• • Recent Council Items of Interest • •
Three years in the making!! This is the free door-to-door shuttle service area map for seniors 55+ that I've been telling you about in past newsletters. SIX electric shuttles will operate 12 hours per day, 5 days per week, beginning (hopefully) in early 2022. You can call via phone, app, or text. I'm working hard on expanding the coverage area and seeking additional grants... Stay tuned!
Council accepted (4-0) 10/12/21 grant funds of $997,833 from the California Air Resources Board, and $1,000,000 from the Community Congregational Development Corporation, and accepted an agreement with Circuit Transit, to provide FREE door-to-door electric shuttle services for seniors 55+ in Northwest Chula Vista, 12 hours a day, 5 days per week, managed by the city and operated by Circuit. Click here to watch the presentation, here for the map showing the service area, or here for the staff report. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Daniel Kramer of Circuit, city staff Dennis Gakunga, Stacey Kurtz, Maria Kachadoorian, Bill Valle, Barbara Locci, Michael McDonnell, Glen Googins, Eric Crockett, and the wonderful board members of the CCDC: Laurie Orange, David Hand, Jerry May, Nancy and Wayne Holiman, Ruth Jones, Mike Green and Jessica Ripper.
Council heard 10/12/21 our Police Department's update on Crime and Safety Trends. Compared amongst the nine largest cities in the County in 2020, Coronado and Chula Vista had the lowest crime rates, according to the FBI Index. And more good news - for the first time in over 21 years, the Police Department has met both Priority 1 (514 calls, avg. 5:27) and Priority 2 (11,561 calls, avg. 11:49) response time goals in the same fiscal year. Top 10 Citizen-Initiated calls (in order, by volume): 1. General Disturbance, 2. Domestic Violence, 3. Check a Person's Well-Being, 4. Traffic Collision, 5. Mental Health Evaluation, 6. Petty Theft ($950 or less), 7. False Alarm, 8. Noise Disturbance, 9. Illegally Parked Vehicle, 10. Assault. There were 1,548 vehicle collisions in the past year in Chula Vista,109 of which involved one or more pedestrians. Our local count of unsheltered individuals in Chula Vista was 339 in 2021, up from 262 in 2017. Click here to read Police Chief Roxana Kennedy's full report.
Council accepted (4-0) 10/12/21 the recommendation of the Growth Management Oversight Commission and staff to not prepare/present a comprehensive review and annual report for FY 2020/21.
Council heard 10/12/21 a presentation by the San Diego Food Bank. The San Diego Food Bank currently distributes food, diapers, and other necessities through 38 partners in Chula Vista.
Council voted (4-0) 10/12/21 to approve the Tax-Exempt Affordable Housing Multi-Family Revenue Notes and Bonds for a 200 unit project, "Columba Apartments" at the northwest corner of Solstice Ave and Optima Street in the Millenia neighborhood of Otay Ranch, Chula Vista.
Council voted (4-0) 10/26/21 to ratify the appointment of John Skeel as our new Director of Animal Services. John previously served as the Deputy Director of Animal Care and Control for the city and county of San Francisco, and his impressive resume can be viewed here.
Council voted (4-0) 10/26/21 to approve the framework of a "Workforce Housing Policy" that will enable the city to consider Joint Power Authority housing proposals for moderate income rental projects.
Council heard 10/26/21 an update from Chula Vista Fire Chief Harry Muns after the first six months of operation of EMT/Ambulance Transport. Click here to read the presentation, or here (at 2:30 to watch the presentation). Highlights include a tremendous improvement in response times at all ten stations, as well as Imperial Beach and Bonita,
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The next city council meeting is Tuesday, November 9th, at 5pm, Chula Vista City Council Chambers, 276 4th Avenue. Councilmembers will be in attendance and seated on the dais. The public is welcome to attend in person. Council meetings are generally the first four Tuesdays of the month. Agendas are posted the Thursday prior to each meeting. To view the agenda, click here. To subscribe to receive future agendas, click here.
City council meetings can be viewed live online here or on television Cox Cable channel 24 (only in Chula Vista) or AT&T U-Verse channel 99 (anywhere in the county), via live-streaming on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
• • High Priority Items • •
Police Officer Staffing, as of 11/1/2021 - WE'RE HIRING !
- Authorized Peace Officers - 280* Full Time Employees (Chief, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Agents, Peace Officers)
- Authorized Peace Officers (filled) - 241
- Vacancies - 39* Full Time Equivalents
- Applicants for those positions currently in process - 254 applicants are currently on a civil service list for either Police Recruit or Lateral Peace Officer. These applicants have passed a written test, pre-background questionnaire, physical agility test and/or oral board interview. After being placed on this list, applicants must successfully complete a background, chief's interview, psychological evaluation and pre-employment medical. Our Human Resources Department is continually recruiting, which includes written test, physical agility testing and oral board interviews monthly. Chula Vista has very high standards for our police officers, and we lose a majority of applicants in the first phase of the application process. We can and should do better as a city to prioritize funding for our police department to ensure that all vacancies are filled. You can read more about my thoughts on Public Safety staffing here.
• • Did You Know • •
The Third Avenue Village Association (TAVA) is now under new management! Beginning in October, TAVA is now managed by New City America, the same organization and people who made Little Italy the dynamic place it is today. We welcome the new team of Dominic Li Mandri, Monica Montes, Christopher Gomez and Dianne Serna De Leon, and congratulate them on a successful and sold-out first event, Dia De Los Muertos last Friday. Learn more about TAVA and sign up for event updates here.
Chula Vista's Police Department has contracted with the firm AirData UAV to provide increased transparency, providing residents with the ability to view the exact location, flight path, and purpose behind each drone flight. To view drone flight data, click here.
Chula Vista's Police Department and District Attorney Summer Stephan have arrested Larry Millete for the murder of his wife, Maya Millete. Larry is being held without bail. To date, Maya's body has not been recovered. Maya's children are safe in an undisclosed location. Click here to watch the story.
The Chula Vista Fire Department opened a new centennial exhibit at the South Chula Vista Library, 100 Years of the Chula Vista Fire Department, at 389 Orange Avenue. See Fire Department artifacts, including the very first Chula Vista Fire truck. Read the history of the Chula Vista Fire Department here.
Chula Vista's Fire Department has a new "Tiller Truck" (also known as a ladder truck). Truck 51 replaces the 17 year old ladder truck. It will be housed at Fire Station 1 on F Street near City Hall as soon as the fire station is remodeled to accommodate this almost 58' vehicle. The tiller truck is currently in service from Fire Station 3 at 100 Moss Street.
Most Parks & Rec programming is now available, including a Thanksgiving Camp 11/22-11/24, 9am - 4pm, at the Parkway Community Center. Winter programs begin January 10th, 2022. Click here for more information.
MTS Blue Line Trolley's Mid-Coast Extension opens for one-seat rides from the San Ysidro border trolley stop to the VA, UCSD, and UTC Mall on Sunday, November 21st. Learn more here. Download the Pronto app on your smartphone here.
Republic Services will begin delivery of new, green food/organics/yard waste mechanical containers to single-family residential customers who do not have a Republic Services-provided green cart this month. On January 1st, 2022, Republic Services will go live with Chula Vista food and yard waste collection in the single green containers. After January 1st, Republic Services will no longer service customer-owned yard waste containers. Please read information in your trash bill. Anticipated rate changes/increases are February 1, 2022, after the Proposition 218 hearing.
Sweetwater Authority has a new General Manager, Carlos Quintero. Quintero comes to us from the Santa Ana Watershed Authority, and replaces GM Tish Berge, who accepted a position with the San Diego County Water Authority in February. Quintero will oversee 136 employees, and his salary is $245,000. Read more here.
• • Congratulations to • •
SBCS for celebrating 50 years of service in the South Bay, supporting children, youth, and families, and most recently, helping distribute Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding to our residents impacted by COVID-19. We appreciate all that you do! Learn more about SBCS here.
Celebrity chef and Chula Vista Native Jose Barajas, Stevie Bowlin, and Miguel Angel Barajas for an exciting opening of their long-anticipated Mmm... Cakes bakery at the southwest corner of Third & F Street. This "Golden Girls" themed fantasy bakery has quickly become a fan favorite! Thank you to our fellow Chula Vistans who donated to their crowd sourcing campaign to make this dream come true! Click here to read the story.
Troy Schlage, Jr., for becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest award a scout can receive. Only 4% of scouts in the U.S. move up through the ranks of scouting to earn the Eagle Scout honor. Thanks also to Troy's parents, Troy Sr. and Ellen Schlage, for your commitment and years of service, helping Troy achieve this honor.
• • With Gratitude • •
Congratulations on 40 years of service, and best wishes for your retirement, Mike Leake. We appreciate your stewardship and dedication to the health of the tens of thousands of trees in Chula Vista's right of ways, parks, facilities, and throughout our beautiful city. Thank you.
• • Kudos to • •
Community Congregational Development Corporation's Laurie Orange, David Hand, Jerry May, Nancy and Wayne Holiman, Ruth Jones, Mike Green and Jessica Ripper, Circuit Transit, the California Air Resources Board, and city staff Dennis Gakunga, Stacey Kurtz, Maria Kachadoorian, Bill Valle, Barbara Locci, Michael McDonnell, Glen Googins, Eric Crockett for working together to provide FREE door-to-door electric shuttle services for seniors 55+ in Northwest Chula Vista, 12 hours a day, 5 days per week, managed by the city and operated by Circuit. Click here to watch the presentation, here for the map showing the service area, or here for the staff report. Click here to watch Joe Little's news story, or here to watch the charming story by Televisa, featuring Rosemary Murphy and Marta Sanchez, the San Diego Union Tribune story here.
Students from Hilltop, Castle Park, Mar Vista, and Bonita Vista High Schools, plus the South Bay Sustainable Communities and all other volunteers who participated in the 18th Annual Beautify Chula Vista Day in October, sponsored by Chula Vista Public Works.
Students from Chula Vista High School and teacher Maria Galleher, for cleaning up the areas around their high school on a regular basis. We appreciate you!
Kudos to brilliant Teresa Blanco, Director of Community Engagement and Wellness at Gonzalez Northgate Market, and to Kevin Mattson of San Ysidro Health and his team for opening the incredibly innovative new San Ysidro Healthcare Breast Cancer screening clinic, located INSIDE a grocery store, adjacent to the very healthy produce section of Gonzalez Northgate Market at 1058 Third Avenue!
• • Call to Action • •
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, Saturday, November 13, 8:30am-2:30am, to help transform Lancerlot Park, 796 Colorado Avenue. Please join us (wear gloves and sunscreen!) to help excavate dirt, install rocks and decomposed granite pathways along the sides of the new playground which will be installed in January or February 2022. Thank you to The Rock Church, Vulcan Materials, and Chula Vista city staff for making this long-overdue renovation possible.
Help local school children in need by donating $ to the Chula Vista Police Department School Resource Officers' Annual Shoe and Socks Giveaway Fund. Join CVESD, SBCS, and the Chula Vista Police Foundation by considering a charitable gift to this 501(c)3. Contact Officer Ruvalcaba via email or call (619)585-5704.
• • COVID-19 Update 11/1/21 • •
If you lose your COVID Vaccination Card you can get another one by clicking this link.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson booster shots for COVID-19 are now available for those 65+, for persons with existing underlying health conditions, and for certain essential employees, as long as you are six months past completing your second dose of Pfizer/Moderna or two months after getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Use the MyTurn system to schedule your booster vaccination appointment. Different variants of COVID will likely be with us for a long time. We cannot become complacent about practicing COVID prevention.
FREE COVID Testing is available at various locations throughout the County, including the new site at the Oleander Community Center, 1301 Oleander Avenue, Tues-Sat 7am-7pm. Click here to find a site near you, or call (833)422-4255. For help in scheduling a COVID test or vaccination, call (619)476-2397 M-F 11am-7pm. You can also find more information here.
FREE COVID Vaccinations (and COVID boosters) are available every Thursday, from 1pm-4pm, at Chula Vista City Hall, Building C Lobby, administered by the Chula Vista Fire Department. Other vaccination locations can be found here or here.
Remember, the COVID vaccine should be free. Free COVID vaccinations are also administered at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, 752 Medical Center Court, 10am-2pm, Monday - Friday. Free COVID vaccinations are also administered at the South Region Live Well Center at Chula Vista, 690 Oxford Street, 1-8pm, Sunday - Thursday. Free COVID vaccinations at San Ysidro Health at the Chula Vista PACE Center, 880 Third Ave. They have the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. They are taking walk-ins, but calling to make an appointment is recommended, (619) 205-4585.
If you are a housebound senior or cannot leave your home to receive a COVID vaccine, please call the Chula Vista resident support line (619) 476-2397. Our EOC staff will schedule our Chula Vista Fire Department's mobile vaccination unit "Operation Immunity" (Firefighter/Paramedic/EMT) to come to your residence.
IF YOU HAVE VERY RECENTLY TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 - Please consider getting early treatment (FREE) at one of two Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARC). The centers are open 7 days a week, and there is no cost to the patient, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. This is the same intravenous life-saving treatment that President Trump received to reduce his symptoms and help him recover after being infected by the coronavirus. Call (619) 685-2500 for more information. The Chula Vista MARC center is at 391 Oxford Street, Chula Vista. Click here to learn more.
If you lost a loved one due to COVID-19, FEMA may provide help with your funeral expenses, up to $9,000. FEMA will begin accepting calls to it's help center (844)684-6333 on April 12th. You will need a death certificate after January 2020 and all receipts. Beware of scammers - FEMA will not call you. Click here to learn more.
CONSUMER ALERT on Reported COVID FEES charged to patients. Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office issued an alert warning consumers about some healthcare providers reportedly charging patients a COVID FEE when seeking care. If you are being charged a COVID FEE by your doctor, dentist, or other healthcare practitioner, please call one of the following: Medi-Cal Members call (800)541-5555, Medicare members call (800)633-4227, Private Insurance call (800)927-4357, and/or file a complaint here.
You can continue to check updated COVID-19 information at three important websites: the City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego and State of California.
California's eviction moratorium ended September 30, 2021.
U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada will open November 8th for vaccinated travelers. Beginning January 2022, all persons crossing the border will be required to show proof of vaccination.
• • Need Help? • •
The County of San Diego is offering a Security Deposit Assistance Program (SDAP). The security deposit cannot exceed two months' rent for a maximum award amount of $7,000. Vouchers are limited. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available. Click here for more information.
Chula Vista Residents may now qualify to have 100% of past-due rent covered by the State. The Chula Vista ERAP program (which stands for Emergency Rental Assistance Program) is distributing up to $16.8 million in past-due rent relief from and help with utility bills. Click here to learn more and apply. Click here for a tutorial on how to apply (in English and Spanish) and to learn eligibility details. If you need help with the online application, you can call (619)271-1805 during business hours. Walk-in help is available at South Bay Community Services, 430 F Street. Funding for this program comes from allocations from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the State of California. If you do not live in Chula Vista, click here if you need help. NOTE: funding may soon run out. Be sure to apply soon.
Don't despair - call someone if you are having mental health issues! Click here for a list of mental health resources in the county, or call (888) 724-7240 for 24x7 crisis support and referrals from trained and experienced counselors.
Eviction protections changed on October 1st. To reduce the risk of eviction, eligible renters should apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program by calling (833)430-2122 or visiting HousingIsKey.com
Chula Vista Rental Assistance, call (619) 271-1805 or click here.
South Bay Community Services, click here.
Housing Help, State of California, click here.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego, click here.
San Diego County Advocacy Against Discrimination, call (800) 954-0441 or click here.
• • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs • •
Click here to see a list of current job openings with the city of Chula Vista. Job descriptions (and salary ranges) can be found here.
Click here to bid on projects with the city.
Click here to file for unemployment benefits if you have recently lost your job.
MTS is hiring - more than 100 job openings are available, with $1000 signing bonus for select positions. Click here to learn more or attend a hiring fair.
Marine Group Boatworks on the Chula Vista Bayfront is hiring (and training prospective employees!). Click here to learn more.
Chula Vista Bayfront construction partners Mortenson McCarthy Joint Venture are seeking small and diverse business enterprises to pre-qualify as Trade Partners for the 1600-room Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center. Construction should begin in 2022. Click here to pre-qualify and learn more about business opportunities, or email here with questions.
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Thank you for the honor to serve you on the Chula Vista City Council. Your thoughts and questions are always welcome!
Be safe, take care, and please check in on your friends and family via phone, email, letter, or in person!
Jill M. Galvez | Chula Vista City Councilmember | District 2, Northwest
276 Fourth Avenue | Chula Vista, CA | 91910
Phone: 619.691.5177 | Cell: 619.997.1016 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org