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Chula Vista Mayor McCann must abstain on homeless votes

Sempra looking for super flack

“The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”
“The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”

Voteless in Chula Vista

Following his November 2022 victory over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, Republican real estate investor, manager, and longtime Chula Vista city council veteran John McCann took over as mayor of that city in a rush of promises. “Now as the mayor of Chula Vista, I have hit the ground running,” wrote McCann in a January 18 Union-Tribune op-ed column. “My vision over the next four years will be making public safety a priority, creating a people’s bayfront in Chula Vista, fighting the homelessness epidemic, working to lower the rising cost of living, and growing educational prospects for our residents in Chula Vista. In the coming weeks, we will take a major step in getting homeless people off our streets in Chula Vista by opening a new 66-unit bridge shelter with wraparound services.

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John McCann can’t vote on projects near his properties.

"This will be in conjunction with our city’s Homeless Outreach Team, which I voted to establish in 2016 as a council member. The Homeless Outreach Team is a collaboration among our Police Department, the Department of Housing and Homeless Services, public safety analysts, and representatives of community outreach organizations to get homeless people off our streets and into services that will improve their situation. The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”

But it turns out that the freshly minted Mayor McCann will be barred from voting on city funding for at least one Chula Vista homeless project near two parcels he owns in the city, according to a February 16 advice letter to Chula Vista Deputy City Attorney Michael J. McDonnell from Dave Bainbridge, General Counsel of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. “Does the City of Chula Vista Mayor, John McCann, have a disqualifying financial interest in either of his two properties located within 500 feet of the Casa Nueva Homeless Shelter that is the subject of proposed grant funds the City Council will vote on?” asks the missive. “If so, does the legally required participation exception allow Mayor McCann to participate in the vote?”

Concludes Bainbridge: “Mayor McCann has a disqualifying financial interest in his two properties located within 500 feet of the Casa Nueva Homeless Shelter and would therefore be required to recuse himself from the vote regarding grant funding for the shelter. Furthermore, the legally required participation exception would not apply, as a fifth member was recently appointed to the City Council, and the vote can occur if Mayor McCann recuses himself.”

Per the FPPC opinion, “Mayor McCann owns two buildings within 500 feet of the Shelter. The first, 433/435 Casselman Street, is a multi-family building consisting of two units. The Casselman Property was built in 1957 and purchased by Mayor McCann in September 2012. The units are currently rented to third-party tenants and generate a gross revenue of approximately $39,600 per year.” The letter describes McCann’s second piece of real estate in question as 70 Fourth Avenue, “a multi-family building consisting of 3 units. The Fourth Avenue Property was built in 1975 and purchased by Mayor McCann in April 2016. The units are currently rented to third-party tenants and generate gross revenue of $84,000 per year.” McCann has “no current plans to materially improve” either property, “other than required and customary maintenance and upkeep,” the letter says.

The nearby homeless shelter, run by SBCS Corporation, formerly known as South Bay Community Services, needs work, notes the opinion. “The buildings used for the Shelter were built in 1972 and require repairs. The repairs include reconstruction of 26 housing units, roof repairs, replacement of grass and shrubs with drought tolerant plants, and general maintenance. Most improvements will be internal, with minimal cosmetic improvements. Total costs of the project are estimated to be $1,621,341. The City Council will vote on a resolution authorizing City grant funding payable to SBCS for $416,451 for the project.”

Ghost of Sempra’s future

San Diego-based utility behemoth Sempra Energy is out to hire a corporate ghostwriter to help highly placed executives there spin more upbeat messages than have heretofore emanated from the besieged power giant, which has been widely tagged for soaring gas bills and poverty-stricken ratepayers. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for a high-profile federal investigation into the company’s price manipulations has turned up the heat even more on the word-challenged denizens of Sempra’s corporate suite.

Gavin Newsom, Sempra nemesis?

“The writer will need to be uncommonly versatile — a player-coach who can generate engaging drafts that capture the distinct voices and preferences of Sempra’s leaders and tailor them to a variety of platforms and audiences while also recognizing that the process remains dynamic and collaborative,” says the company’s January 22 post for the position. “This writer adopts the voice of leaders to draft inspirational and engaging executive communications, including op-eds, speeches, presentations, and social media content.”

On Sempra’s list of prospective “Duties and Responsibilities”: “Translates executive thought leadership by drafting op-eds, blogs, spotlights, long-form social media posts and other content that help advance Sempra as a leader in the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy future,” and “Working in collaboration with the corporate citizenship team, helps develop strategic communications content highlighting Sempra’s corporate social responsibility.” The successful candidate for the position of Principal Writer & Content Editor is expected to have “12+ years experience as a journalist, corporate speechwriter, political speechwriter or in another role devoted to writing.” Annual salary is set to range from $106,300 to $159,500.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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“The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”
“The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”

Voteless in Chula Vista

Following his November 2022 victory over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, Republican real estate investor, manager, and longtime Chula Vista city council veteran John McCann took over as mayor of that city in a rush of promises. “Now as the mayor of Chula Vista, I have hit the ground running,” wrote McCann in a January 18 Union-Tribune op-ed column. “My vision over the next four years will be making public safety a priority, creating a people’s bayfront in Chula Vista, fighting the homelessness epidemic, working to lower the rising cost of living, and growing educational prospects for our residents in Chula Vista. In the coming weeks, we will take a major step in getting homeless people off our streets in Chula Vista by opening a new 66-unit bridge shelter with wraparound services.

Sponsored
Sponsored
John McCann can’t vote on projects near his properties.

"This will be in conjunction with our city’s Homeless Outreach Team, which I voted to establish in 2016 as a council member. The Homeless Outreach Team is a collaboration among our Police Department, the Department of Housing and Homeless Services, public safety analysts, and representatives of community outreach organizations to get homeless people off our streets and into services that will improve their situation. The City Council recently contracted with CityNet, a highly regarded local nonprofit with an admirable track record, to run the new homeless bridge shelter.”

But it turns out that the freshly minted Mayor McCann will be barred from voting on city funding for at least one Chula Vista homeless project near two parcels he owns in the city, according to a February 16 advice letter to Chula Vista Deputy City Attorney Michael J. McDonnell from Dave Bainbridge, General Counsel of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. “Does the City of Chula Vista Mayor, John McCann, have a disqualifying financial interest in either of his two properties located within 500 feet of the Casa Nueva Homeless Shelter that is the subject of proposed grant funds the City Council will vote on?” asks the missive. “If so, does the legally required participation exception allow Mayor McCann to participate in the vote?”

Concludes Bainbridge: “Mayor McCann has a disqualifying financial interest in his two properties located within 500 feet of the Casa Nueva Homeless Shelter and would therefore be required to recuse himself from the vote regarding grant funding for the shelter. Furthermore, the legally required participation exception would not apply, as a fifth member was recently appointed to the City Council, and the vote can occur if Mayor McCann recuses himself.”

Per the FPPC opinion, “Mayor McCann owns two buildings within 500 feet of the Shelter. The first, 433/435 Casselman Street, is a multi-family building consisting of two units. The Casselman Property was built in 1957 and purchased by Mayor McCann in September 2012. The units are currently rented to third-party tenants and generate a gross revenue of approximately $39,600 per year.” The letter describes McCann’s second piece of real estate in question as 70 Fourth Avenue, “a multi-family building consisting of 3 units. The Fourth Avenue Property was built in 1975 and purchased by Mayor McCann in April 2016. The units are currently rented to third-party tenants and generate gross revenue of $84,000 per year.” McCann has “no current plans to materially improve” either property, “other than required and customary maintenance and upkeep,” the letter says.

The nearby homeless shelter, run by SBCS Corporation, formerly known as South Bay Community Services, needs work, notes the opinion. “The buildings used for the Shelter were built in 1972 and require repairs. The repairs include reconstruction of 26 housing units, roof repairs, replacement of grass and shrubs with drought tolerant plants, and general maintenance. Most improvements will be internal, with minimal cosmetic improvements. Total costs of the project are estimated to be $1,621,341. The City Council will vote on a resolution authorizing City grant funding payable to SBCS for $416,451 for the project.”

Ghost of Sempra’s future

San Diego-based utility behemoth Sempra Energy is out to hire a corporate ghostwriter to help highly placed executives there spin more upbeat messages than have heretofore emanated from the besieged power giant, which has been widely tagged for soaring gas bills and poverty-stricken ratepayers. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for a high-profile federal investigation into the company’s price manipulations has turned up the heat even more on the word-challenged denizens of Sempra’s corporate suite.

Gavin Newsom, Sempra nemesis?

“The writer will need to be uncommonly versatile — a player-coach who can generate engaging drafts that capture the distinct voices and preferences of Sempra’s leaders and tailor them to a variety of platforms and audiences while also recognizing that the process remains dynamic and collaborative,” says the company’s January 22 post for the position. “This writer adopts the voice of leaders to draft inspirational and engaging executive communications, including op-eds, speeches, presentations, and social media content.”

On Sempra’s list of prospective “Duties and Responsibilities”: “Translates executive thought leadership by drafting op-eds, blogs, spotlights, long-form social media posts and other content that help advance Sempra as a leader in the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy future,” and “Working in collaboration with the corporate citizenship team, helps develop strategic communications content highlighting Sempra’s corporate social responsibility.” The successful candidate for the position of Principal Writer & Content Editor is expected to have “12+ years experience as a journalist, corporate speechwriter, political speechwriter or in another role devoted to writing.” Annual salary is set to range from $106,300 to $159,500.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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