El Cajon City Council

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT DISTRICT BOUNDARY MAPS IN EL CAJON IS MARCH 27

 

Source:  City of El Cajon

March 23, 2017 (El Cajon) -- With the passage of Measure S, the City of El Cajon is in the implementation phase of establishing City Council districts.  The mapping criteria was approved by the City Council on February 14, 2017, and four community workshops were held in February and March. 

EL CAJON HONORS SUNSHINE HORTON FOR “GENEROUS SPIRIT” AS CIVIC VOLUNTEER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s City Council declared Tuesday, March 14th as Sunshine Horton Day to honor the city’s Goodwill Promoter. 

Horton, who was previously named El Cajon Citizen of the Year in 2012,  has been improving the lives of East County residents for nearly 40 years.  “We appreciate all she has done to make El Cajon a better place for all,” Mayor Wells stated in the proclamation.

KALASHO SAYS EL CAJON MAYOR’S PROPOSAL TO BAN COUNCIL MEMBERS' USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES IS ILLEGAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has proposed banning City Council members from using iPads, cell phones or other electronic devices during Council hearings.

They Mayor says his goal in introducing item 6.3 on the agenda during the March 14th public hearing was to assure that members are giving public hearings their full attention and not engaging in outside communications, assuring transparency.  But Councilman Kalasho claims the move is unconstitutional and targets him.  Members of the public who spoke sided with Kalasho in a testy exchange that can be viewed on video (starting at approximately 52 minutes, 44 seconds):  https://elcajonca.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1049&Format=Agenda

KALASHO HOSTS SECOND TOWN HALL TONIGHT, ACCUSES MAYOR OF SEEKING TO MUZZLE HIS VOICE

 

 

 

Councilman speaks out against Mayor Wells' proposal to prevent any councilmember from placing items on the agenda without support of another member

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho will hold his second town hall meeting tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the El Cajon Police community room, 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. 

In a video posted on his Facebook page,  Kalasho asks public support to block a measure introduced by Mayor Bill Wells that would prevent any individual councilmember from adding an item to the agenda without support of another member.  The only Democrat on the Council, Kalasho contends that the proposal is targeting him. That measure is expected to be on the agenda for the March 14th Council hearing at 3 p.m..

CREMATORIUM OWNER APPEALS TO EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Emissions from a crematorium shut down in 2011 in unincorporated El Cajon for what a county inspector called “horrific” violations

March 2, 2017 (El Cajon) – On March 14 at 7 p.m., the El Cajon City Council will hear an appeal filed by Robert Zakar of East County Mortuary, whose proposed crematorium and funeral parlor at 1150-1168 North Marshall Street was rejected by the city’s planning commission. The hearing will be held in City Council Chambers at 200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS PROPOSAL FOR ELVES, REPORT ON HOMELESSNESS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo:  El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho faces resistance on new group to bring holiday cheer to seniors

March 1, 2017 (El Cajon) - Freshman El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho was impressed by the Santee Santas, and wants to bring the idea to El Cajon. Kalasho envisions an organization, El Cajon Elves that would bring carols, socks and slippers to elders around the holidays.

But groups that already serve seniors, including the AARP and the Salvation Army, turned up to oppose the City of El Cajon from releasing $5,000 in seed money to the El Cajon Elves, and requested that the funds instead be given to one of the existing organizations already serving senior citizens. No one testifed in support of the city providing seed money to start a new nonprofit.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES CRITERIA FOR DISTRICT ELECTION MAPPING: 5 PUBLIC WORKSHOPS PLANNED

 

Source: City of El Cajon

February 16, 2017 (El Cajon) – The City of El Cajon has announced five public workshops on redistricting set for February 22, 23 and 28, as well as March 1 and April 18.  All are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.   See location details at the bottom of the article. 

EL CAJON ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER MOVING TO TEXAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry has accepted a position as Assistant City Manager for Dallas, Texas.  A Syrian immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child, Al-Ghafry previously worked in Texas and has over 28 years of experience in municipal government.

 “He’s been a real asset to this city,”  El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, adding that Al-Ghafry speaks Arabic and has been helpful in translating and explaining city ordinances to immigrants from the Middle East. 

REDRAWING THE LINES: EL CAJON HOLDS PUBLIC HEARING ON REDISTRICTING TONIGHT

 

East County News Service

January 24, 2017 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon will hold public hearings tonight, January 24, and again on February 14th to approve criteria for creating City Council District boundaries and a schedule for establishing district elections. 

NEW DYNAMICS OF THE 2017 EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis and El Cajon’s liaisons from County Mental Health

January 12, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Formerly operating in lock-step unison, the El Cajon City Council picked up two businessmen in the 2016 elections, one supported by neither political party and one supported by the party previously shut-out.

APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR CITY OF EL CAJON COMMISSIONS: JANUARY 12 DEADLINE TO APPLY

 

Source: City of El Cajon

January 4, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for its Planning Commission, Veterans’ Commission, Personnel Commission, and Public Safety Facility Financing Oversight Committee.

Q&A WITH ONE OF EL CAJON’S NEWEST COUNCILMEMBERS, STEVE GOBLE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

December 16, 2016 (El Cajon) – East County Magazine sat down with new Councilman Steve Goble, who share his views on the most important issues facing El Cajon,  his budget priorities,  background, and thoughts on pressing problems such as homelessness, the refugee crisis, the East County Performing Arts Center and marijuana regulation.

KALASHO AND GOBLE SWORN IN TO EL CAJON COUNCIL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left:  El Cajon’s new City Council, left to right:  Gary Kendrick, Bob McClellan, Mayor Bill Wells, Ben Kalasho, and Steve Goble

December 14, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Businessmen Ben Kalasho and Steve Goble were sworn in to their first terms on the El Cajon City Council Tuesday along with Bob McClellan, celebrating his 24th year on the Council.

STEVE GOBLE AND BEN KALASHO TO JOIN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DEC. 13

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Ben Kalasho,  Steve Goble and Bob McClellan

December 6, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Challengers Steve Goble and Ben Kalasho have won seats on the El Cajon City Council, and will be joining Bob McClellan, who won reelection. The swearing-in ceremony will be held on December 13th at Council Chambers.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SIGN OF THE TIMES

 

November 5, 2016 (El  Cajon)—Anonymous citizens have added commentary above and below a sign touting three conservative candidates for El Cajon City Council: Paul  Circo,  Star Bales and Bob McClellan. 

New signs cheekily note that these three candidates “did not show for debates,  did not show for a prayer vigil” (in response to a  police shooting), and “can’t spell their own name on their own signs,” a reference to a misspelling in McClellan’s name.

TRANSCRIPT OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM: POLICE ISSUES, ECONOMY, MARIJUANA AND MORE SPARK HEATED CONVERSATIONS

 

Transcription by Jonathan Goetz

October 18, 2016 (El Cajon) - Seven candidates vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council participated in a lively forum at Grossmont College on October 5th:  Stephanie Harper, Ben Kalasho, Hubert Cabrera, Steve Goble, George Glover, Joseph Fountain and Vikie Butcher.  Incumbents Bob McClellan and Star Bales, along with challenger Paul Circo, declined to participate citing travel and scheduling conflicts.

Topics included the police shooting, building a new animal shelter, reopening the performing arts center, sales tax in El Cajon, marijuana regulation, strengthening our community and improving police relations with minorities, poverty and unemployment.

Each candidate had one minute to respond to questions  from  moderators Miriam Raftery of the East County Magazine,  Karen Pearlman from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Albert Fulcher from the East County Californian, and  Marya Fani from  Mega Network, followed by audience questions.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS FROM PUBLIC ON POLICE SHOOTING

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery contributed to this story.

October 13, 2016 (El Cajon) — During public comment at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, residents voiced a range of opinions on the recent police shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly suffering a mental health crisis when an officer advanced on him, gun drawn, then fired after Olango drew a vaping device resembling a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at the officer.

Here are highlights of public comments on the shooting:

7 EL CAJON COUNCIL CANDIDATES WILL BE AT TONIGHT'S JOURNALISM FORUM AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2016  (El Cajon) –El Cajon residents are invited to attend a Journalism  Forum featuring candidates running for the  El Cajon City Council.  The forum, co-moderated by journalists from four major media outlets, will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Grossmont College at Griffin Gate in Griffin Center. (See map.)

Bring your questions, meet the candidates and hear their ideas and goals for El Cajon.

The moderators will be: Miriam Raftery,  editor of East County Magazine, Karen Pearlman, reporter for the San Diego-Union Tribune, Albert  Fulcher,  editor of the East County Californian, and Marya Fani, broadcast journalist at Mega Network. 

LINCOLN CLUB ENDORSES IN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE 2016

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

Photo: Council members Star Bales and Bob McClellan, Sept. 27, 2016

October 4, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The Lincoln Club, a conservative San Diego pro-business lobbying group that favors small government and low taxes, according to its website, has endorsed three candidates in the El Cajon City Council race. They are six-term Councilmember Bob McClellan, a retired car dealer, Councilmember Star Bales, who formerly served on the city’s Planning Commission and the El Cajon Arts and Culture Commission, and former Planning Commissioner Paul Circo.

A DIVERSE FIELD OF EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: BALLOT STATEMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Ten candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three City Council seats in El Cajon. Councilmember Tony Ambrose has chosen not to run for re-election, which means the Council will see at least one new face after the November 8 election.   

The candidates reflect the growing diversity in El Cajon, including Latino, African-American, and Middle Eastern candidates.  Though the race is nonpartisan, the list includes several prominent Democratic and Republican community leaders , five with party endorsements,  as well as lesser known challengers-- all vying to pick up an open seat or unseat one of two incumbents on the Council.

IT’S OFFICIAL: 10 CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RACE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2016 (El Cajon) — Planners, business and marketing leaders, a teacher, a restaurant partner, and a mother/ex-deejay are among the ten candidates who have qualified for the ballot to run El Cajon’s City Council in November, the city clerk confirms.

IT’S OFFICIAL: EL CAjON COUNCIL VOTES TO PUT DISTRICT ELECTIONS ON THE BALLOT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council voted 4-0 (with Councilman Bob McClellan absent) on Tuesday, August 9, to put district elections on the ballot.

If approved by voters in the November 8, 2016 election, districts will be finalized in 2017 and utilized from 2018 forward.

Mayor Bill Wells first directed staff to look into the issue back on July 14, 2015. He was concerned that numerous state and federal Voting Rights Act lawsuits have forced similar sized cities and jurisdictions to switch from at-large seats to district elections.

You can read questions and answers from a public forum here:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/22153

The question on the ballot will read:

Do you approve amending Section 201 of the City of EI Cajon Charter to require election of City Council members by geographic districts in which they reside beginning with the general municipal election to be held in 2018?

The full text is as follows:

6 CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL—BUT DEADLINE MAY BE EXTENDED IF COUNCILMAN AMBROSE DOESN’T FILE BY THURSDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 10, 2016 (El Cajon) – Three seats are up for election on the El Cajon Council. All are currently held by incumbents.  Council members Bob McClellan and Star Bales have filed to run for reelection and qualified to appear on the ballot, according to Monica Zech, the city’s public information officer.  But so far, Councilman Tony Ambrose has not.

EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP FOR EL CAJON DISTRICT ELECTION PROCESS DRAWS A CROWD

 

By Janis Russell

August 5, 2016 (El Cajon) - Yesterday evening, the City of El Cajon held an educational workshop at Lexington Elementary School. It was for the public to attend and get information on the district election process that the city’s voters will get to vote on this November. The voters will vote to either approve and change to district election, or vote to not approve it. The district election would be for the El Cajon City Council.

EL CAJON SETS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DISTRICT ELECTIONS AUG. 4

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2016 (El Cajon) -- A city-sponsored measure is being proposed for the November 2016 general municipal election. If approved by voters, it would amend El Cajon’s City Charter to establish district elections for City Council seats beginning in 2018.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO ACCEPT ECPAC BIDS, HEARS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON HOMELESS PROGRAMS

 

Council also heard reports on the district election process and new animal care facility 

By Janis Russell

Photo: assistant city manager Majed Al-Ghafry

July 27, 2016 (El Cajon) - At yesterday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, council members heard more about the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) bids and comments on East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC). They also got updates on the new animal care facility and the district election process. Councilmember Bob McClellan was absent.

MIXING AND MINGLING WITH LOCAL ELECTORAL CANDIDATES AT POLITICS IN PARADISE

 

By Janis Russell

July 4, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) - The East County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ‘Politics in Paradise’ at the Water Conservation Garden on July 1st. This year, instead of a panel of speakers, the public got to mix and mingle with the local candidates. Then, throughout the night, candidates came up in three different groups to introduce themselves and explain why they’re running.

EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY POSITIONS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 8, 2016 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon City Council is now accepting applications for Commissions as listed below. The filing period ends January 14, 2016, at 5:30 p.m.  Applicants will be interviewed and appointed on January 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon, CA 92020.

EL CAJON COUNCIL HEARS BUZZ OVER BEEKEEPING PROPOSAL, SDG&E ELECTRIC VEHICLE GRID PLAN, AND ABATEMENT OF SUBSTANDARD HOUSING

 

 

By Janis Russell

Photo: ECPD Chief Jeff Davis is sworn in.

December 13, 2015 (El Cajon)-El Cajon’s City Council had a busy agenda last Tuesday, including the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC), SDG&E’s  plan for vehicle grid integration, a beekeeping buzz, and issues faced by residents ranging from a home overrun by rabbits to a residence where residents were displaced due to flooding and a collapsed roof.  The City also swore in a new Police Chief and appointed a new Interim Mayor.

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