February 22, 2002


The City of Chula Vista Council Seat Recommendations

The residents of Chula Vista will have the opportunity to select their representative, out of six candidates, for Seat No. 1 and Seat No. 2 on the City Council. The candidate who receives over 50% of the vote will win the seat. If no candidate receives over 50% the top two vote getters will face-off in the November General Election.

Running for seat No. 1 we have the incumbent Patty Davis, with Virgil Piña and Luis A. Monge looking to replace her on the City Council. Ms. Davis has describes herself as the `quiet politician'. Unfortunately this does not bode well for Hispanic community. Ms. Davis has failed to connect with the Hispanic community during her term in office. This lack of connection was expressed by the South Bay Forum, who held the only political forum with all the candidates in Chula Vista. The Forum expressed their disappointment in her failure supporting the Hispanic community in maintaining Term Limits within the city. The describe Ms. Davis as maintaining the status quo. La Prensa San Diego concurs with this assessment of Ms. Davis.

In her four years of office Ms. Davis the `quiet politician' has failed to develop any communication with this newspaper which reaches into the Hispanic communities of Chula Vista. The Hispanic community represents approximately 51% of the total population of the City. To be out of touch, or to lack the motivation to create a network with her largest contingency of citizens reflects a failing that we cannot overlook.

Running against Ms. Davis is Luis Monge and Virgil Piña. Of the two candidates Virgil Piña represents the candidate who best represents the interest of the Hispanic community in Chula Vista. Piña has spent the past two years fighting for accountability with the police department calling for a citizens review board and has questioned the hiring practices and minority contracting opportunities by the City of Chula Vista. Through his efforts the city council established a Police Advisory Board.

Virgil Piña has demonstrated the tenacity to challenge the status quo and representing the interest of the Hispanic community. For these reasons we endorse Virgil Piña for Chula Vista City County Seat No. 1

Chula Vista's Seat No. 2 is an open seat, no incumbent. Running for this seat are John McCann, Arturo Moreno, and Bob Griego.

In deciding our endorsements we looked at who we will best represent the Hispanic community and who will best represent the interest of the City of Chula Vista. With the candidacy of Bob Griego we question who's interest will he be serving? Will it be the Otay Water District where he is general manager, the Sweetwater School District Board where he is a board member? Or will it be the City if he is elected? Could this be a case similar to that of Port District's David Malcolm all over again? When asked this question Mr. Griego replied with a terse one word answer -no. This answer failed to lay to rest this nagging question.

We also question Mr. Griego's ethics, in particular, in relation to the Otay Water District.

During the period immediately following the election of a new Board, Mr. Griego conceded to leave his position as general manager, citing a conflict of interest with his desire to run for city council, but did hire on as a consultant. To the outsider this looked like a paid vacation to run for office without having to deal with the day-to-day hassles of running a business. At the same time he stood by, while the board installed Matt Cammarrillo, a novice at best in running a big business and a person with no background in the water business, as the new general manager. After the fiasco at the Otay Water District was finally sorted out Griego was rehired as general manager. This was a unique opportunity to clearly demonstrate leadership quality, Mr. Griego was eerily silent, demonstrating no leadership with a situation that dearly needed some. It is for these reasons that we can not support Bob Griego

In deciding between Arturo Moreno and John McCann we faced a difficult choice, but in the end we believe that John McCann would best serve the city of Chula Vista. We believe that Mr. McCann has a clear grasp of the problems that face the city and has a vision to solve many of these problems. An example can be found in Southwestern College's plan to expand the corner of H Street and Otay Lakes Road by turning the empty lot into another shopping center, McCann is the only candidate who opposed the idea, stating the already obvious traffic problem situation, plus the need to develop the empty lot for educational usage. McCann also takes a strong stance on quality of life issues which, for many Chula Vistans, has taken a back seat to rapid development. McCann also poses the needed background and experience to needed to serve on a changing city council.

La Prensa San Diego endorses John McCann for Chula Vista City Council Seat No.2.

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