Christopher Williams is a businessman and the father of two girls. He said the city needs leadership desperately and that is why he is running for Lemon Grove mayor.
“I feel it is my responsibility to get out there and share my experiences, use my skill sets and talents, and use my privilege to make a difference in a community where many of them look like me,” he said. “I am talking about Black and brown people, a San Diego native. Lemon Grove’s demographics with black and brown people is nearly 60% of the city.”
Williams said he is a candidate for all people. He said his wife is white, his children half white and that he has a unique perspective.
“I am a Republican and a capitalist but believe you can be a capitalist and still have a heart,” he said. “There are things we should be doing as a community to ensure our community is growing and that our representatives are representative of all and not just a minority few.”
Williams said the city can fix its finances and be saved from disincorporation, but ultimately that decision is up to the people.
“We have to look at the numbers, be transparent,” he said. “These are things I have had to do to survive. If I failed, I lost. None of my opponents can say that. They have not done it at this level. At this point, those that are getting paid by the city to manage, they are going to be bias to the numbers and most of the truths.”
Williams said the city needs to become business-friendly immediately. He said this can be done by cutting the red tape at city hall.
“Small and large businesses alike need to know that they are welcomed, appreciated and supported, and hopefully we can avoid disincorporation,” he said.
Williams said there was a lack of communication with the business community on how to operate.
“When you go on to social media, the city’s website, there is very little that the city of Lemon Grove has produced,” he said. “There are obvious things from the CDC and the national level, but in a situation like this people want to know how it affects them in their backyard. And that communication starts from the top.”
As a local businessman, Williams said communication is essential. He is the founder of Pick Axe Holdings that develops, owns and leases real estate. He is the owner of Lee’s Automotive. He said he has applied and been approved for numerous development permits from breweries to an 18-hole golfing facility he would like to bring to the city.
Williams said businesses are the backbone of the city’s revenue, and they need as much help as possible to keep operating. He said although the city provided CARES Act funding grants for many businesses, he did not understand the methodology of the process.
“For some of our businesses not to qualify because they did not pay a $100 tax fee is ridiculous,” he said. “To qualify you should have an active business license with the city and any owed fees would be taken out of that grant money.
William said reorganizing and reforming how tax dollars are spent on public safety is no different than reallocating money for other departments in city services.
“I believe it is our responsibility to look at where we are spending our money and how we can spend it in a fashion that benefits the people. As of now, 78% of the budget has not made Lemon Grove any safer. Crime is steady as ever.”
Williams said the Sherriff’s department works for the city. He said that means a process must be followed without disrupting any investigation, but that people want a fair and transparent investigation from the beginning.
“We hold Sherriff’s officers and any other entity that provides services for the city accountable when someone is writing a check for those services,” he said. “We change it through policy. We make their job and their life harder by changing policy and taking discretion out of it.”
In 2017 Williams filed a lawsuit against Lemon Grove Council member David Arambula as well as the city of Lemon Grove.
The two were involved in altecation at Arambula’s house when Williams visited the councilman’s home to discuss his application to open a marijuana dispensary in the city.
“To be frank and truthful, I have nothing to hide when it comes to the investigation regarding my lawsuit against the city and council member David Arambula,” he said. “I hope people vote for the real issues. I am not proud of that night, but I am also not ashamed of it. I did not do anything wrong, or illegal, I was invited.”
Williams was charged with a DUI misdemeanor in 2006. He received five years’ summary probation, a fine, and was ordered to complete an alcohol program. Williams also had another misdemeanor in 2008 for driving a motor vehicle when driving privilege is suspended or revoked.