La prensa

CV Council Could Fill Vacancy This Week

Chula Vista City Council
Author: La Prensa
Created: 02 April, 2024
5 min read

By Alberto Garcia
Investigative Reporter

The Chula Vista Mayor and the three remaining City Councilmembers will interview seven individuals who applied to fill a vacancy on their City Council created after Andrea Cardenas resigned in February before she pleaded guilty to two felony charges of grand theft of public funds.

Cardenas, who along with her brother, Jesus Cardenas, were indicted by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan's office on 14 felony charges related to a fraudulent application for a COVID-era federal loan, pleaded guilty to two of the felony counts and will be sentenced in August.

The City Council decided at their last meeting to hold a special meeting on April 4th to interview the applicants for the District 4 vacancy and potentially vote to fill the seat immediately.

Under the City's Charter, the Council has until April 11th to decide whether to fill the vacancy or leave the seat open until a new Councilmember is elected in November. 

If the City Council decides to fill the vacancy, the person would serve the remainder of the four-year term which ends in December. Anyone appointed to fill a vacancy cannot run for the seat in the following election.

The seven applicants include one current elected official, one former candidate, and five first-time applicants for public office.

Christine Brady, a 25-year Chula Vista resident, serves as General Director of the La Esperanza schools, which include a preschool and kindergarten, an elementary school, and a high school in Tijuana.

Brady holds a Masters Degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Princeton University.

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Before applying for the vacancy, Brady was a candidate for District 4 in the Primary Election but ended up in fourth place so she did not continue on to the General Election.

Sharmane Estolano, a realtor and notary who has lived in District 4 for 16 months, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Finance from National University, and an Associates Degree in International Business from Southwestern College.

Estolano has been involved in serving on the Sweetwater Planning Group, Sweetwater Valley Civic Association, and the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce.

Megan Moore, a Nonprofit Communications Specialist and 35-year resident, holds both a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology and a Masters of Science degree in Human Services Administration.

Moore has more than 15 years of experience working with nonprofits targeted at improving the outcomes of children, families and overall community wellness.

Rachel Morineau, a Community Engagement Director and 27-year resident, serves on the San Diego County Social Services Advisory Board.

Morineau has also served as Co-Chair of San Diego County Promotora Coalition and as a Facilitator for Promise Neighborhood.

Guadalupe Ruiz, an income tax preparer, is a 23-year resident of District 4, has been active in the Chula Vista Woman's Club, Southwest Civic Association, and the Hispanic Association of Professional Services.

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Nicholas J. Segura, Jr., a retired electrical worker and 26-year resident, is a current member of the Chula Vista Elementary School District Board of Trustees. If Segura were to be appointed to the City Council he would immediately resign his school board seat and create a vacancy which could be filled by the remaining board members.

Segura is also a candidate for a seat on the Southwestern College Board of Trustees in the November election.

John Volland, a real estate agent and 34-year resident, is currently a member of the  City’s Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee that monitors how the City spends proceeds from a sales tax increase passed by voters in June 2018.

Volland, who attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hills, CA; Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA; the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, WI; and Waukesha County Technical College in Waukesha, WI, has also been a member of the Chula Vista Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol.

Daniel Zavala- Soto, a 25-year resident of District 4, is a concrete construction foreman and City’s Vice Chair of Cultural Arts Commission.

Zavala-Soto is a visual artist and Founder of Stein’s Hollow Art Gallery.

The City Council will be conducting the interviews of the applicants during its April 4th meeting starting at 4:00pm at the Chula Vista City Hall.

Candidates for the next full term in District 4 are Cesar Fernandez and Rudy Ramirez who advanced from the Primary Election to face off in the November General Election. Former Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas was running for re-election in the Primary Election before she resigned in February.

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Cardenas ended the race in 5th place behind Fernandez, Ramirez, Delfina Gonzalez, and Christine Brady.

Fernandez is currently a member of the Chula Vista Elementary School District and would have to resign his school board seat if elected to the City Council and creating a vacancy that could be filled by the remaining members of the school board.

Ramirez served on the City Council from 2006 to 2014 and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor in 2022.

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