Chula Vistans set to pick the city's first new mayor in 8 years

Three running for Chula Vista's top office

CHULA VISTA - They’ve had the same mayor for eight years. 

Tuesday, Chula Vista voters will begin the process of selecting a new mayor to lead California’s eighth largest city into the future.

Current Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox took office in 2006 and is termed out.

The three candidates are pretty well known in the South Bay.  Chula Vista Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan was elected to the City Council in 2008.

Councilwoman Mary Salas has had two turns on the City Council with a trip to the California Assembly in between.

Finally, Jerry Rindone spent 16 years on the council before joining the San Diego County Board of Education.

All three said they look forward to propelling the city’s plans for a university and the massive 550-acre Bayfront Master Plan.

“When we get this Bayfront,” said Rindone, “It’s going to change everything,”

Change is good according to Bensoussan who said Chula Vistans don’t need her two opponents who served on the council in the nineties.

“They did heavy capitol expenditures that created lots of debt for the city of Chula Vista,” she said.

“I don’t know how to respond to that actually because it simply is not true,” said Salas who added Bensoussan has served on the Council in a time when there wasn’t very much going on.

Rindone defended some of the spending, like the brand new city hall.  He said it set the state’s eight largest city up for success.

All three candidates were asked what sets them apart from their opponents.

Bensoussan wants to be penny wise:  “We can’t be spending like crazy.”

Salas wants to build.

“My background is in economic development.  None of the other candidates have that and I do,” she said.

Rindone said leadership is his strongest asset.

“Leading the second largest city in San Diego County is what’s essential and our citizens want things done.”

Voters will select two of the three for the November elections.

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