Bill Wells

BILL WELLS, EL CAJON MAYOR AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, SUPPORTS REVOLT AGAINST “SANCTUARY STATE” LAW IN FOX TV INTERVIEWS

 

 

 

April 30, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Bill Wells, El Cajon Mayor and a Republican challenger to Rep. Duncan Hunter in the 50th  Congressional district,  has appeared on the FOX Business program "Risk and Reward" and FOX News Channel's "FOX and Friends" openly endorsing a growing revolt by Southern California cities against Senate Bill 54.  The mmeasure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last October declared the State of California as a "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants. It was passed in response to the Trump administration’s broad crackdown on undocumented immigrants including increased deportations.

CARL DEMAIO CHANGES PLANS, WON'T RUN AGAINST HUNTER

 

 

Update March 9, 2018:  Carl DeMaio announced that he won't be turning in papers by the filing deadline today to run against Rep. Duncan Hunter. In an e-mail to supporters, he wrote, “While I, too, am frustrated with the lack of results and the double-standards for Washington politicians, I believe the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative campaign and our plans for subsequent reform initiatives in California are so much more important,” Times of San Diego reports.

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio has pulled papers to run in the 50th Congressional District currently represented by fellow Republican Duncan D. Hunter. 

DeMaio served one term on the Council from 2008 to 2012.  He has previously run for mayor and lost to Bob Filner. He also ran for Congress previously but was defeated by Scott Peters, who currently serves in the 52nd District.

ZELT DROPS OUT, ENDORSES BILL WELLS IN RACE AGAINST HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Andrew Zelt, a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Department, has withdrawn from the 50th Congressional District race and endorsed El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.  On his Facebook page yesterday, Zelt posted this announcement:

EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR CONGRESS AGAINST INCUMBENT DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

By Paul Kruze

Hear audio: http://www.mediafire.com/file/5a742c5cj30npzp/BillWellsCampaignAnnouncement.mp3

February 21, 2018 (El Cajon) – If San Diego’s East County politics aren’t complex enough, another chess piece got moved on Tuesday with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells announcing his intention to run against the troubled 50th District Republican incumbent, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. 

EL CAJON POLICE ARREST PEOPLE FOR FEEDING HOMELESS IN WELLS PARK ON MLK WEEKEND

 

By Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot from video on James Elia’s Facebook page

 

January 14, 2018 (El Cajon)—Defying a city of El Cajon ban on feeding homeless people in public places,  dozen individuals including a 14-year-old minor were arrested and given misdemeanor citations by El Cajon Police today, then released.

The feeding was one of many held around the country this weekend to carry on the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in a 1964 lecture to Nobel laureates voiced concerns about those who “have no houses or beds to sleep in.“ Rev. King added, “If we feel this as a profound moral fact, we cannot be content to see men hungry, to see men victimized with starvation and ill health, when we have the means to help them.”

El Cajon’s City Council voted to adopt a temporary ban on feeding the homeless in public places during the countywide hepatitis emergency declaration, since there have been many cases among the homeless in the outbreak, which county health officials believe originated in El Cajon.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2017 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was our guest for an in-depth interview on our radio show last week.  You can hear the full interview, originally aired on KNSJ, by clicking on the “audio” link.  Our topics included the performing arts center, a major new goal for helping the homeless, and economic revitalization in the community.

Mayor Wells shared details about the city’s exciting new partnership with Live Nation to reopen the East County Performing Arts Center.  The Mayor, who plays several musical instruments, recalled how music made a big difference in his own life.  “It was the first thing I was really good at,” he reflected, also sharing a humorous anecdote about how he talked his way into the school band as a youngster growing up.

Audio: 

EL CAJON APPROVES LANDMARK AGREEMENT WITH LIVE NATION TO REOPEN ECPAC

 

Landmark vote sets path to reopen theatre in 2019 for headline acts, though community groups’ use of theatre may be limited

By Paul Kruze

Photo by Miriam Raftery, left: Arich Berghammer, Live Nation, addresses Council prior to historic vote

December 20, 2017 (El Cajon) -- After many community discussions, public meetings and  frustrations over the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) remaining closed for nearly the past decade, the El Cajon City Council last Tuesday unanimously approved a preliminary draft agreement for City Manager Doug Williford to ink worldwide concert producer Live Nation as the new manager of the theatre. (Councilman Ben Kalasho was absent, citing an emergency.)

Prior to the landmark vote which longtime councilmember Gary Kendrick has characterized as “the most important vote and the biggest thing to happen to El Cajon. Everybody wins.” He added that Live Nation “has the Midas touch. Every performing arts center they touch turns to gold.”

EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS PAINTS POSITIVE PICTURE IN STATE OF CITY ADDRESS

 

 

 

by Paul Kruze

Hear audio of Mayor Wells’ State of the City address

 

December 15, 2017 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells painted a positive picture of his city in his annual “State of the City” address at the City Council Chambers on Tuesday.

Wells began his address saying that for the past several years, the City of El Cajon has attempted to create a new atmosphere for its businsses, residents, and visitors. He said that in 2017 the city had made significant progress towards this goal. “New and exciting things are continuing to happen for El Cajon, and more is yet to come,” he stated. “The City of El Cajon is taking enormous strides to improve the quality of life liveability of the city for residents and businesses. The city is engaged in major economic development making our city more effiicient, increasing the safety of the community, and rebranding El Cajon as a family friendly place.”

KALASHO DEFIES EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RULE ON WIRELESS DEVICES; COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES CRACKDOWN ON MARIJUANA

Story, videos and photos by Paul Kruze

October 12, 2017 (El Cajon) – An outburst and verbal kerfuffle between El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Councilman Ben Kalasho at the end of Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting almost overshadowed an earlier unified 5-0 decision to ban outdoor growing  of marijuana by individuals and increase penalties for illegal commercial marijuana dispensaries and commercial growing facilities within the city limits of El Cajon.

EDITORIAL: STOP THE SANDAG POWER GRAB! EAST COUNTY LEADERS URGE OPPOSITION TO AB 805

 

 

 

By Jerry Jones, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Jennifer Mendoza, Council Member, Lemon Grove; Bill Baber, Council Member,  La Mesa; Kristine Alessio, Council Member,  La Mesa;  Bill Wells, Mayor , El Cajon, and Ben Kalasho, El Cajon Council Member

May 2, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)--Assembly Bill AB 805 is moving through the legislature and threatens our quality of life, self-determination and identity in East County.  Among other things this bill would restructure the voting system at SANDAG and give a weighted super majority veto, as well as the Chair, to the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista.

“So what does that mean to me,” you say?

MAYOR WELLS LEADS EFFORT TO OPPOSE SANCTUARY STATE BILL, LAUNCH “SAFE CITIES” EFFORT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 31, 2017 (El Cajon )—El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells is leading efforts among local officials opposed to Senate Bill 54, which would declare California a sanctuary state.  Officials from several local cities joined  Wells in a press conference March 29th at the El Cajon Police Department, where about 25 protesters who support the sanctuary measure also turned out.

Opponents of SB 54 claim it would make communities less safe and put federal funds at risk.  They have launched their own website, www.mayorsforsafecities.org

Critics disagree, and one local official contends that backers of the Safe Cities website have disseminated "alternative facts"  that mislead the public on SB 54.

KALASHO THREATENS LAWSUIT OVER EL CAJON’S PROPOSAL TO LIMIT NUMBER OF ITEMS A COUNCIL MEMBER CAN ADD TO AGENDA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video:  This agenda item can be viewed from 1:06:16 through 1:57:45

March 17, 2017 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council spent a full hour Tuesday debating a proposal by Mayor Bill Wells that aims to save Council time and staff resources by limiting how many items a Council member could place on an agenda single-handedly to just one per quarter, a maximum of four a year.  To bring forth any additional item, a Council member would have to gain support of one additional member. 

But that raises potential Brown Act violations andconcerns over suppressing citizen’s representation, the American CIvil Liberties Union (ACLU) warns in a letter sent to the City's attorney, Mayor and  Council members..

Newly elected Councilman Ben Kalasho strenuously objected to the proposal, leading to a testy exchange in which he threatened to sue Wells and fellow Council members to protect what he views as his right to represent his constituents.  Several members of the public also spoke out,  all opposed to sttifling their representatives’ ability to put items of concern on the 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..

MAYOR WELLS STATE OF CITY ADDRESSS CITES ACCOMPLISHMENTS, CHALLENGES IN EL CAJON

 

By Janis Russell

December 12, 2015 (El Cajon)- El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells delivered his State of the City address last Tuesday, listing El Cajon’s accomplishments and improvements, as well as the outlook for the city’s future.

Mayor Wells began by noting that El Cajon was a farming community a hundred years ago. “Now it’s the largest city in East County…There are over 100,000 residents,” he observed. “We also have new friends who have gathered thousands of miles away,” he added, referring to the city’s large immigrant and refugee population. “There’s a multitude of stories that bind El Cajon.”

EL CAJON MAYOR TO PRESENT “STATE OF THE CITY” ADDRESS DEC. 8

 

East County News Service

December 8, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor bill Wells will present his State of the City address on Tuesday, December 8  at 2:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. The Mayor will detail accomplishments of the City over the past year, as well as where the City is headed in the next year and beyond.

“SHOP EAST COUNTY” LAUNCHES TO BOOST LOCAL ECONOMY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2015 (El Cajon ) – Santa Claus joined with East County Chamber of Commerce leaders, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Parkway Plaza officials at the mall for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the “Shop East County” program.

“We’re excited today to celebrate the idea of Shop East County,” said Eric Lund, Chamber president.  The average person spends $805 each sopping season on gifts, decorations and food, according to the National Retail Association – money that when spent locally creates sales tax revenues that can be used to fund police, firefighting and other things that benefit the people of East County.

EL CAJON COUNCIL APPROVES SHIFT TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon currently holds at-large elections where everyone in the city votes for all five Council races.  But on Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-0 to have staff move forward with implementing a shift to individual districts each electing its own representative.  The concept of districts aspires to provide greater representation for minorities to elect representatives reflective of their neighborhoods' concerns.

SMOKING HOT DEBATE: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT RAISING AGE FOR TOBACCO USE

 

"I will support this in honor of my sister, and my mother and my father-in-law," -- Councilman Bob McClellan (photo, left), who lost all three family members to smoking-related illnesess.

"The American Revolution was about individual liberty...doesn't freedom to make a decision include freedom to make a poor one?" --Eric Anderson (photo, right), Rock Church and Caucus Chair for the San Diego Republican Party Executive Committee

By Juwan Armstrong and Miriam Raftery

June 12, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council voted 3-1 on Wednesday to send a letter asking Assemblyman Brian Jones and Governor Jerry Brown to support Senate Bill 151, which would raise the minimum legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Jones has taken over $25,000 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry.  East County’s State Senator, Joel Anderson, took nearly $40,000 and voted against the bill when it passed the Senate.

EL CAJON COUNCIL TO CONSIDER BALLOT MEASURE FOR STRICTER ALCOHOL CONTROLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2015 (El Cajon )—At Tuesday's El Cajon City Council meeting, the City Council will discuss a proposal for a ballot initiative to crack down on alcohol sales to minors and chronic drunks, as well as potentially ban sales of powdered alcohol.

“My goal is to make this the strongest law in the United States to stop sales of alcohol to children and serial inebriates,” Vice Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine.

MAYOR WELLS, COUNCILMAN KENDRICK SCORE STRONG WINS IN EL CAJON

 

 

Photo: Mayor Bill Wells celebrates victory with suporters; photo by Randy Jordan, R. Jordan Photgraphy

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Russell

November 5, 2014 (El Cajon) -- Mayor Bill Wells thumped two opponents to win 81.6% of the vote, winning reelection handily over Allen Theweny and Jonathan Wright.  Councilman Gary Kendrick took over two-thirds of the vote (64.14%) over his opponent, Elwood Alexander.

The incumbents had the benefit of an improving economy and new policies such as the city's outreach to car dealers to bring more revenues to El Cajon, a city with the county's highest poverty rate.  El Cajon's leaders have also had success in healing relations with the city's large Iraqi Chaldean population, with Mayor Wells speaking out publicly in support of bringing persecuted Christian Chaldean refugees to El Cajon.

READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY TAXPAYERS COULD LOSE IF EL CAJON LEASES ECPAC TO ROCK CHURCH

 

Update Nov. 8, 2014 -- Prior to publishing this editorial we contacted Mayor Wells for comment. He did not respond at the time but today contacted us to state that he did not estimate the renovations at $5.5 million.  He clarified,  "The renovations will actually be closer to $2.5 Million. If we are to lease space to the Rock their costs would only be what is above and beyond what we would normally do for the renovations. The costs associated with running the theater have roughly been $600,000/year. The expected negotiation with the Rock could bring in approximately $250,000 per year."

 

By Robert Clark

October 27, 2014 (El Cajon) --   The October 7 interview with Bill Wells, Mayor of El Cajon, contained a real bombshell. He said that renovations to re-open the East County Performing Arts Center would cost $5.5 million, with the Rock Church paying "much" of the cost.

EL CAJON CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE JONATHAN WRIGHT HOPES TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY

 

 

By Janis Russell

October 24, 2014 (El Cajon)- Jonathan Wright is running against incumbent Mayor Bill Wells and challenger Allen Theweny  for Mayor of El Cajon.

Wright participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine. Wright discusses his values, what his main priorities will be once elected, and his views about the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) among other topics.  He  has a background in business management, marketing and IT support. He decided to run for Mayor to serve the people and lead the city into the future, helping get the people and the city back on track to prosperity by working to alleviate poverty for the elderly and to get people off the streets.

MAYOR WELLS SHARES VIEWS FOR FUTURE IN EXCLUSIVE ECM INTERVIEW

 

Update October 27: Jonathan Wright has now participated in an interview with ECM, which you can read here.

By Janis Russell

October 7, 2014 (El Cajon)- Mayor Bill Wells is up for re-election this November against challengers Allen Theweny and Jonathan Wright. Wells participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine below.  We invited all three candidates to be interviewed, but only Wells responded by deadline. In the interview, he discusses the city's achievements during his tenure on Council and as Mayor, the issues facing El Cajon, and his goals for the future.

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS OFFER HOPE AMID DESPAIR TO PERSECUTED IRAQI CHRISTIANS AT PRAYER VIGIL IN EL CAJON: HEAR AUDIO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our audio highlights from the vigil, as reported on KNSJ 89.1.  Listen now:  http://kiwi6.com/file/31hofx5nbg

July 26, 2014 (El Cajon)--Local political and religious leaders offered messages of hope for Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution and genocide in Iraq, many of them seeking to find refuge in America.   They offered a safe haven here in East County, as well as political actions now underway in Washington D.C. and Sacramento to aid Christians in their homeland.

“When they come here, I want you to tell them they will be safe here,” Mayor Bill Wells told the crowd during a prayer vigil in El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza last night  that was attended by an estimated 2,000 people.

The Mayor denounced the “unconscionable” slaughter of Iraqi Christians by ISIS terrorists who have declared a caliphate, or Muslim state, in the Mosul area, where churches dating back to Biblical times are being destroyed and Christians ordered to convert to Islam or die by the sword.

SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT: EL CAJON COUNCIL VOTES TO FUND SAN DIEGO YOUTH CHOIR

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2014 (El Cajon) – By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council on Tuesday voted to grant $10,000 to fund the San Diego Youth Choir, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community youth choir based in El Cajon. The group’s mission statement is to empower young leaders through musical excellence.  It’s mantra is “Empowering San Diego County youth, one note at a time.”

“What it really is, is an investment in children’s future,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told East County Magazine. “$10,000 today could save us $100,000 tomorrow in police costs and property crimes.”  He added that performing together also builds self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment, as well as forging bonds that can last a lifetime.  “My son still has close friendships in Hollywood that started when he was in Christian Youth Theater in San Diego,” Kendrick recalled.

 The San Diego Youth Choir (www.youthchoirsd.org) aims to be housed in a central location in El Cajon with state of the art rehearsal space, practice rooms, dance rooms, and a recording studio.

CANDIDATES FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL REFLECT DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND VIEWS

Photo:  Ben Kalasho, Instar Bales, Humbert Cabrera, and Vickie Butcher are among 27 candidates vying for appointment to the El Cajon City Council.

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2013 (El Cajon) – Twenty-seven El Cajon residents have applied to fill an open seat on the El Cajon City Council.  This past Tuesday night, Council members interviewed half of the applicants during the Council meeting.  The rest will be interviewed next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The candidates came from all walks of life – reflecting diverse races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political parties and economic status.

WELLS APPOINTED MAYOR IN EL CAJON, OPENING COUNCIL VACANCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 13, 2013 (El Cajon )--El Cajon’s City Council voted unanimously yesetrday to appoint Councilman Bill Wells to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Mark Lewis’s resignation.  Council also voted to have an application and list of qualifications drawn up within a week for residents interested in seeking appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council  left by Wells’ ascension to mayor.

A crowd filled the Council Chambers, with many community members came to voice their views on how the city should fill its leadership positions.

EL CAJON'S MAYOR LEWIS RESIGNS

 

October 25, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis has resigned, effective immediately.  In his resignation letter, the Mayor  cited health reasons, including cancer, a dislocated shoulder and a minor stroke in 2010. “Unfortunately at times, this has caused me some difficulties in clearly communication my thoughts, including during the recent interviews  that have caused understandable concern,” he wrote, adding that he is stepping down to avoid further concerns by citizens and to “allow our City Council and community o move forward in their work to make this City the finest place it can be.”

He added, “I deeply love our town and have given a major portion of my adult life to its wellbeing and, so, this is a bittersweet moment for me."

QUIETER STREETS? IT'S ALL PART OF NEW PAVING IN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

April 28, 2013 (El Cajon)- This past Tuesday, Michael Griffiths from the El Cajon Public Works Department gave a PowerPoint presentation to El Cajon City Council about the pavement maintenance program underway since 2006 and set for completion in 2014. City Manager Doug Williford stated that this program affects businesses and residents.

Before Griffiths began, he acknowledged junior engineer Katie Odiorne, who put the PowerPoint slides together. First, he presented a scale of old to new street pavings from 1-100.

Pages