by Photo courtesy of John McCann

Republican Chula Vista City Council Member and businessman John McCann is running against Democratic businessman Ammar Campa-Najjar for a four-year term as Chula Vista Mayor. Here are his responses to an interview with Chula Vista Today Staff addressing homelessness, affordable housing, climate change, public safety, and the local economy. 

Q: Why do you want to be the mayor of Chula Vista? 

A: Chula Vista is my home. I've dedicated my life as an adult to serving the City of Chula Vista from the ’90s being on city boards and commissions to then serving two terms at the Council in the early 2000s, then being mobilized to fight in the war in Iraq. Coming back and being on the council, Chula Vista is my home. Every night I drive to the home that I own in Chula Vista to my wife. We’ve raised our children here, and I want to make sure that we provide the best quality of life and make Chula Vista the best place it can be for Chula Vistans.

Q: What is your top priority if elected as mayor? 

A: I have three main priorities. The first is to keep the city safe. I have had proven results as a city council member making the City of Chula Vista one of the safest cities in the county. That's why I'm endorsed by the Chula Vista Police Officers Association. Next is protecting taxpayers. I've opposed mileage tax, increases in gas tax, and any new sales tax increases. Lastly, getting homeless off the street. In 2016. I’ve helped lead efforts to create the homeless outreach team to get homeless off the streets and have supported and voted for building a bridge shelter earlier this year that is now under construction and looking to open up in January of 2023.

Q: How will you address homelessness as mayor? What do you think could be done differently? 

A: We have done a great job at the City of Chula Vista, building up our resources to get the homeless off the streets. We created the homeless outreach team in 2016. We have approved the bridge shelter, which will be opening in January. As mayor, I will expand the bridge shelter and I support the city and voted to have the best nonprofit in the state of California, City Net, be the one to manage our homeless issues in the City of Chula Vista because they have the highest results of getting homeless off the streets and back into our regular society

Q: Chula Vista recently closed Harborside Park. What do you think should have been done differently for this park? How will you handle homeless encampments as mayor? 

A: I was part of the effort to take action on the homeless. The city unanimously closed the park with the full support of the Chula Vista Elementary School District. It became a haven for drug activity and crime issues. The park belongs to the community and we are taking 90 days in several community meetings to find out what the community would like to do with the park. I would like to keep it a park but make sure that it is safe for children and families to attend. The park should be for all people It should be safe for members of our community to be there.

Q: What will you do to improve public safety in Chula Vista? 

A: I am committed to making sure that we hire additional officers, and we aggressively find officers that live in the city, because officers that live in the city care more about what's happening in the city. I would like to start planning to put an East substation in the eastern part of our city to make sure that we have a better police presence, quicker response times, and it will be easier for Eastern residents to access police services in their community, write reports and get information.

Q: How will you address affordable housing in Chula Vista? 

I have been a leader on the housing commission being on the planning commission, a four-term council member, and building East Lake, which was ranked as the top new home community for 10 years in a row. My focus is on affordable home ownership. I was successful in establishing a new community in Sunbow. That is building 718 new homeownership opportunities for police, fire, nurses, and other folks that are starting out in their life to make sure that they can afford homeownership. 

Q: What will you do to improve the local economy in Chula Vista? 

A: As the only candidate that is a successful businessman for over 30 years and has over a dozen employees, I understand the bureaucracy and the regulations at the city level, the state level, and the federal level. And I am streamlining the permitting processes. I am going through making sure that businesses are being supported, and I have a track record of helping over 200 new businesses open up successfully in Chula Vista.

Q: What will you do to ensure all neighborhoods are treated equally in Chula Vista? 

A: I grew up in the older communities when I was a child. In the early 2000s, I led efforts to build sidewalks underline power lines. With the new bayfront being approved, a $1.2 billion project, I will use a portion of that revenue that comes to the city specifically to invest in our older communities to upgrade their infrastructure, build sidewalks, and underground power lines, make sure that we are investing in all portions of the city so we can be united as one city.

Q: Chula Vista declared a climate emergency this year. What will you do to ensure the city’s climate goals are met? Would you like to make any changes to the climate action plan? 

A: As somebody who has solar panels on their house and drives an electric car, I believe that we should give incentives for people to put on solar panels, upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient, and ensure we have positive incentives to make positive changes. 

Q: How important is developing the bayfront in your vision of Chula Vista? 

A: I was honored to be on the city council in 2003 to help master plan the Bayfront. I am privileged to be voting on the final process and having started construction on the $1.2 billion bayfront project that will create 4,000 construction jobs, and 4,000 permanent jobs. It will be a catalyst to revitalize our older communities by allowing people to have access to walking trails, and parks on the bay front while providing increased revenue to improve the infrastructure in our older communities.

Q: What steps will you take to open a university in Chula vista? 

A: I've been part of the efforts to zone the land on the East side specifically for the university. We have an agreement now with San Diego State University to bring a film and media department to Chula Vista. I will continue to be committed to creating a campus at the City of Chula Vista that will evolve into a Cal State or UC Chula Vista University.

Q: Why should voters choose you over your opponent? 

A: I'm the most qualified candidate for mayor. I'm from Chula Vista. I have been a council member and deputy mayor four times. I am an Iraq war veteran and Navy veteran. I go home every night to my wife and children in Chula Vista. I'm a full-time mayor, and Chula Vista needs somebody that has a connection and knows Chula Vista. I'm the only candidate that has been committed to Chula Vista all my life.

Q: Would you like to add anything else? 

A: No.  

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