Recently there have been some negative words being exchanged by supporters of the current council members and those of
the challengers. Questions and statements have been thrown out attacking one another’s character and/or integrity. I want to go on record as stating that I believe all the current council members as well as the challengers including myself have strong morals, integrity, and show a dedication to upholding Christian values but this does not exclude anyone from answering issues that must be addressed when deciding on whom to elect in November. I will be discussing the issues of El Cajon throughout my campaign without trying to make it personal. These issues for the current council members include city expenses, city revenues, city taxes, utility rates, transparency in government, past decisions, etc. The issues for the challengers may be; education, work
experience, future plans for improvements, motivating factors, as well as personal character and beliefs.
I would like to take this time to give you my personal testimony on my Christian walk along with what I believe is needed
information to answer some of the questions about me as a person. This is not about any other candidate and is meant to give you an idea of who I am as a Christian and as an individual.
I grew up in a Christian home. I attended church and church activities (youth events, youth groups, sports teams, etc.)
regularly with my mother and my sisters while my father only attended church on special occasions such as Easter, Christmas, and Weddings. I was baptized as a youth in Jr. High and accepted Jesus Christ into my life. As happens with a lot of males when I started in college I was attending church less and less until I just stopped going. I still considered myself a Christian.
I knew God was still with me but I was trying to control my life thinking God needs to help other people because I didn’t really have any major problems. I did not get into any real trouble. I did not turn to a life of crime and have never been arrested. I began my life in Aerospace manufacturing in 1986 and was married in 1989 to my wife of 23 years, Linda. We had our first child (Braxton) in 1990 and our 2ndchild (Breasha) in 1992. During that time Linda was attending Skyline church and I would attend on special occasions but didn’t feel the desire to attend regularly. When we moved to El Cajon in 1994 we switched churches to Foothills Christian Church. I say we but, again I was not attending regularly. My wife and children did attend regularly and I was happy as I knew the positive effect it had on my upbringing and as a base for my moral standings. It really wasn’t
until my son started his senior year at Foothills High School in 2007 that I began to attend Foothills regularly. I felt the need to stop trying to control all things in my life and ask God for guidance. There was no miraculous event that I can recall being the turning point but I believe it definitely was strongest when I decided to quit my job and start my own business in October of
2008. I have been attending regularly ever since. I am involved in a home group and I am also involved and attend a number of other activities with Foothills Church. My interests into politics began with a sermon from Mark Hoffman (probably circa 2007-2008) about getting involved to make a difference in politics. When my daughter graduated High School in 2010 and I had sold my business, I felt the call from God saying it was time. I ran in 2010 and finished second having spent very little money thus God said “do it again” and here I am in 2012. Let me tell you this, God tells you the journey he wants you to take but he doesn’t tell you what the end result will be. All I could say was OK let’s get this thing going and do it bigger and better this time. I pray for
guidance and it seems when I lay in bed to go to sleep he answers. That is one reason I wrote this testimony.
I don’t pretend to paint myself as the perfect Christian. I don’t solely listen to worship music, some of my
favorites are 3rd Day, Red, 7th time down, The Newsboys, etc. but I also like country music and have a guilty pleasure with 80's rock. I have been known to curse at times when in the heat of a battle during a sporting activity but I try to control my emotions. I do drink alcohol (beer usually and do try to refrain from excess). I am a sinner, as we all are, and fight the battle every day. Not that it is anti-Christian but, I shoot guns, fish, hunt, ride dirt bikes and I am heavily into playing and watching sports. I consider myself a man’s man.
90% of people probably won’t read this far but If God lays it on your heart to vote for me after researching the issues in
the city and what I can contribute to make El Cajon better than do it, as in the end it is Gods will. Just because there are other Christians on the current council doesn’t mean they have to stay there. God may have a new journey for them.
Intimidation-This was touched upon in a previous blog, but the fact is the incumbents with the help of the Lincoln Club have secured the rights to have only their campaign sign posted at desired location throughout the city. These areas in past elections had been open to all candidates, incumbents and challengers alike, to post their campaign signs. The Lincoln Club endorsing the incumbents is no surprise since during the endorsement interview it was clear who would be selected as Mr. Wells and Mr. Ambrose are members of the Lincoln club and were sitting in the audience during the interview process. The fact that the incumbents have chosen this tactic to try and limit the ability for the challengers to reach the public must mean they are worried about the election results and cannot stand on their record alone.
Deception-The Wells and Ambrose campaign signs state “Balanced Budget” and “No New Taxes”. If they are basing it on past performance Mr. Ambrose really hasn’t been involved in any budget process as he was just appointed 4 month prior. He was a member of the planning commission for 23 years but that does not translate to overall city budget. So let’s take the last four years of budgeting for Mr. Wells and Mr. McClellan and look at the record.
Actual Revenue $47,518,021
Prop J Sales Tax Funds $487,500
Actual Revenue $47,388,579
Prop J Sales Tax Funds $6,750,000
Actual Revenue $49,610,693
Difference $300,484 mainly due to higher property tax and sales tax revenue.
Note: Proposed budget that was actually signed up for was
Expenditures of $50,291,521, Revenue of $47,115,400 result would have been
Prop J Sales Tax Funds
Projected Revenue $50,088,402
Prop J Sales Tax Funds
Summary-Over the last four years there has been a deficit from City Revenues to Expenditures of $5,253,144. Yet they have been buoyed by $21,937,500 in prop J sales tax money. So, if you use 2007-2008 city budget as a baseline for city revenue (as this was prior to Prop J money
and prior to Wells being elected) the City revenue was $48,859,573 as opposed to this years (2011-2012) projected revenues of $50,088,042 minus the projected Prop J sales tax fund of $7,400,000 you would be at a base of $42,688,042. Thus, over the last four years city revenue has decreased by $6,171,531. The only reason there has not been a big uproar from the community was the prop J sales tax has been hiding the mismanagement of the city budget. When they say no new taxes can you believe it based on how heavily they rely on Prop J sales tax or does it matter that they just recently raised your sewer rates? Isn’t that a form of tax? It is definitely money out of yours and my pocket. Now is the time to say enough is enough.
Vote Swainston in November
The Clear Choice for a Better El Cajon
When you tell friends or co-workers you live in El Cajon or you invite people to go out to a restaurant in El Cajon do you get the look that says "Why"? I've been there. That is one reason I am running for city council, to make El Cajon a place where you can be proud to live in and be able to invite people to the city without getting "the look". I am not the only one trying to make a difference. We have groups of residents that are involved in the city and are taking the time to make a positive impact.
One group I'd like to recognize is the members of the El Cajon Neighborhood blog. Here is the link to their site- blog link
. These people are involved in their community they take actions to help with neighborhood watch, shopping cart retrieval, graffiti
notifications, as well as, community projects. They work hand in hand with the El Cajon City police force that runs the blog site. This is a wonderful forum for community issues and actions. I urge all El Cajon residents to sign up (I did) and even if you aren't available for a lot of the actions you will have insight into what is going on in your neighborhood. Did you know each neighborhood is broken into sectors for police purposes? I didn't until I signed up. There is a lot of information on the site that are important to city residents besides the blog/forum, so sign up now.
Another individual (and El Cajon resident) with an idea that I really support is Susan Barron. She started the East County Cash Mob. Here is a couple of links to more information on this idea, the events, and how to be involved. Facebook link
and Twitter link
. The purpose of the event is to add some much needed revenue to local East County small businesses that may be struggling during these hard economic times. It works like this, a particular business is selected, a date is set, and anyone that is available with money to spend comes out and supports that business. Usually the business gives the supporters a discount and after you are done shopping (or whatever) they meet up at a local restaurant for lunch. So, you are helping more than one business usually, you are saving money, and you get to meet and hang out with like-minded people from your community. It's a win/win for everyone involved. If anyone else has an organization or individual that is making a difference in El Cajon and you would like to recognize them please post it into the comments section of this blog.
To make El Cajon A place you can be proud of
In November vote the clear choice "For A Better El Cajon"
I entered into this city council race with the idea of running a clean campaign. The goal is to highlight the issues effecting El Cajon and how I can make a difference. It is not my intent to "Sling Mud". I wanted (and still do) to only focus on what I can bring to the table via my education, business experience, and my values. It seems that there may be some dissention between two of the current council members (Wells and Ambrose and/or their support committees) and anyone that could pose a threat to their re-election. I lump Wells and Ambrose together as they are sharing space on their signs for election and they seem to be running a joint campaign. The first sign of "dirty politics" came via Ben Kalasho (another candidate) who stated someone from the Wells/Ambrose camp had taken down his signs and replaced them with theirs. He received a call from a Rubio’s employee stating that a bunch of his signs were in the Rubio's dumpster. Although a bit disturbing I did not see it as having an effect on my campaign until I visited a business location that hosted my fundraiser to inquire about placing a sign in their window. I was informed that when I posted pictures of my fundraising event and thanking them for supporting it they received harassing phone calls and e-mails wondering why they were supporting myself as a candidate and not backing the incumbents. Due to the backlash they have chosen to stay neutral on the political race. I can appreciate the stance as a business decision and don't blame them in the least. It is a lot better than other businesses in downtown that are posting the large Wells/Ambrose signs yet very little has been done by these incumbents to improve the consumer traffic. I believe it has to do with a certain developer that owns most of the property in the downtown area and doesn't want to see any changes for fear that his "sweet deals" may come to an end. It is my opinion, that this developer is forcing his tenants to "toe the line" and place these supporting signs at their establishment whether they agree or not. It seems kind of like a "mafia" type of intimidation technique to me. The only thing I can hope is that the outward appearance can prove to be deceiving. What you are forced to do under duress and what you actually have to do once you are in the voting booth can be totally different. What happens in the voting booth is between you and God. No one else will know how you voted unless you share the information truthfully with others. Another issue i find perplexing is at most locations that Wells/Ambrose signs are posted there is a smaller sign stating that only candidates that are endorsed by the Lincoln club are allowed to post signs. When the Lincoln Club was contacted by 10 news they denied knowing anything about these signs. As of the time of publishing this blog, The Lincoln Clubs website does not even list who they are endorsing in El Cajon.
Note: The third incumbent running is Bob McClellen but as of this time I haven't seen any signs go up for him or heard much from him. I don't know if he is just planning on running on his reputation alone or he will do more in the next two months. I am sure I will talk with him as the campaign continues.
If you want to make a choice for "A Better El Cajon" with transparency in government and an end to "dirty politics" and "the good ole boy network" Then you need to
Vote Swainston in November.