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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

City of El CajonCandidate for Council Member, Council District 1

Photo of Ben Kalasho

Ben Kalasho

Councilman/Chamber President
1,281 votes (13.6%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Hire 3 new police officers, dedicated to policing Fletcher Hills and Grossmont areas in District 1, to ensure the protection of people and preservation of home values.
  • Advocate for bringing new businesses to the city, provide more jobs & enhance the tax base (Since the city has $40 million in reserves, & there is great potential for bringing new businesses to the city, there may be options to reduce taxes on homes
  • Continue meetings with residents to hear their concerns and represent their interests at city council meetings. Also, continue to set up neighborhood watch programs & senior programs in the city.



Profession:City Councilman & President of Chamber of Commerce
El Cajon City Councilman & President of the Chamber of Commerce, City of El Cajon (2016–2018)


UCSD Attended University of Californias San Diego (UCSD ext), ECONOMICS & MARKETING (2005)

Community Activities

Founder, El Cajon Elves (A senior Program which donates toiletries and other necessities to seniors during the holiday season. Also sings Christmas Carols) (2016–current)



1/ First councilman to hold town halls with city-wide constituents in decades

2/ Proposed changes to city operations suggested by constituents at meetings held at their locations, to ensure that their voices were heard on specific issues

3/ Sponsored and collaborated with citizen groups to clean up city parks and other areas.

4/ Prior to being elected to office, Ben was a member of Save ECPAC, a citizen group, to prevent the city council from demolishing the theater, which they closed in 2009.  After Ben’s election in 2016, ECPAC was remodeled and Live Nation hired to manage the theater, with the first shows to occur in 2019.

5/ Promoted hiring sufficient public safety staff to keep the city safer from crime, fires, and disturbances in the parks

6/ Devised a plan to deal with the homeless issue by hiring some to do city maintenance, even though the council would not implement the policy.  (He supported their alternative of housing the homeless in a transitional center.)

7/ Encouraged cost-saving measures, such as collaboration with other cities to sweep city streets, as well as requiring all multiple source services to be bid competitively, saving tax dollars for residents

8/ Supported business-friendly policies and practices that resulted in two business class hotels locating in the city, to provide jobs and increase the tax base

9/ Promoted policies and practices that result in merit pay for city employees

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements


Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters San Diego (4)


Do you support increasing the housing density in your district of the City of El Cajon? What other options might there be for improving the City's supply of affordable housing?

No answer provided.

Do you approve of the City's current approach to addressing the problems of homelessness? What specific changes, if any, would you make? 

No answer provided.
Do you support any specific projects to promote economic activity in the City? Why or why not?
Answer from Ben Kalasho:

In only 2 years on the council. I brought the Marriott Hotel, struck a deal LIVE NATION to re-open ECPAC and working on bringing in the Hampton Hotel where the old Police Station was. I am a great negotiator and businessman. I can find the right businesses which will improve the general image of our city. We need more councilmembers like me, with fresh new ideas that will make El Cajon compete with Santee and La Mesa. Before I got there, we were losing to those cities on every category. 

I support the idea of Mixed Use where it's approperiate. Smart growth by integrating technology to better our roads and improve our travel times. I will continue to work hard to bring in companies like APPLE, TESLA or INTEL to our industerial areas. Work to hire locals and raise the quality of life for our future. 


Do you believe that the El Cajon Police Department needs an independent, civilian review board or commission (to investigate any allegations of officer misconduct)? Why or why not?

No answer provided.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Fiscal Conservative. Adhearing to the teachings of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. 

Who else is running?

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