90-minute forum centered mostly around finances and development, specifically around downtown and the La Mesa Village area, but it also touched on issues like the city’s responsibility towards homeless people and whether it should declare itself a fair-trade zone.

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LA MESA CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 27

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa)--The League of Women Voters will sponsor and moderate a candidate forum for La Mesa City Council candidates in the 2012 election. The forum will be held on September 27 from 7 to 9 pm at the La Mesa City Council Chamber.

VIDEO: LA MESA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM

By Kristin Kjaero

September 15, 2012 (La Mesa, Ca.) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted the first City Council Candidate Forum, and East County Magazine was there to record so you can hear the candidates in their own words.

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READER'S EDITORIAL: THE SHAME OF LA MESA--COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST FAIR TRADE, BOWS TO CORPORATE INTERESTS OVER HELPING PEOPLE


“The City, on its own website, already supports many initiatives that show preference to some businesses over others—and rightly so, to promote the public good… Where were the so-called pro-life members of the council last night? Why, casting their votes on behalf of companies represented by an out-of-town Chamber of Commerce instead of showing compassion for unborn babies, children and families.”
 

By Meg Jensen
 

October 13, 2011 (La Mesa) – La Mesa’s City Council fell one vote short last night of joining major cities and small towns across America in becoming a “Fair Trade Towns USA” city. The resolution would not have cost the city a penny. It would, however, have enabled consumers to have information on retailers in La Mesa who have voluntarily agreed to carry at least two fair trade products certified to have been made without the use of child labor, slavery, or use of dangerous chemicals that harm workers and their unborn children.

JIM WIEBOLDT TOSSES HAT IN RING FOR COUNCIL RUN IN 2012


By Miriam Raftery
 

November 5, 2010 (La Mesa) –Jim Wieboldt, a Sheriff’s deputy and founding chairman of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, announced Wednesday that he plans to challenge Ruth Sterling for a seat on the La Mesa City Council in 2012.
 

“Public safety will be my number one priority,” said Wieboldt, who pledged to “ask the tough questions about our crime rate” and get recommendations to reduce crime.

SEMPRA (SDG&E) & LA MESA COUNCIL ENDORSE “NO ON DIRTY ENERGY” EFFORT TO DEFEAT PROP 23


“It’s the moral and ethical thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our residents,” Mayor Art Madrid

By Miriam Raftery


September 15, 2010 (La Mesa) – La Mesa's City Council voted yesterday to oppose Proposition 23. Sempra Energy, parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric Company, also announced its opposition to Prop 23.  

 

The ballot initiative would repeal California’s landmark AB 32, the law which protects clean air, requires greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and provides incentives for renewable, clean energy jobs in California.