New leadership for El Cajon

By U-T San Diego Editorial Board
With the appointment of Planning Commissioner Star Bales, an Iraqi immigrant, to the El Cajon City Council, the East County city ended an unfortunate controversy and can move on to other challenges, including downtown revitalization and the upcoming reopening of the shuttered East County Performing Arts Center.

Bales fills the seat vacated by Councilman Bill Wells, who was appointed to finish the mayoral term of Mark Lewis, who resigned in October after a magazine published statements he made that were offensive to El Cajon’s Chaldean — Iraqi Christians — population.

El Cajon is home to more than 10,000 Chaldeans, and Lewis’ remarks — which insinuated Chaldeans exploit the city’s social services safety net — were certainly out of line, even if they weren’t intended to be offensive.

That said, the ordeal is over. With Wells as mayor and the well-qualified Bales joining the council, El Cajon has a strong leadership team that we hope will allow the city to again move forward.