El Cajon Councilman Steve Goble on council dynamics, business, safety and homeless
His day job is senior vice president of Annex Brands, Inc., with seven brands, the largest Postal Annex, but newly elected El Cajon Councilman Steve Goble has now had the chance to meet with city staff, and El Cajon’s police and first responders. He has one goal in serving the city, to be part of a team that creates a greater quality of life for the people and its businesses. He said he is transitioning quickly, but believes his top priority now is to listen to the citizens of El Cajon.
“It has been great,” he said. “My goal is to be part of a team, collaborators to make El Cajon better. The reason I ran is to make the quality of life for residents and businesses in El Cajon, and to attract those who aren’t. It’s very short and simple but there is a lot behind that.”
Goble said everything he does needs to focus on that goal.
“That is why I ran and what I want to do on Council,” he said. “You can be a leader, but you have to have the people to help you carry out desires and wishes for a better city. It is important for me to respect relationships that are here already and to forge new ones in ways that I think will reach the goal of improving the quality of life.”
The only candidate not endorsed by either party, Goble said he has a unique perspective and is an independent thinker. His chief endorsement came from San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who Goble said is a great example of a public servant that works for the people and an example to follow.
At his first council meeting, he weighed in with questions that he thought the people would ask concerning the $9.3 million animal shelter. Not to fill time, but to ask questions that provides the most information of the public.
“It always comes back to that. I think that type of open thinking, open dialogue is good government,” he said.
“My philosophy is to let private industries and people try to regulate themselves first. If that fails, if there is risk to the public then the government needs to step in and look at that. But let private industries have a clean clear shot, than run through hoops.”
“In the 90s I owned a Baskin Robbins in Lemon Grove. The business was growing and I wanted to put some outside tables and chairs. In checking with the city, they came back with $90,000 in improvements that I would have to make surrounding the business, and specific tables and chairs. It was so prohibitively expensive, I abandoned the idea. That’s an example of bad government.”
“So I need to look at it as how can we look at a situation and how can I help you. The role of government is to protect the people, not to put burdensome and costly regulations on businesses to fund itself. That’s not good government.”
“Here in El Cajon we have the opportunity to be very encouraging for businesses. We have to appreciate anyone who is placing a business in El Cajon is taking a very big risk. They’re putting their personal investments on the line, a personal risk. We need to reward them for that risk. Not punish them with high regulations on that risk.”
“The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce is a great organization and every business in El Cajon should be a part of it. If you want to grow your business it is about relationships. And that’s a great place to be.”
“My top two priorities for El Cajon are safety and the increasing problem of homelessness. Public safety, I think we need more police officers on the road. In a zero sum budget, if you increase police officers in one area, it might mean you need to take cuts in another area, unless you can find some other form of revenue.”
“I feel strongly about this. It is a very complicated process. Retention is a problem. If I run a business, I need to look at how I compensate my employees, in total. Pay, benefits, intangible benefits, work environment. There are a lot of things that lead to employee satisfaction.”
“The better that I keep my employees happy, the least likely they are to go look for other opportunities somewhere else. That’s the kind of common sense thing we need to look at. How are we doing in the marketplace? I want to get the best that I can get.”
“I’m hearing that there is a new kind of homeless in El Cajon. It is younger, more aggressive and it’s a different set of problems that come with that kind of attitude. The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce has done a great job of putting together this task force out here in East County.”
“When it comes to the homeless, what can we learn from the city of San Diego? What works and what doesn’t work. What can we learn from other cities from other states? I don’t think we’re ever going to completely eradicate homelessness. But it seems to be impacting the quality of life around downtown right now.”
“It seems to be more visible, more intrusive and that concerns me. That is something we need to fix. Some things might have been missing in the past, and what I mean by that is getting these people awareness about all of the different programs available to them. That means communicating. So if you’re a veteran you can say we have this program, and that program and another one that can help you.”
“It is not a crime to be homeless. But not everyone wants help and that is not something easy to deal with because it is not a crime. You have to commit a crime in for it to be a crime.”
“I went to a breakfast and I learned a lot about seniors, the other end of the spectrum. I learned of new resources for seniors. That is great government. If we can communicate services with needs that is good government. That’s improving the quality of the people, the original goal in my running. It really is a privilege for me to be able to serve the people of El Cajon. I plan on doing “Coffee with the Councilman” four times a year. I want to be accessible to the people, listen, learn, then turn around and lead,” said Goble.