Southwest CV Civic Association: 2012-Questionnaire Seat 4

This questionnaire has been partially filled out using candidate website, news articles and campaign disclosure documents. We will provide copies to people who come to the Candidates Reception.

Linda Wagner and London Meservy have submitted answers. We thank them.


London Meservy: Business or Occupation: Lawyer with his own law firm Number of years you have lived in Chula Vista: The Meservy Family moved to Chula Vista when London was 18 months old. He attended local public schools (Rice Elementary, CVJH, CVH), Southwestern College, and graduated from UCSD.  London then earned his juris doctor from Cornell Law School. London and his wife Heather returned to Chula Vista in 2008 to raise their family.   Previous or Current Civic Participation in Chula Vista: As a 9th grader, London received the Scripps Memorial Community Service Award.  London was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout in Chula Vista and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. In 2010, London was appointed by the Chula Vista City Council to serve on the City's Board of Appeals and Advisors where he still serves.


Mary Salas: no answers submittedBusiness or Occupation: ______ Number of years you have lived in Chula Vista: Previous or Current Civic Participation in Chula Vista:


Linda Wagner:   Business or Occupation: full-time Senior Council Aide for Councilman Steve Castaneda for 8 years

Number of Years you have lived in Chula Vista since Nov. 2011 While I have only recently relocated my residence to the City of Chula Vista, I have practically lived here for the bulk of my career, serving this great City as a Senior Council Aide for the past eight years. Chula Vista has always been near to my heart. When my children were young, I regularly attended mass at St. Pius, where my niece was one of St. Pius’ first altar girls. My nephew attended Pilgrim Lutheran and my Goddaughters graduated from Hilltop High and Bonita Vista High. I am delighted to have made Chula Vista my home in Fall 2011. I now reside within walking distance of Chula Vista City Hall.

Previous and Current Civic Participation in the City of Chula Vista: Over the years, I have attended meetings of each and every organization in Chula Vista, including Crossroads II, Northwest Civic Association, Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association, the Broadway Business Association, Third Avenue Village Association, Senior Unity from Norman Park Center, The Fil-Am Community, South County Economic Development Council, Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism & Marketing District (TMD) Board, the Hotel/Motel Committee of the TMD, the Mobilehome Park Residents’ Association, many mobile home park HOAs, SUHSD Board, CVESD Board, HEAC, Institute for Public Strategies, the Port District, Environmental Health Coalition, SDG&E executives concerning Chula Vista issues, executives of Otay Water District, executives of Sweetwater Authority, Metropolitan Water District, Inter-agency Water Task Force, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Air Resources Board, League of CA Cities Healthy Eating/Active Communities, HEAC by the CA Endowment, Metropolitan Transit System, and the Regional Advisory Council on Homelessness.  Of course, for the past ten years I have attended every City Council meeting in their entirety.


1. Please provide a brief resume of your experience and training qualifying you to be a member of the CV city council.


London Meservy: London is an experienced lawyer who has represented publicly traded corporations and small businesses, employees, and individuals in a range of cases. London now owns and manages his own law practice, Meservy Law, P.C. His experience in problem solving and negotiations will help him resolve the city's many issues. The father of 2 young daughters, London has the long-term success of the city at heart.


Mary Salas: no answer submitted


Linda Wagner: I am the only full-time Senior Council Aide to have ever worked for the City of Chula Vista and the only Council Aide to have ever served the office of Deputy Mayor Steve Castaneda.  I have defined the Council Aide job and its expectations for the entire Council office.  I am engaged in all aspects of Council work, from constituent services- to office management- to developing resolutions for the Council agenda.  I facilitate whatever research, media contact or calendaring the office requires.  I am adept in the City budget, public health and safety issues, constituent services and all other areas of Council concern. I thus come to the table proficient in all aspects of a Councilmember’s duties. Among my innumerable accomplishments as a Senior Council Aide, one of my proudest achievements surrounds the very heart of the Council framework.  In 2004, I was instrumental in establishing the Subcommittee system of the Chula Vista City Council to foster more efficient management of Council issues.  The system is so effective that even with multiple changes to the makeup of the Council, including the Mayor, it continues to be successfully implemented. Through my service as a Council Aide I have been able to gather a number of community endorsements, from public safety activists to Mobilehome park resident activists, even against entrenched life-time politicians.


2. What organizations, developers, mobile home park owners and relatives as well as well known individuals are supporting you and how much money has each contributed?


London Meservy: London has received the endorsement of former City Councilmembers Patty Davis and Jerry Rindone, retired CV Police detective Mark Croshier, long time educators Stan Canaris and Gary Chapman, and community leader Kevin O'Neill.  London has also been endorsed by the CV Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Club of San Diego.  London has pledged not to accept any contributions from anyone who does business with the city or plans to do business with the city. To date, the campaign has raised over $11,000.00 from family and individual supporters.

Campaign Financial Disclosure Form for March 2012


Mary Salas:  no answer submitted Campaign Financial Disclosure Form for December 2011;  Campaign Financial Disclosure Form for March 2012


Linda Wagner: Unlike one of my opponents, I have not and I will not accept any contributions from Mobilehome park owners.  However, according to public record, one of my opponents has solicited and accepted almost $20,000 from Mobilehome park owners. 

On the other hand, I am proud to be supported by a long list of citizens who know I am best for the job. My endorsements include (partial list):

CV Deputy Mayor Hon. Steve Castaneda, CV Councilmember Hon. Rudy Ramirez, CV Councilmember Hon. Patricia Aguilar, CA State Senator, 40th District Hon. Juan Vargas, Retired CVPD Chief Bill Winters, Chula Vista Firefighters, David Danciu, President, Crossroads II, Steve Wood, director in prominent Neighborhood Council in Northwest CV, Theresa Acerro, President, Southwest Civic Association, Peter and Susan Watry, 50-year community activists, founders of Crossroads II, Alicia McGinnis, founder, Chula Vista Civic Association, Eastlake-Bonita Democratic Club, Penny Vaughn, President, CV MHP Residents Association; President, Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League (GSMOL); President, County Mobilehome Positive Action Committee (COMPAC), Bill Perno, Retired Sheriff’s Deputy; founder of People Against Spice Sales (PASS), Nick Aguilar, recent Southwestern College Governing Board Trustee; former 16-year Member, San Diego County Board of Education, Jimmie Sober, representing the Fil-Am community with Samahan, Jerry and Carlene Scott, retired officers of Crossroads II, Paul Desrochers, Retired CVRC Director, ,Jerilyn Canfield, Mobilehome Park Resident, Jackie Lancaster, community activist

Gus Chavez, retired educator with SUHSD, Jovita Juarez, TAVA event manager, Teresa Thomas, Professor Emeritus, Southwestern College; Director, Governing Board for Sweetwater Authority and South Bay Irrigation District, JoAnne Springer, community activist, John and Jessica Nascimento, teachers SUHSD

Campaign Financial Disclosure Form for March 2012


3. What are the names of the people who do not live in Chula Vista who have contributed to your campaign and how much money have they contributed?


London Meservy: Some friends and family from outside of Chula Vista have contributed to London's campaign but none of them have any business interests before the city council.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: Family: $400; Friends: $1050


4. If you are an incumbent or have held this office before what significant accomplishments did you achieve in your time in office?


London Meservy: London has never held elected office before, but is an appointed member of the Chula Vista Board of Appeals and Advisors.


Mary Salas:


Linda Wagner: While I am not the incumbent for Council Seat #4, I have served that office for the last eight years.  I am endorsed by the current Deputy Mayor Steve Castaneda as the best candidate to serve in that seat, as well as by two other sitting Councilmembers.

As set forth above, my work establishing the City Council’s subcommittee system, driven by public participation, to address specific areas of community and Council concern in the most efficient and transparent manner is one of my most significant accomplishments. Specifically, those subcommittees address issues pertaining, but not limited to:

·       Police, Fire and Ambulance service, including Advanced Life Support training for CV Firefighters as paramedics

·       Police Department staffing level adequacy

·       Wildland Urban Interface addressing wildfires

·       Fire Inspection program for business

·       Ambulance transport fees and other issues

·       Local and statewide legislation on sale and possession of synthetic drugs (Spice and Bath Salts)

·       Medical-marijuana issues, including dispensaries

·       Tobacco issues (restrictions on retail sales to minors)

·       Tobacco use restrictions within 50’ of common entrances

·       Banning tobacco use in outdoor dining facilities

·       Alcohol restrictions in our parks

·       Healthy Vending machine sales policy

·       Community gardens policy

·       Lactation Accommodation (breastfeeding and expressing) policy

·       Closure of the South Bay Power plant, including working with the CPUC, CAISO and CEC to shut down the SBPP

·       MMC Peaker plant on Main Street

·       APEX peaker plant adjacent to the Otay Valley Regional Park

·       Award-winning green building standards for new construction

·       Intervener before CPUC concerning SDG&E proposals, i.e. Net metering charges for solar producers, General Rate Case

·       Removing overhead transmission lines from the Bayfront

·       Solar groves at public parking lots to produce energy

·       Installing LED streetlight and traffic signals to improve energy efficiency and save precious tax dollars

In addition to these accomplishments, as far back as the Jade Bay MHP bankruptcy and closing, I have tirelessly worked to support mobilehome park resident issues.  Recently, the City Council approved an MHP opt-in “Rent Control” program to be supported by new MHP resident fees.  “Rent Control” eligible residents must agree to support the new fee based program to remain eligible.  Non-participating residents will no longer have disputed rent increases reviewed by the Rent Review Commission.

Several years ago, when one of my opponents was a member of the CA Assembly, she declared on the Assembly floor that Chula Vista mobilehome parks already had vacancy decontrol.  She also declared that vacancy decontrol had not adversely affected the sale price of MHP residents’ property.  She was wrong on two counts! 

Temporary vacancy decontrol was only recently approved by City Council.  This means that space rent for new owners of a mobilehome can be assessed at market value by the park owner at sale closing, then re-controlled only if the new owner opts-in to the “Rent Control” program in Chula Vista and pays a fee.

No economic effect on the mobilehome owner?  This measure could dramatically reduce the sale price of MHP residents’ property, since it is unlikely that a buyer will pay top dollar for the mobilehome if they know that they will have to pay market rate rent.

I have not and I will not accept any contributions from Mobilehome park owners. It comes as no surprise, that according to public record, this same opponent has solicited and accepted almost $20,000 from mobilehome park owners for her campaigns for office.

I have also worked to combat childhood obesity in our region, initiating legislation for healthy vending policy, breastfeeding accommodation, San Diego Food Bank Backpack for Kids food program and promotion of increased physical activity with pedestrian and bike pathway development.  I have recruited Chula Vista restaurants to offer a healthy children’s menu using ingredients they currently purchase for their regular menu. 

I have facilitated supplying necessary infrastructure to neighborhood markets and liquor stores on the West side, enabling them to for the first time, sell fresh produce in our underserved neighborhoods.  The League of California Cities, Healthy Eating/Active Communities Campaign (HEAL) recently awarded Chula Vista “Active City” status for our efforts to increase physical activity opportunities and promote healthy eating, including the introduction of our new community gardens policy.


5. What do you see as the greatest challenges to Chula Vista for a council member, and how do you plan to address those challenges?


London Meservy: Chula Vista faces serious financial and economic issues that need to be addressed to ensure that our city continues to be the place we want to live, work, and play for generations to come. London’s priorities are straightforward: balance the budget and maintain adequate reserves to secure the future while maintaining the important services that make our city a great place to live, work, and play. Demand a balanced budget that does not spend more than we have. No more spending our reserves to cover up deficits and slashing important city services. Restore and protect police and fire services to keep our city safe. No more extended overtime to cover up shortfalls in staffing or reducing officers on the streets and firefighters on fire trucks. Attract and retain businesses here so we can work and shop close to home. No more traffic congestion and long commutes away from home and spending our hard-earned money in other cities. London’s priorities can be accomplished if we carefully review all city expenses, move forward with the new bayfront project, attract new businesses, and balance the needs of our existing neighborhoods with new development.


Mary Salas: no answer submitted She knows Chula Vista has the potential to become a world-class city, and she has the experience to successfully steer major upcoming projects, including the Millenia at the Eastern Urban Center, a four-year university and research park, the urban renewal of western Chula Vista and the long- awaited revitalization of the bay front.


Linda Wagner: When I am a Councilmember, my greatest opportunity will be to deliver the services which all taxpayers expect for their hard-earned money while looking out for the overall good of our City.  Taxpayers generally don’t mind paying their taxes as long as their money is not wasted. They expect to be safe and have their City streets, sidewalks and sewers maintained in good working order.  They want their Rec centers open so that they can play a pick up game of basketball with their kids.  They yearn for their libraries to be open for business and conveniently located. We recently installed Wi-Fi in our Rec centers and libraries.  We need these facilities to be open at convenient hours for the benefit of our residents.  Wi-Fi is wasted if the doors are locked.  We need to re-open City Hall on Fridays.  City employees work for YOU.  You are the BOSS.  You pay our salaries.  You deserve the best, most convenient service for your tax dollars.  I will ensure that we are getting our money’s worth. 

I will safeguard our tax dollars as a sacred trust. 


5a. Do you agree that Chula Vista must stop emphasizing housing and start promoting more commercial and industry in order to finally get us balanced sometime in the future?


London Meservy: Our city must attract and retain businesses in town to provide jobs for residents to reduce commuting and generate revenues to the city Every time a resident leaves the city for work, it creates traffic on streets and freeways and distributes the sales tax revenues to other cities.  Without good paying local jobs, Chula Vista will turn into a residential and retail center, and create an imbalance in development.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: I recently attended a CA Association for Local Economic Development forum for elected officials hosted by South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC).  The need for economic development in Chula Vista is urgent.  We need good local jobs for our citizens.  Elected officials have a unique and valuable opportunity to network with the business community to retain and attract companies and jobs to Chula Vista.  Commercial and industrial enterprise brings good jobs for our citizens and revenue to our city.

Business improvement districts could help to expand networking opportunities for entrepreneurs who bring good jobs to our city and give pride to our business neighborhoods by keeping our commercial areas graffiti free and attractive to new merchants and customers.


6. What is your position on District elections for council members?

London Meservy: I do not support district elections because I believe it will result in dividing our city instead of bringing us together and create an environment ripe for earmarking benefits to a district in order to get the vote of that districts councilmember. I also believe that it will create an environment more susceptible to the influence of special interests. This is not good for our city.

Mary Salas:

Linda Wagner: believe the voters of Chula Vista will make the right decision about District elections for our City.  With that said, I truly understand the arguments on each side of this issue.  Some argue that District elections will deny voters an opportunity to vote for a well-qualified candidate running in a District other than their own.  They voice concern that District-elected Councilmembers might tend to represent only their parochial neighborhood interests, rather than the City-wide interests of all Chula Vistans.

Others demand that qualified candidates run from their own neighborhood.  They say that voters desire direct contact in the neighborhood with their representative.  They rightfully cite neighborhoods in Chula Vista which have been underrepresented on our Council.  The possibility exists to elect a Council on which all members are from the same neighborhood.  They point out that campaign contributions from outside Chula Vista unduly influence our local elections, that our Councilmembers should be promoted and supported only by the people they represent.

Each of the arguments is valid and should be weighed carefully by each voter before the decision this Fall on district elections in Chula Vista.

I will vote for district elections.  I believe that each neighborhood should be represented on our City Council.  I do not believe that election by district will distract our Councilmembers from serving all the citizens of Chula Vista.  I have seen firsthand that elected officials have every opportunity to consider the city as a whole when making decisions.  I believe that better decisions will be made for the whole city if we have input from every neighborhood. 


7. What is your position on whether we need a legislative council, term limits, and/or reduced pay for our elected City Attorney?


London Meservy: I do not support Prop C. First, I do not agree with the manner in which Prop C was drafted, presented to the Council, and put on the ballot with absolutely no charter review or budget impact analysis.  A legislative counsel will create unnecessary costs to our city and will likely result in conflicting legal opinion. Term limits may be a reasonable addition, as well as the requirement that the city attorney be a resident of Chula Vista.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: The citizens of Chula Vista overwhelmingly supported term limits for the City Councilmembers.  There is an inherent fairness in the position that all elected officials in our City should be subject to the same rules. 

Long ago, the voters decided that the compensation of Chula Vista elected officials would be based on a percentage of a Superior Court Judge’s compensation.  That is, the Mayor receives 66% of a Superior Court Judge’s salary and Councilmembers receive 40% of the Mayor’s salary.  However, currently, the elected City Attorney is compensated by a completely separate set of standards.  His or her salary is based not on a percentage of the salary of a Superior Court Judges’, but based on the average of salaries of City Attorneys in six other cities.  When the City Attorney of another city receives an increase in salary, our City Attorney also receives an increase.  In fact, our elected City Attorney currently receives a salary of $208,000 annually.

Since the City Attorney position in Chula Vista is now an elected position, compensation for the position should be based on a percentage of a Superior Court Judge’s salary- just like all other elected officials in Chula Vista.  The ballot measure proposes that our City Attorney receive 100% of a Superior Court Judge’s salary, currently $178,000.  This is seems more than fair. 

There is another issue pertaining to the office of City Attorney which must be addressed. Currently, our City Charter provides that if there exists a matter of a potential conflict of interest or Ethics Complaint involving the City Attorney, the City Attorney is actually allowed to appoint outside counsel of his or her own choosing to advise the Ethics Commission and/or resolve the matter.  In fact, the City Attorney is the only one allowed to appoint outside counsel. That’s like the fox watching the henhouse! 

The ballot measure, which is supported by the City Council- and ME- endeavors to solve this problem by granting City Council – not the City Attorney- authority to appoint outside counsel when the City Attorney is the subject of an Ethics Complaint or has a potential conflict of interest.


8. Should an Infrastructure Bond be put on the ballot to pay for maintenance of roads, buildings and streets?


London Meservy: I would seriously consider a bond measure if a specific list of expenditures was provided and safeguards were put in place to reduce unnecessary expenditures and waste.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: The voters have been clear in several recent elections: we are hurting financially, our houses have decreased in value, the cost of gasoline is crippling, we are unemployed and under-employed and the cost of healthcare has increased every year – so NO tax increases. 

Since there is substantial cost to putting a measure on the ballot and we are only now beginning to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, this is likely not the time to ask our community to increase their contributions for government services, even infrastructure, or to raise their taxes, barring urgency. 

Our infrastructure is in disrepair and deteriorating.  We must read the budget with a yellow highlighter and reallocate funds to systematically maintain our infrastructure.  Postponed maintenance is costly in the long run, as any homeowner can tell you. The voters have been clear in several recent elections: we are hurting financially, our houses have decreased in value, the cost of gasoline is crippling, we are unemployed and under-employed and the cost of healthcare has increased every year – so NO tax increases. 

Since there is substantial cost to putting a measure on the ballot and we are only now beginning to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, this is likely not the time to ask our community to increase their contributions for government services, even infrastructure, or to raise their taxes, barring urgency. 

Our infrastructure is in disrepair and deteriorating.  We must read the budget with a yellow highlighter and reallocate funds to systematically maintain our infrastructure.  Postponed maintenance is costly in the long run, as any homeowner can tell you.


9. Should money be taken from one area of the city for projects in another area?


London Meservy: Funding for projects usually require a balance of spending based on priorities and needs.  Projects with a citywide impact like streets and sewer cannot and should not be funded only with taxes from the immediate area.  I support a citywide plan to achieve an equitable share of funding.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: This proposal was recently offered by City staff to Council regarding the South Library Park and the Third Avenue Village Streetscape master plan.  $840,000 was proposed to be reallocated from Southwest Chula Vista to Northwest Chula Vista.  I found this proposal quite disturbing. 

Residents of the Southwest have been promised a park adjacent to the library for many years.  In addition, SDG&E has already contributed $375,000 to the City for this purpose, which Deputy Mayor Castaneda and I were instrumental in securing.  It has long since been deposited into the appropriate account, waiting to be spent on the park, all this time. And it’s never been spent for the park.  Rather, this $1.2 million has been languishing in City coffers, waiting for design and construction of this park to serve an underserved Southwest neighborhood.

Promises must be kept.  The park WILL be built.  No park revenue will be transferred to a project in another neighborhood.


10. Do you support the City Council’s plan to continue taking as much money as Redevelopment had been taking away from the General Fund, schools, the County and special districts for projects that the will not be able to maintain in the future? (20% of the 14 million that went to the Redevelopment Agency in the past would be 2.8 million almost enough to totally eliminate next year’s deficit.)


London Meservy: All projects and other items need to take expected ongoing maintenance and related future costs into consideration as a part of the planning process.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: No


11. What is your plan for encouraging economic development in the city without Redevelopment funds?


London Meservy: As your Councilmember, I pledge to dedicate to time to attracting businesses to Chula Vista.  Chula Vista is a part of an enterprise zone that offers substantial tax credits to businesses that hire and/or make capital expenditures.  I will work with existing and new businesses to take advantage of the enterprise zone that Chula Vista lies within. 


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: Since the demise of Redevelopment in California, we must be creative in developing plans which encourage economic development in our city.  I believe the idea of establishing Business Improvement Districts should be studied to determine if improving and maintaining commercial neighborhoods would encourage economic development. 

I also believe that we must work to retain businesses currently located in our city which offer good jobs to our citizens and revenue to our city.  We must not eliminate or discourage employers from remaining in Chula Vista and growing their business.  In fact, we must do what we can to support and promote their continued operation in our City.

We must also promote business to business buying in Chula Vista.  If Chula Vista businesses bought from Chula Vista businesses, we would not be the City with the lowest sales tax collected per capita in San Diego County.  Buy local.  It makes a difference to the services our City can provide.


12. What ethical guidelines do you feel are important for a candidate for CV City Council?


London Meservy: It is important to not perpetuate the “pay-for-play” business that has plagued our city’s government.  Because it is vital for Council Members to serve the city’s residents and not special interest groups, I have pledged to not take contributions from anyone that has business in front of the City Council.  Both of my opponents have already taken, and continue to take, contributions from individuals that conduct business with the city.


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: I will be open, honest and fair in all my decisions. I will always tell the truth. I will seek input from all sides of every issue and give everyone a fair shake at City Hall. I will do full-time work for part-time pay. I will be in the office every day, serving you. I will answer your calls and help with your concerns as I have been doing for eight years. I will not use this Council office as a place holder for any higher office. I will not cause an expensive special election part way through my term to refill my seat. I will serve my full term for the voters who elect me.


13. Do you agree that it is unethical for former elected members of the council to represent or work on city projects for businesses that receive contracts from the city of Chula Vista for at least a year after leaving elected office?


London Meservy: I agree.  Again, it is time for Council Members to serve the public – not special interest groups. 


Mary Salas: (no answer submitted)


Linda Wagner: Absolutely! Now more than ever, we need to build the confidence of the people we serve, not do things to erode it.  We must avoid in any way legally possible the appearance of any deal being cut to procure employment after leaving office.  Several years ago, a Councilmember cast a vote for a contract to give several million dollars to a private interest, then upon leaving the Council went to work for that private interest, ostensibly paid by the very money that was voted on by the Council.  This is the kind of activity, which causes people to distrust the process.  I want more people involved in the process, not fewer.  I will work with the City Attorney to eliminate this type of practice.