I believe El Cajon has some of the best employees of any city in California or the nation. I know firsthand how great Kathie Rutledge and her staff are from my past and current run for city council. They are very friendly and knowledgeable of all things related to the city. She will
be dearly missed when she decides to retire.  I know I am not alone in this opinion. Everyone tells me how great there experience was whenever they visit city hall and the city clerk’s office.

Our emergency services are dedicated to the local community and making sure all El Cajon residents can feel safe and protected. The police force is involved with the residents in the neighborhood watch programs and participates in many activities in our local schools. Heartland Fire & Rescue although shared with the cities of La Mesa and Lemon Grove are also very
active in community functions and education.

The city works department is also a valued member of this team. They are quick to remove graffiti usually within 24hrs of it being phoned in. I have had the pleasure of dealing with them to collect some campaign signs that were placed in the wrong locations but they were nothing but pleasant and courteous. They maintain our parks and streets and do a wonderful job.

No matter how good anything is, there is always room for improvement. I believe the city employees are not being used to their full potential and are taken for granted. First off, as I stated we have some of the best city employees anywhere and when I say they are not being used to their full potential I don’t mean given more mundane tasks. These people work on the
inside of the city every day and if anyone knows the problems and has ideas on how to fix them, they do. The city officials need to do a better job of listening to the city employees, solicit ideas from them, and put their ideas into work. And, when I say taken for granted I mean through wage freezes and furlough days. The city has modified its pension benefits to make it an employee paid type 401k account, much like in the private sector, which I do support but you cannot say you are happy with your yearly balance budget that includes wage freezes and furlough days which effectively put the city employees behind the ever increasing cost of living.

My goal is to increase city revenues without assistance from tax and rate increases. I will bring in businesses and consumers. We need to find a reason for people to want to visit El Cajon and spend money in El Cajon. One way to bring traffic back to El Cajon is through the re-opening of the East County Performing Arts Center. Another method is to recruit and encourage businesses
that are unique to the area to invest in El Cajon such as, an outdoor superstore like Cabela’s or Outdoor World. These types of businesses would draw people from all around Southern California or further and even from Mexico. I will make El Cajon a place where people want to live and raise their families.

Vote Swainston in November for “A Better El Cajon”.

 


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