What qualifies you to represent 250,000 Chula Vista residents?
John McCann: As a lifelong Chula Vistan I put our citizens first over special interests and lobbyists. I care about our community—my mother worked at Rohr and my father served in the Navy here. My wife and I are raising our children in Chula Vista. As a council member I fought for transparency, ethics and fairness. I led the efforts and defeated the unfair sales tax increase protecting seniors and our working class. I helped plan the future people’s bayfront including quality hotels and parkland, and secured land for a new University in Chula Vista. I’ll always work hard for you.
Jason Paguio: My business owner experience demonstrates an ability to manage budgets and staff, while ensuring a long-term financial and growth-based vision. My deep community ties, through partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteering on a variety boards, charitable causes, city commission, and as an educator, ensures that I have strong relationships with the individuals and groups I plan to lead. The result of this is that I’ll be better-suited to generate buy-ins on well-rounded ideas and be in a strong position to move the city forward.
What should Chula Vista do about the increasing number of homeless in the city?
Paguio: The homelessness is one symptom of a city that lacks necessary prosperity.
With more jobs comes more opportunity. However, economic growth isn’t always the answer--We should look for public-private partnerships that utilize grant funding and programs to provide the support homeless persons need. Being involved in groups such as the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation has opened my eyes into seeing the many nonprofit organizations in our community that truly make a difference. We can achieve this in a responsible way that also saves taxpayers in the long run with the resources we have at hand by providing an environment that recruits and allows proven programs to thrive.
McCann: We need to protect our seniors from aggressive pan handlers and stop individuals from asking for money at freeway on-ramps, which is dangerous. I have spoken with many citizens who are being bothered at their homes by individuals asking for handouts. We need have a program to refer them, and provide transportation to facilities like Father Joe’s that will give them the help they truly need. Chula Vista should work with organizations like Community Solutions to find ways to offer housing. We also need to find ways to create jobs locally so people won’t be forced out on the streets.
Should the city of Chula Vista spearhead an effort to unify governing school boards in South County?
McCann: Our students deserve to be the #1 focus of our School Districts. As the District’s newest elected board member I have been fighting for ethics and transparency. I have led efforts to clean up the Sweetwater District by removing board member Greg Sandoval and the former Superintendent who both have now pleaded to felonies. I support looking into unification. Giving students consistency and certainty in their quality of learning will allow them better academic achievement.
Tax savings from district unification would be substantial by eliminating costly administrative overhead that could be put back into the classroom or decreasing taxes.
Paguio: While the city has some jurisdiction in this area, Sweetwater Union High School District should first be held accountable by our community and elected officials, then fixed before entering any dialogue of the sort. The suggestion of a merge without good due diligence and a plan to restructure and/or improve a failing business model and leadership would never take place by successful companies and organizations.
How do you increase revenue for the city of Chula Vista?
Paguio: As a city, we should first be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and must pursue a sound budget that provides adequate services for taxpayers in a responsible manner.
Increasing revenue should not come from raising or adding new taxes—it should come from expanding prosperity, businesses, and jobs. There are a number of regulations, fees, and bureaucratic obstacles that make it difficult for businesses to startup or expand in Chula Vista, preventing us from creating more jobs. More local jobs encourages buying locally to increase our sales tax base, and with more homebuyers and successful projects comes added property tax revenue onto the tax rolls.
McCann: The best way to bring revenue to the City is by supporting our small businesses, attracting new businesses to Chula Vista, and doing it without raising taxes. I propose eliminating the Toll on the 125 Road and lowering taxes on our existing small businesses. I helped approve, and increased the quality of the Otay Ranch Town Center Mall, which was designed as a regional mall. By eliminating the toll on the 125, it will increase the number of people shopping in Chula Vista by encouraging out of town shoppers, resulting in increased jobs and revenue to the city.
What issues need immediate attention?
McCann: Chula Vista needs to prioritize road maintenance and fill pot holes. I led efforts to build sidewalks in the Castle Park area. I will revive the sidewalk program and support efforts to make our roads better.
Completing the people’s bayfront will bring local jobs and give our community the opportunity to have family events like weddings and schools to have prom, without having to go out of Chula Vista to hold these memorable events.
Bringing a University and Business Park for high tech jobs to Chula Vista will give our residents a place to learn and work in their hometown.
Paguio: We need to think long term and make decisions that affect the lives of generations of Chula Vistans.
Our police department currently faces a staffing shortage, which, if not addressed, could turn into a public safety crisis. We must ensure our police officers have the resources necessary to keep our community safe.
We need more and better paying jobs for current residents and for the future of our youth. We should work with the business community to identify policies and resources for the long term that can help expand prosperity, businesses, and jobs throughout our city.