Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election

Now through june the star-news will feature interviews with candidates running for a variety of public offices.

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Robert Cromer

COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 CANDIDATE ROBERT MICHAEL CROMER

Robert Michael Cromer, 53, is running for Chula Vista City Council District 1, a seat being vacated by Council member John McCann who is currently running for mayor. Cromer grew up in Indianapolis and transferred to San Diego State University in 1988. He said he has lived in Chula Vista for about 20 years and in District 1 for 10 years. His father-in-law is a retired Chula Vista police officer.

Cromer said he is a moderate and is tired of seeing extremists on both sides of political isles polarizing communities and getting in the way of real solutions and progress.

“I believe that we need to help current small businesses recover and thrive from the pandemic,” he said. “And attract new businesses and corporations to the city of Chula Vista. I believe we need less red tape and less fees to help promote local startup businesses.”

Cromer said he is tired of seeing projects held back that are long overdue for the city.

“The bayfront is starting to make some progress, but building a four-year university needs someone to help spearhead this and bring this project to fruition,” he said.

Cromer said he is currently on the Measure A Oversite Committee to enhance police and fire services, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and involved in many philanthropic organizations through the Pacific Southwest Association of Realters, where he is the 2020 past president, helping philanthropic work for the YMCA, South Bay Community Services, Habitat for Humanity, Rady Children’s Hospital, and more.
Cromer said in his discussions with voters public safety is an issue.

“We have 12 new candidates going through to become officers right now, and after they graduate that will leave about 30 officers still short of where we need to be to be fully staffed,” he said. “Our fire department went without a raise during the pandemic. I think they need help there and make sure that they are on the right pay scale with other major cities as we are the second largest city in San Diego County. I think our fire personnel needs to be paid accordingly.”

Cromer said with small businesses, his biggest concern is that everyone leaves Chula Vista.

“Eighty percent of our population leaves Chula Vista to go work somewhere else,” he said.

“We must build jobs in Chula Vista to make sure that our tax dollars are staying here and fund roads, fire, police. As the economy turns, we are going to have a challenge with our budget, and I want to be a watchdog. That is why I became involved in the Measure A Oversight Committee. I wanted to make sure that we were using those funds correctly, but also that we were funding police and fire. I think the only way to do that is to get these corporations, the four-year university built in Chula Vista, and make sure that we have the tax dollars to give us a stable economy.”

Cromer said most of District 1 is a planned community, so it has some of the best parks, best schools, but where it lacks is in its diversity of businesses.

“Local businesses that are really at the heart of who we are as a community,” he said. “I see many fast food restaurants, but we do not have nice restaurants in Chula Vista except a few. Five years ago, east of I-805, we did not even have a good hotel. Now we have three. But my parents would come and because they could not stay with us, they would have to go to Mission Valley to stay.”

Cromer said if the city can build the university, any new communities coming in, they can have the parks and good schools.

“To the best of my knowledge, the schools in District 1, is a seven or better out of 10 in great schools. Most of them are eight or above,” he said. “I think we are doing a great job, but we must make sure that we continue that and have the resources, tools, and police and fire.”

Cromer said with nearly a complete overhaul of the city council this election, he hopes that the new city council can move faster on things concerning the community.

“We had that trash strike,” he said. “I feel like city council, especially a few of them did not move as fast as they could have to resolve that issue. There needs to be more action when doing things for the community, dealing with small businesses, planned development, the university, things that could help the city. I feel like we dragged our feet too long on the bayfront project, but it seems to be moving faster now. There needs to be a more proactive stance in making things happen.”

Cromer said building a university that has already been designated in District 3 will help make the city better, but more is needed.

“Not all of our kids are going to go to a four-year university,” he said. “We must provide skill sets to allow them to succeed and for their kids to benefit from their jobs. I think would be a great idea, is maybe in District 4, to have a trade school built. Where you have electricians, plumbers, who are learning practical skills where many times they are making six figures in those jobs.”

Cromer said they were able to connect his daughter’s boyfriend to an electrician company they know, and he is an apprentice now studying to become an electrician.

“He is going to make a very good living and the four-year university route was probably not right for him,” he said. “But this is. He likes to work with his hands. We must have those kinds of jobs. It will not only help our kids, but it will help our economy, and again, keep tax dollars in Chula Vista.”

Cromer said he does not see a vocational school being in District 1 but believes that District 4 is probably the best spot for those types of educational institutions to come into Chula Vista.

“That way, it helps all South County and allows people to travel down the I-5 quickly to get to school,” he said. “There is available land there where this could be done, but District 1 would benefit from it. It would benefit from tax dollars, and it would be a short drive for kids in District 1.”

 

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Cromer grew up in Chula Vista. Cromer, 53, has lived in Chula Vista for approximately 20 years. The story also incorrectly stated Cromer’s father is a retired Chula Vista police officer. His father-in-law is a retired Chula Vista Police officer.

Also Cromer said a trade school in District 4 could teach students to become plumbers. He did not say they would be trained to be farmers.

The Star-News regrets the errors.

 

 

Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election