Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Talking the talk in La Mesa

Council and mayoral candidates say what's on their minds at forum

Guy McWhirter, Pete Gregorovic, Mary England, Patrick Dean, Bill Baber, Art Madrid, and Mark Arapostathis
Guy McWhirter, Pete Gregorovic, Mary England, Patrick Dean, Bill Baber, Art Madrid, and Mark Arapostathis

At a September 18 candidates’ forum sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, two mayoral hopefuls and five candidates for two city-council seats spoke to an audience of about 100 people. Topics included their first action after election or reelection, Grossmont Center, development, motivating residents, the homeless, and panhandlers.

Not mentioned were ballot items that include a term-limit initiative and a medical-marijuana dispensary ordinance. Both are opposed by mayor Art Madrid, who was elected to the council in 1981 and served in that position until elected mayor in 1990. He is running for a seventh term and challenged by Mark Arapostathis, a teacher elected to the council in 2006. Neither Arapostathis nor councilman Ernie Ewin sought reelection this year.

Council contenders include Bill Baber, the attorney who wrote the initiative setting a limit of three consecutive terms for people elected on or after November 4. Also running are catering manager Patrick Dean, chamber president Mary England, business attorney Pete Gregorovic, and Guy McWhirter, a retired insurance-business owner.

The council convenes at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month and at 6 p.m. on the fourth. Dean said his first post-election plan is changing the earlier time to 6 p.m., allowing working people to attend meetings. Some people applauded.

Dean also offered an alternative to turning off parking meters during downtown streetscape construction. "Instead give free Wi-Fi there." He added, "I'd like to see a possible partnership with [the Metropolitan Transit System] to increase transportation" for seniors.

Baber said he would meet with the winner of the mayor's race and the other successful council candidate to discuss "common goals and figure out how to move forward."

Gregorovic said, "I think we're in a drought. We have to look forward." He spoke about using water wisely and visiting Phoenix "to see what they did with parks."

McWhirter said he would "approach" churches and organizations to get more volunteers in the city. He would also "encourage shopkeepers to be successful," providing tax benefits for the city.

England proposed getting "more seniors involved" as volunteers. As a councilwoman, the chamber president said, "I would love to promote the city more."

Arapostathis said volunteering was "a big part" of life for him and the other candidates.

He and Madrid spoke about the use of technology in the city. Madrid also said a new civic center was a high priority and could be built with a "private-public partnership." (Earlier, Baber and McWhirter spoke against a new city hall.)

Furthermore, Arapostathis didn't respond to Madrid's two calls for a debate lasting from 90 minutes to two hours. Madrid said he was concerned about voters getting a "maximum of 13 minutes of sound bites."

A question about the homeless brought remarks from Arapostathis and England similar to Dean's statement about "hounding the County Board of Supervisors" for help. Dean said he fed the homeless through La Mesa's interfaith shelter. He also discussed services for the homeless.

Madrid said 65 percent of the homeless need to be institutionalized and that homeless veterans needed services. Baber said homeless veterans, widows, and orphans needed help.

McWhirter said maybe merchants could work on activities such as distributing secondhand clothes.

Gregorovic recommended going to organizations like churches where there is "passion is to help people." He questioned whether some panhandlers were "in need."

Arapostathis said he worked with police chief Ed Aceves and state senator Joel Anderson on legislation to ban median panhandling. The legislation died in the Assembly.

The question asking for opinions on issues including a shopping mall and a mixed-use project drew varied responses. Some candidates spoke about Grossmont Center, which opened in 1961 on land leased by the Cushman family. That lease expires in January 2015.

Arapostathis said he heard that plans for the land included "everything from a new Charger stadium to condos. Grossmont Center is a landmark. I learned to drive" in the parking lot.

England said the Cushman family took over center management and chamber members there were signing leases. Baber called the mall an "economic hub."

McWhirter and Gregorovic referred to merchant leases, and Gregorovic said, "We need to train people to shop in La Mesa." (He and other candidates spoke about getting young people outdoors.)

Candidates also discussed Park Station, a mixed-use development proposed for the southeast corner of Baltimore Drive and El Cajon Boulevard. A June 18 planning commission hearing ended after commissioners learned that the American Legion (which is on the site) didn't want to be involved in the plan that raises La Mesa's height limit to ten stories.

Gregorovic said he initially opposed the project, but he attended the meeting and thought developers would lower the height proposed to "maybe seven stories."

The revised plan is on the commission's October 1 agenda. England called it a "work in progress." Dean said La Mesa development "doesn't have to be a monolith."

While Arapostathis said, "Development needs to fit in our city," Madrid said it was "inappropriate to comment" on the issue on the commission agenda.

The Republican Party of San Diego County endorsed Arapostathis, Baber, and McWhirter. The San Diego County Democratic Party endorsement of Dean included this request: "Please vote only for Patrick."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Next Article

Sanctified and glorified at Encanto Southern Baptist Church

Life is important on this side of death, but what really matters is eternity.
Guy McWhirter, Pete Gregorovic, Mary England, Patrick Dean, Bill Baber, Art Madrid, and Mark Arapostathis
Guy McWhirter, Pete Gregorovic, Mary England, Patrick Dean, Bill Baber, Art Madrid, and Mark Arapostathis

At a September 18 candidates’ forum sponsored by the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, two mayoral hopefuls and five candidates for two city-council seats spoke to an audience of about 100 people. Topics included their first action after election or reelection, Grossmont Center, development, motivating residents, the homeless, and panhandlers.

Not mentioned were ballot items that include a term-limit initiative and a medical-marijuana dispensary ordinance. Both are opposed by mayor Art Madrid, who was elected to the council in 1981 and served in that position until elected mayor in 1990. He is running for a seventh term and challenged by Mark Arapostathis, a teacher elected to the council in 2006. Neither Arapostathis nor councilman Ernie Ewin sought reelection this year.

Council contenders include Bill Baber, the attorney who wrote the initiative setting a limit of three consecutive terms for people elected on or after November 4. Also running are catering manager Patrick Dean, chamber president Mary England, business attorney Pete Gregorovic, and Guy McWhirter, a retired insurance-business owner.

The council convenes at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month and at 6 p.m. on the fourth. Dean said his first post-election plan is changing the earlier time to 6 p.m., allowing working people to attend meetings. Some people applauded.

Dean also offered an alternative to turning off parking meters during downtown streetscape construction. "Instead give free Wi-Fi there." He added, "I'd like to see a possible partnership with [the Metropolitan Transit System] to increase transportation" for seniors.

Baber said he would meet with the winner of the mayor's race and the other successful council candidate to discuss "common goals and figure out how to move forward."

Gregorovic said, "I think we're in a drought. We have to look forward." He spoke about using water wisely and visiting Phoenix "to see what they did with parks."

McWhirter said he would "approach" churches and organizations to get more volunteers in the city. He would also "encourage shopkeepers to be successful," providing tax benefits for the city.

England proposed getting "more seniors involved" as volunteers. As a councilwoman, the chamber president said, "I would love to promote the city more."

Arapostathis said volunteering was "a big part" of life for him and the other candidates.

He and Madrid spoke about the use of technology in the city. Madrid also said a new civic center was a high priority and could be built with a "private-public partnership." (Earlier, Baber and McWhirter spoke against a new city hall.)

Furthermore, Arapostathis didn't respond to Madrid's two calls for a debate lasting from 90 minutes to two hours. Madrid said he was concerned about voters getting a "maximum of 13 minutes of sound bites."

A question about the homeless brought remarks from Arapostathis and England similar to Dean's statement about "hounding the County Board of Supervisors" for help. Dean said he fed the homeless through La Mesa's interfaith shelter. He also discussed services for the homeless.

Madrid said 65 percent of the homeless need to be institutionalized and that homeless veterans needed services. Baber said homeless veterans, widows, and orphans needed help.

McWhirter said maybe merchants could work on activities such as distributing secondhand clothes.

Gregorovic recommended going to organizations like churches where there is "passion is to help people." He questioned whether some panhandlers were "in need."

Arapostathis said he worked with police chief Ed Aceves and state senator Joel Anderson on legislation to ban median panhandling. The legislation died in the Assembly.

The question asking for opinions on issues including a shopping mall and a mixed-use project drew varied responses. Some candidates spoke about Grossmont Center, which opened in 1961 on land leased by the Cushman family. That lease expires in January 2015.

Arapostathis said he heard that plans for the land included "everything from a new Charger stadium to condos. Grossmont Center is a landmark. I learned to drive" in the parking lot.

England said the Cushman family took over center management and chamber members there were signing leases. Baber called the mall an "economic hub."

McWhirter and Gregorovic referred to merchant leases, and Gregorovic said, "We need to train people to shop in La Mesa." (He and other candidates spoke about getting young people outdoors.)

Candidates also discussed Park Station, a mixed-use development proposed for the southeast corner of Baltimore Drive and El Cajon Boulevard. A June 18 planning commission hearing ended after commissioners learned that the American Legion (which is on the site) didn't want to be involved in the plan that raises La Mesa's height limit to ten stories.

Gregorovic said he initially opposed the project, but he attended the meeting and thought developers would lower the height proposed to "maybe seven stories."

The revised plan is on the commission's October 1 agenda. England called it a "work in progress." Dean said La Mesa development "doesn't have to be a monolith."

While Arapostathis said, "Development needs to fit in our city," Madrid said it was "inappropriate to comment" on the issue on the commission agenda.

The Republican Party of San Diego County endorsed Arapostathis, Baber, and McWhirter. The San Diego County Democratic Party endorsement of Dean included this request: "Please vote only for Patrick."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Next Article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Comments
2

What a useless group of idiots. Sad to live in La Mesa with this clown car group. Big plans that can't work while pandering to their political bases.

Sept. 23, 2014

England say "England proposed getting "more seniors involved" as volunteers." Start with yourself England, you're 70 years old. And what is the deal with Mary England's residency? I have been reading blogs that she has taken a property tax exemption on a Lemon Grove property while she claims to live in La Mesa. She's got dirty laundry.

Oct. 31, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close