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MAYOR WELLS SHARES VIEWS FOR FUTURE IN EXCLUSIVE ECM INTERVIEW

 

 

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

Update:  Hear our audio highlights from the vigil, as reported on KNSJ 89.1. 

Click here to 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.

EL CAJON VOTES TO LOWER SALES TAX

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2014 (El Cajon) – Starting March 31, 2015, the sales tax in El Cajon will drop by a half cent on every dollar, from 9 cents to 8.5 percent.

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.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL PASSES UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF HANSON-COX

By Janis Mork

January 8, 2013 (El Cajon)--By a unanimous vote, El Cajon’s City Council voted to condemn former Councilwoman Jillian Hanson-Cox’s embezzlement of funds from her former employer, Century Design. Council also added language to strip Hanson-Cox of any recognitions received from the City.

“Stealing is wrong, no matter what,” said Councilman Gary Kendrick, introducing the resolution. “I want to give an opportunity for the council to collectively and individually condemn her actions…I want to personally say I’m sorry to the Basso family and to what’s happened to them.”

TWO INCUMBENTS WIN HANDILY IN EL CAJON; THIRD SEAT STILL IN CONTENTION AS REGISTRAR COUNTS REMAINING ABSENTEE AND PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

Update November 8, 2012,  5 p.m.:  McClellan's lead has grown to over 600 votes, making it appear likely that he has secured reelection.

November 8, 2012 (El Cajon) – Councilmen Tony Ambrose and Bill Wells  appear to have won reelection to the El Cajon City Council, while Councilman Bob McClellan retains a slim 114-vote lead over challenger Ben Kalasho. The Registrar of Voters still has 475,000 absentee and provisional ballots left countywide to count.  Asked how many are in El Cajon, the Registrar’s office declined to provide that information but said updates will be posted daily at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/results/election.xml. The election must be certified by December 4, meaning close races could take weeks before a final outcome will be know.

WELLS, AMBROSE WIN REELECTION IN EL CAJON; MCCLELLAN LEADS KALASHO BY SLIM MARGIN

November 7, 2012 (El Cajon )—In one of the few victories for local conservatives thus far in the November 2012 elecitons, Councilmembers Tony Ambrose and Bill Wells have won reelection to the El Cajon City Council with 18.25% and 16.26% of the vote in the 8-person field. Councilman Bob McClellan is the likely victor in the third seat, with a narrow edge over challenger Ben Kalasho, 14.95% to 13.95%.

COULD GRAND JURY PROBE INTO GUHSD BOND MONIES EXTEND TO COUNCILMAN BILL WELLS?

Update: February 13, 2013:  Councilman Wells indicates that three months after this story ran, he has not been contacted by a Grand Jury and believes that he is not a target of the investigation. 

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2012 (El Cajon ) – Updated November 6, 2012 -- Three people, including two members of the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board, have confirmed that a Grand Jury is investigating why money from Prop H and Prop U was not used to fund a new high school in Alpine as mandated by the bond language.  

El Cajon Councilman Bill Wells chaired the Prop H Citizens Bond Oversight Committee  (CBOC) and according to multiple witnesses, played a lead role in killing plans to build the district’s 12th high school in Alpine.

ONE STOP SHOP FOR EL CAJON VOTERS: FULL COVERAGE OF COUNCIL CANDIDATES

October 10, 2012 (El Cajon)--Eight candidates are vying for three seats on the El Cajon City Council in a hotly contested race: incumbents Tony Ambrose, Bob McClellan and Bill Wells and challengers Ben Kalasho, Lily Schworm, Kathy Spacone, Chris Shamoon and Duane Swainston.

ECM invited all candidates to be interviewed; six responded.  Below are our in-depth interviews with candidates, listed in alphabetical order. In addition, here are links to coverage of a candidate forum, as well as candidates’ websites and Smart Voter pages from the League of Women Voters, prior stories on candidates who ran before, and additional news stories.

COUNCILMAN WELLS MAKES HIS CASE FOR RE-ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2012 (El Cajon)—Councilman Bill Wells, a conservative who staunchly opposes new taxes and led efforts for El Cajon to become a charter city, seeks reelection to the El Cajon Council.  He is one of seven candidates in the hotly contested race. 

In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, Councilman Wells discusses his accomplishments and plans for the future.

RACISM AND DIRTY POLITICS IN EL CAJON COUNCIL RACE

By Miriam Raftery

October 4, 2012 (El Cajon)—Three challengers running for office in the El Cajon Council race have made allegations including sign-stealing, racism and pressure on local merchants to back incumbents and suppress messages from other candidates.

On September 25, John Gibson with the Hamann Companies, a backer of  incumbents Bill Wells and Tony Ambrose,  made racially-charged remarks  about Iraqi Chaldean candidate Ben Kalasho in a City Council meeting.  The comments came after the Kalasho campaign accused Gibson, along with an incumbent Councilman, of involvement in removing and defacing Kalasho campaign signs.

ECPAC SAVED! EL CAJON COUNCIL REJECTS PLAN TO TEAR DOWN THEATER AND BUILD HOTEL ON SITE

Update May 28, 2012 with a video news report by Paul Kruz, exclusive to East County Magazine, including interviews with the developer and Councilman Wells:

 

By Janis Mork and Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2012 (El Cajon)--El Cajon Council drew applause yesterday when by a unanimous decision, Council members rejected a proposal to tear down the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) and build a hotel on the site.

Instead, Council agreed to work with community members and a newly formed ECPAC Foundation to reopen the theater long heralded as a centerpiece of El Cajon's downtown revitalization. 

 

EL CAJON TO ASK VOTERS FOR CHARTER CITY STATUS; COUNCIL SEEKS TO “FAST-TRACK” APPROVAL


By Jonathan Goetz

 

October 27, 2011 (El Cajon)--The City of El Cajon may become another in a string of cities to remove itself from the safeguards of state law and give “supreme authority” in municipal affairs to the city council. The measure is touted as a cost-savings step. But in some areas, charter city status has led to abuse and even fleecing of taxpayers—notably in Bell, California.

CANDIDATES SOUND OFF AT POLITICS IN PARADISE FORUM

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 22, 2010 (El Cajon ) – Two Congressmen and four local lawmakers fielded questions from the audience Friday night, trading quips and barbs on topics ranging from healthcare to gay marriage. The occasion was the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Politics in Paradise” event in the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, where the weather was sultry and the politics even hotter.

POLITICAL WRANGLING – A SHOE-IN RALLY, THROWING STONES, & LAST-MINUTE ENDORSEMENTS

By Buck Shott

June 7, 2010 – With Election Day tomorrow, last-minute endorsements and attacks are rolling out. Here’s a wrap-up on the latest political wrangling on the campaign trail:

VIDEOS NOW POSTED: LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES OFFER DIVERSE GOALS & VIEWS AT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FORUM

 

Update:  Watch full video of the debate now posted here in 8 parts: http://www.youtube.com/user/EastCountyMagazine (on right, or click direct link to this debate:  

http://www.youtube.com/user/EastCountyMagazine#p/c/982657ADB2A569C8  ; also see:

How would you as a  freshman legislator attempt to alleviate and help address the budget crisis? http://vimeo.com/12276900.

By Miriam Raftery
 

June 3, 2010 (El Cajon ) – Seven candidates for state legislative offices fielded questions and presented their views at a candidate forum sponsored by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday and moderated by former TV news anchor Vic Salazar at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon. Candidates clashed on views over how to turn the economy around and bring jobs to East County, with visions that ranged from slashing taxes to specific plans for actively bringing green manufacturing jobs to our region.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: VULTURES, SHEEP & PORK BARREL POLITICS ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

 

By Buck Shott

May11, 2010 – This week, we bring you a ringside seat for the latest political knock-down, drag-out fights in state and local races.

 

MISSING IN ACTION: Ballot statements have been published for the June primary—but one local candidate’s statement is conspicuously absent.

REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES DEBATE TUESDAY

 

May 5, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- KCBQ radio will host a debate amonth the three Republican candidates for the 77th Assembly District: Christine Rubin, Brian Jones, and Bill Wells. Rick Amato will host the debate live from 9:15 to 10 p.m.

 

The winner of the debate will face off in November against Mark Hanson, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION TODAY

 

April 30, 2010 (El Cajon)—The City of El Cajon invites the public to its 13th year of receiving the Tree City USA award and the 21st Annual Arbor Day ceremony. Festivities will begin at 3:00 p.m., next to the Ronald Reagan Community Center, located at 195 East Main Street. In celebration of Arbor Day, over 125 trees will be planted at El Cajon Parks, public grounds, parkways and schools.

THREE REPUBLICANS BATTLE TO REPLACE JOEL ANDERSON FOR 77TH ASSEMBLY SEAT

April 15, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Incumbent Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s decision to run for the State Senate creates an open seat. Three local Republicans want the job –and they are facing off in the June primary. Two of the candidates, Brian Jones and Bill Wells, are elected council members in Santee and El Cajon. The third, Christine Rubin, is an educator and political communications strategist who has worked many campaigns including the McCain-Palin ticket. The winner in June’s primary will vie against Democrat Mark Hanson, an educator, business and nonprofit leader who formerly ran for State Senate, in the November election.

To learn more about the three Republican contenders, click on their photos below. Hanson, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, has not yet established a website or campaign materials. ECM will profile Hanson in a future issue.

SANTEE VICE MAYOR BRIAN JONES IS RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY RACE


UPDATE:  Jones won the primary and will face off in November against Democrat Mark Hanson.

“The number one most important thing for East County right now is to create more jobs. The on ly way we can do that right now is to decrease the regulatory burden.” – Brian Jones

April 15, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Santee Vice Mayor Brian Jones is vying against two other candidates (El Cajon Councilman Bill Wells and educator/political communications specialist Christine Rubin) in the Republican primary. He hopes to fill the vacancy left by Joel Anderson, who is running for State Senate. If successful in June, Jones will face off against Democrat Mark Hanson in November.

CHRISTINE RUBIN HOPES TO TAKE 77TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT SEAT


Christine Rubin – “Public service is ingrained in me.”

By Miriam Raftery
April 14, 2010 (San Diego's East County)--The San Diego region has elected many women to public office including Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Pam Slater-Price, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, State Senators Christine Kehoe and Denise Ducheny, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and former Assemblywoman Shirley Horton.
But East County’s 77th Assembly District has been represented by men for nearly two decades. Now  Christine Rubin hopes to change that.

EL CAJON COUNCILMAN BILL WELLS SEEKS ASSEMBLY SEAT

 

"I believe that it is the duty of government to diminish itself to the point that the people are not burdened by taxes. It is the duty of elected officials to force the government to restrict itself to the functions of protecting the people and providing the necessary infrastructure for people to thrive. " -- Bill Wells

By Miriam Raftery

April 15, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Less than two years after winning election to the El Cajon Council, conservative Bill Wells is running for the 77th Assembly seat being vacated by Joel Anderson. (Anderson is running for the State Senate). Wells is among three candidates in the Republican primary in June, along with Santee Vice Mayor Brian Jones and Christine Rubin, educator and political communications professional. The winner will face off against Democrat Mark Hanson in the November election.

 

If successful in winning election, Wells will leave an open seat which will be filled via appointment of his successor by the remaining El Cajon Council members.

POLITICAL WRANGLING

 

 

By Buck Shott


A Roundup of the latest national, state and local political news
 

March 1, 2010 -- As filing deadlines fast approach, who's in, who's out, and who's still on the fence?  Find out here!

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