EL CAJON, Calif. — El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells gave his State of the City address Tuesday, the same day city council made some big moves toward policy changes after an alleged sexual assault at a Motel 6.
Mayor Wells began his address by telling the community the state of the city is “outstanding.” He said finances in order and that El Cajon is taking on the toughest challenges in the region, the biggest being homelessness.
“Through the East County Transitional Living Center, we found emergency housing for 498 individuals last year. Many of these folks are now on a path to overcoming their addictions,” Wells said.
Wells added the city offers about a dozen different programs to combat homelessness or related issues. The city also has a zero tolerance policy for illegal camping.
“Through cleanup efforts, this last year alone we have removed 90 tons of debris left in drainage canals, streets, alleyways, sidewalks, and parks, mostly from homeless encampments,” Wells said.
Reporting on infrastructure, Wells said El Cajon paved or maintained 73 streets in the last year and mentioned the city was recognized as a top place to work.
He did not end the speech without addressing the recent sexual assault allegations at an El Cajon Motel 6 involving two convicted sex offenders.
“I am proud to say that the city of El Cajon city council took a bold, innovative actions to take our community back,” Wells said.
FOX 5 spoke with city manager Graham Mitchell about the changes being proposed at Tuesday’s council meeting like modifying the city’s municipal code for special operation permits.
“If you are a provider of homeless services that you will have to have in El Cajon. It just gives an opportunity to regulate and to understand more of what’s going on in our own city,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the city already regulates 15 types of businesses with special operation permits.
City council also directed the planning commission to add conditions to motel operators within El Cajon including training on how to recognize human trafficking and reporting to the city if they are participating in some sort of emergency shelter program.
These items city council is pushing for still have to be updated in the city’s municipal code and then brought back to council to officially vote on. Mitchell said the goal is to have this accomplished by May or June.
In the meantime, the El Cajon planning commission is holding a public hearing to consider whether Motel 6 should continue to operate in the city on April 18.