Madrid Officially Kicks Off Campaign

LA MESA -- Surrounded by 25 loyal supporters, some representing local groups, Mayor Art Madrid Monday morning officially kicked off his re-election campaign.
Speaking from the steps of a City Hall that he has frequented in one form or another for the last 44 years, Madrid made it clear he was going to emphasize his accomplishments and experience in taking on City Councilman Mark Arapostathis.

"Elections are about choices,'' Madrid said. "La Mesa voters will again have two very different and distinct candidates from which to choose as their next mayor. Those differences will be the single focus of my campaign with emphasis on the integrity, leadership, values and courage of each candidate.''

Madrid said that public safety -- police and fire -- as well as maintaining "all core services provided by the city" would drive his campaign.

Madrid listed a long list of accomplishments during his 24 years as mayor, dating back to the redevelopment of Fletcher Parkway to attracting the new apartment projects near Grossmont Center and the rebuilding of Allison Avenue as well as the looming redesign of La Mesa Boulevard. He attributed the city's successful applications for more than $12-million in grants to his active participation on regional, state and national organizations.

"The current fiscal challenges La Mesa faces today requires a mayor who is conversant with all aspects of the problem areas,'' Madrid said. "I am that person.''

Madrid did repeat his earlier promise that this election will be his last.

"I won't be done,'' he said. "I just won't be holding public office after this next term.''

Noticeably absent from Madrid's morning announcement were the four council members, three of whom attended the announcement earlier this month of the fourth -- Arapostathis -- that he would be challenging Madrid for the mayor's post.

Madrid's gathering of supporters from across the city, and from among groups that have worked closely with the city on a number of issues, does underscore the strength that Madrid has built among a wide swath of the community over more than two decades as mayor. Among those in the crowd Monday were doctors from Grossmont hospital, leaders of the Fair Trade La Mesa group which failed to win support in their efforts from Madrid's fellow council members. Several of Madrid's supporters complained that they knew little about the political positions or views of the council members that have opposed Madrid efforts in recent months. 

"They don't say what they stand for,'' one supporter said. "I guess they just wanted to be mayor.''

Madrid said he would agree to debate Arapostathis repeatedly throughout the coming months.

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Tags: La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Mark Arapostathis, Mayor Art Madrid


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Comment by Batman on April 22, 2014 at 9:44am

There is something worse than an Art Madrid protégé - a David Alvarez protégé.

Comment by Marie McLaughlin on April 22, 2014 at 9:25am

With Councilmen Arapostathis & Ewin giving up their Council seats, it's a little scary to think who may take their places.  Hopefully it will not be a Madrid protege.  Thankfully City Council members Alessio & Sterling will still be there working for the people and La Mesa's best interests.

Comment by Mark Cavanaugh on April 22, 2014 at 8:58am

It is hard to imagine whoever replaces Mark win or lose could put the City in any worse shape than it is already in.  But then again, the Country did re-elect Obama

Comment by Batman on April 22, 2014 at 8:27am

I won't break my heart if Madrid loses, but if Dr. Mark loses his council seat for nothing...

Don't underestimate the audacity of Art Madrid.

Comment by Mark Cavanaugh on April 21, 2014 at 5:28pm

Yes Art, because of you, we have $12M in grants and you also invented the internet with Al Gore.  NOT!  I see you didn't take credit for the $67M in unfunded pension liabilities or the .75% sales tax increase that was supposed to bring the City whole but we still find ourselves with a budget deficit!  Yes as our part time Mayor, you were too busy going around the Council to sign a Fair Trade Group proclamation.  Let's not forget about the Hit and Run incident

or the drunk face down on sidewalk in public incident

Your leadership has bankrupt the City and created a very divided council.  Your leadership has put us in the hole with no chance of getting out.  Your leadership has shown us how to waste tax dollars on excessive and unnecessary travel, how to play the politics of destruction game, and how focus on issues that are not relevant to our own backyard such as fracking.  Do you really want to put us all through another four painful years?  VOTE FOR DR A!  Time for a new direction.

Comment by Kevin G George on April 21, 2014 at 4:16pm
Several of Madrid's supporters complained that they knew little about the political positions or views of the council members that have opposed Madrid efforts in recent months. " 
If you don't know what the the others stand for, you haven't been, or don't want to pay attention.
For instance, one of the things they stand for is the fact that the $12 million in grants ( the tax money that came out of your other pocket) was applied for, and secured by City staff, not the Mayor.
This fact has been brought up multiple times at Council meetings in the past year when the Mayor has attempted to take credit for the grants.
 The Mayor has agreed, when pressed, that staff is responsible for applying for and securing all grants every single time.
Comment by Lisa Moore on April 21, 2014 at 2:28pm

Let the political games begin, and the city of La Mesa is the winner!!

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