El Cajon Council member Gary Kendrick, Republican, District 1, is running unopposed in the upcoming November elections. Kendrick has served on City Council is reaching 20 years of service on City Council.
Kendrick said the most important thing is that the city keeps the citizens of El Cajon as safe as possible.
“With the County importing homeless people, putting them up in motels all across El Cajon, they are not making the people of El Cajon safer,” he said. “I think it is important that the county gets with the program of tough love, like what we have in El Cajon. Our number one goal is to keep citizens safe, and our citizens are not safe if we have homeless people staying at motels without any wrap around service or controls. I think that the East County Transitional Living Center is a really good example of how to handle the homeless situation.”
Kendrick said the ECTLC has around 175 homeless women and children staying there, with strict security, everyone is safe, most important, the children staying there are safe.
“We found many times that these imported homeless from the County are selling drugs, using drugs, and we have arrested a number of them for outstanding felony warrants. I think the county need to do its due diligence and screen these people that they put into this program, and certainly, do not bring people in from outside El Cajon. They need to spread this across the county.”
Kendrick said El Cajon does not want to be the “dumping ground” for criminals and felons.
“Many times, they will tear up the motel room and get on the ‘do not rent’ list for the rest of motels, and wind up on the streets of El Cajon causing trouble.
“I get complaints from neighbors who say they are urinating and defecating in their front yards, stealing bicycles, and sprawled out on the sidewalks,” he said. “We just cannot have that. Many, many complaints from the businesses. That is absolutely the number one issue El Cajon is facing right now. We need the elected officials from the county to protect us. Not hurt us.”
Kendrick said he has 20 years invested in the city as an elected official, and there is still work to be done.
“I am dedicated to finish the job. I started to make sure everyone is safe. We have made many accomplishments,” he said. “I remember when I moved to El Cajon 34 years ago, my wife would not go to downtown. It was so bad. Now, we have a revitalized downtown, people feel safe there, we reopened the performing arts center [The Magnolia] and it is actually showing a profit, although slight. We have a new police station to help people feel safer. A new animal shelter. We have about $53 million in reserves, so when we hit another recession, we will not have to lay off public safety, and the city is actually doing really well.”
Kendrick said he hopes Measure P, the one-half sales tax increase passes.
“Seventy percent of the people polled in El Cajon thought it was a good idea that we could increase the number of police officers in the city, help control the homeless,” he said. “Right now, over 70% of a police officer’s time is spent dealing with the homeless. We even have them going through my neighborhood in Fletcher Hills, breaking into cars, attempting to steal mail, stealing packages off porches.”
Kendrick said people are fed up with the decriminalization of crime in the state of California.
“We have to do everything we can to protect the people of El Cajon,” he said.