by Photo courtesy of Steve Stenberg

Steve Stenberg is running to represent District 2 on Chula Vista’s City Council, currently vacated by Council member Jill Galvez. 

Stenberg is a registered Republican opposing Democrat Jose Preciado for a seat on city council. The 67-year-old was born in Pasadena but moved to Chula Vista in 1964 when his father became the assistant manager of Chula Vista, and his mother attained a job with the Chula Vista Elementary School District as a third-grade teacher. 

“Northwest Chula Vista is pretty much where  I grew up,” said Stenberg, noting that he had attended Allen Elementary, Bonita Vista Middle and High School, then graduated from Southwestern College. 

He is a U.S. Airforce Veteran of 11 years and finished his degree at National University. Stenberg joined the U.S. Border Patrol in 1982 and spent two years at Brown Field. He then got into U.S. Customs for a year and a half. 

After several years in federal law enforcement, Stenberg joined the Federal Fire Department in 1985 and retired in 2009 with 30 years of experience. He then continued his career with San Diego County Fire as a fire captain until 2012. Stenberg continued to work for CalFire for another decade as a defense spatial inspector. 

He retired from CalFire on August 5. of 2022.

Steinberg is married with two sons and three grandchildren. He began his family business in 2015 by opening the Third Avenue Ale House in 2015, which on Oct. 15, celebrated its seventh anniversary. 

“This August, my wife and I finally transferred the ownership over to my oldest son Mike and my daughter-in-law Kendall Mannion, and now they are the full-time,100% owners. We're tickled pink by that,” Stenberg said.  

He notes that Chula Vista needs to attract more businesses and wants to support the small business community. 

“I want to lower the timeframe for building permits, which will incur more owners to buy and build in Chula Vista. It will also encourage more contractors to come back. That has been on the decline for the last 20 years. Before, contractors would line up to work in Chula Vista, but the permitting system has gotten bogged down. It takes an average of one to two years to get all your permits done. A lot of contractors will refuse to work in Chula Vista. I know it can be done sooner because our family business, Third Avenue Ale House, took exactly 90 days from when we pulled our first permit, our last one, and opened the doors. When I tell contractors, they just shake their heads in disbelief. I think we can do that,” Stenberg said. 

Stenberg said public safety, improving and updating infrastructure in Northwest Chula Vista, and finding solutions to addressing homelessness are his priorities.

“I walk a lot. The main two things I've seen in my district are people are concerned about homelessness. Right behind that, they're concerned about safe neighborhoods. They like the neighborhood they are in, but they want to ensure that it's going to stay safe,” Stenberg said. 

Stenberg said he would like to leverage public service agencies to bring resources to help address homelessness in Chula Vista. He said another concern is how the city utilizes Measure A monies.

“The measure was voted in 2018 as a half-cent sales tax used to hire police and fire. The city of Chula Vista has tried to raid it twice, and it's been fought off twice, mainly because we have an oversight committee. I want to make sure that our law enforcement and police department have the best equipment we can give, with good competitive pay and benefits,” Stenberg said. 

Stenberg said he ran for office in 2018 for the first time with no committees or public experience. 

“I lost by 805 votes to 17,500 that were cast, so I actually lost by two precincts in my district,” he said.  

He said that councilmember Galvez gave him a call in July to inform him that she was running for mayor. Stenberg said he filed for city council one week after she filed for mayor. 

Stenberg said he is joined by a group of walkers to talk with constituents to gather support.

“The biggest lesson I've learned is that you can't win the election unless you walk your precinct. Just like in 2018, voters want to meet the candidate, and I want to meet the people I am working for,” Stenberg said. 

He continued, “I look forward to getting on the team and doing the best that I can do. I know several council members have full-time jobs, but I'm retired and this is going to allow me to make Chula Vista my next job. I want to help the people in my district, and the city as a whole.” 

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