Mayor John McCann, Helping Build Chula Vista’s Future

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Mayor John McCann, Leading Chula Vista Into The Future

A Love Story

“I saw you talking to John McCann. What did you think of him?,” asked Myssie Wyllie’s roommate. “I’m going to marry that man,” said Myssie Wyllie, now known among loved ones as Myssie McCann. Mayor John McCann was two grade levels above Myssie in High School. However, the two didn’t meet until years later at Myssie’s housewarming party, which began the romance that led eventually to the 24 year marriage of John and Myssie McCann.

Myssie McCann was correct and the couple married a couple years later. Although they went to the same High School, they did not date or really know each other in High School. So, when it came time to plan their wedding, their guest list was pared down. “It was amazing how many mutual friends and common experiences we had. It was surprising we did not meet earlier and dated,” said Mayor John McCann.

Myssie served several years as the treasurer of the Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Bonita Unit and was a member of the Chula Vista Child Care Commission. Her parents owned Tomatoes Restaurant in Bonita from 1991-2001. With Myssie being a four-generation South Bay resident and John growing up in old Chula Vista and a third-generation Chula Vistan himself, it proved how small a world can be.

Fast forward to 2023, John McCann is now the 41st Mayor of Chula Vista. John, a U.S. Navy veteran, lives with Myssie, where they are raising their 4 children, Blyss, Johnny, Grant, Kennedy, and 3 dogs. They are also helping raise their grandson Jaxon, who is growing up in Chula Vista. The couple are proud lifelong Chula Vista residents and feel blessed that they are raising their family in Chula Vista.

“Myssie and I have prospered and raised our children here. Our family has thrived in Chula Vista, because of our excellent neighborhoods. As Mayor, I want to protect the quality and safety of our neighborhoods, so children who grew up in Chula Vista all have the opportunity to be successful,” said Mayor John McCann.

John with his wife Myssie and youngest daughter Kennedy

The McCann family is a tight-knit family having supported youth soccer, local theater plays, and family game nights. The McCann’s are a soccer family with the oldest three children playing soccer from a young age. Almost every weekend was spent at the soccer fields supporting their children playing soccer, and many of the three day holidays were spent at soccer travel tournaments in Lancaster, San Bernardino or Las Vegas. Their youngest daughter, Kennedy, found her gift as an artist. The McCann’s spend time enjoying watching her acting in theater and musicals.

Still the most interesting McCann events are the McCann family game nights. They rotate several board games, from Pictionary, Sorry, Charades, and others. This has been a family tradition from when the children have been young. All family members must turn off their phones and put them in a basket before the game starts. Then everyone can fully focus on enjoying each other and not be distracted by their phones. John with his wife Myssie have built a successful life, but John did not always have it all.

Humble Beginnings

John’s mother and father were divorced when John was a young child. John grew up with his sister, Rhondel McCann, in a single income household and was raised by a single mother off of Orange Avenue Chula Vista, which is why he is committed to investing in the older communities in the city. John’s mother worked at Rohr Industries/Goodrich Aerospace for almost 30 years. John’s grandfather proudly served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific. John’s father served 28 years in the Navy and two tours in Vietnam before he retired.

John still blossomed living in modest means with his mother. John also had the assistance of a pair of honorary parents and a youth soccer coach, which are people that he attributes a lot to his success. John played soccer and loved Star Wars growing up. John attended all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade at Chula Vista schools.

After going through grade school, John attended San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. During his undergraduate studies, John worked during the summer for the Department of the Navy in Washington D.C., at the Pentagon, where he gained exposure to national defense policy.

The following year, he later worked at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office researching the FDIC insurance fund. In his senior year of college, John’s academic work led him to receiving the Center for Public Economics Scholarship.

After receiving his undergraduate degree, John decided to further his education, eventually receiving a Master’s Degree in Economics. With his advanced degree in hand, John then moved from the financial industry into the technology industry. John worked in management positions for several technology companies and in the technology field for more than 30 years. During that same time, John and Myssie created a small property management business that has prospered in the good and bad times due to great financial stewardship by the McCann’s.

Working in the technology industry, John saw the changing economy and wanted to give back to the community by teaching in the evenings. He attended weekend classes at the University of California, San Diego and received his Adult School teaching credential. He taught at several South Bay adult schools as well as part-time at Southwestern College. The principal noted his class always had a wait list of 20 people because of how much his students enjoyed his class.

A Servant Leader

John’s acts of service do not stop there. John formally served on several non-profit Board of Directors including the South Bay Family YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club of Chula Vista, the Bonitafest committee and AYSO soccer.  John has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Chula Vista and Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce. John and his wife have been continuous volunteers in raising money for Nine Girls Ask? (a 501(c)3 organization looking to eradicate ovarian cancer), Children’s Hospital, and The American Cancer Society.

Navy Service and Service to Veterans

One of John’s biggest honors has been serving in the United States Navy and Navy

Reserves for 22 years. John joined as a member of the enlisted ranks and did his initial training in Great Lakes, Illinois. John later received his commission as a Naval Officer.  After the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America and during the Global War on Terrorism, John was mobilized to fight in the War in Iraq, serving in Mosul, Iraq for one year. In addition, during heightened tensions with North Korea in the Pacific, John served in South Korea. John continues to serve as a Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

John saluting and honoring our fallen veterans at 3rd Annual Wreaths Across America

Being from a Navy family and a Navy veteran, Mayor John McCann makes veterans issues a priority in Chula Vista.  Mayor John McCann serves our veterans being a member of the Chula Vista Veterans Home Foundation Board member.  John is an active member of Chula Vista’s veteran organizations being a life member of American Legion Post 434, life member of the VFW Post 2111, life member of Fleet Reserve Association Branch 61 and the Marine Corps League.  

In 2017, John took the initiative and led efforts in successfully naming city streets, in a new community in Otay Ranch, after fallen service members from Chula Vista community who served in the Global War on Terrorism, in order to honor them and recognize them for their ultimate sacrifice.

Stepping into City Government

In the 1990’s being a citizen committed to community service, John was recruited and selected to serve on several city commissions. John served on the  Planning Commission, Economic Strategy Committee, Housing Advisory Commission, and Beautification Committee for the City of Chula Vista.

John was then elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 2002 and then re-elected again in 2006. Councilmember John McCann made public safety a priority, hiring over 40 new police officers, building a new police station and building 3 new fire stations. John championed the first sidewalk project building sidewalks in our older communities, led efforts to repave decaying streets, and built 18 new parks under his tenure. In 2003, John was part of the City Council that began the master plan of the Chula Vista Bayfront.  

In 2013, John almost lost his life in a car accident on Telegraph Canyon Road. A speeding car driving almost twice the speed limit crashed into the driver’s side of John McCann’s vehicle.  The vehicle accident was determined to be 100% the other driver’s fault. The recovery and healing was a long and difficult process as John was first put into a coma, treated in the ICU, several weeks in the hospital, and several months of rehabilitation to recover from his injuries.  Attending nurses reported that John was incredibly gracious to all who encountered him during his recovery at the hospital, and they were struck by how caring he was despite his condition following the accident. Because of the support from the community and his family John endured and triumphed, with both grit and grace.

John was then elected back to the Chula Vista City Council in 2014 and then re-elected again in 2018. As a four-term City Councilmember and four-time Deputy Mayor, John made public safety a priority by voting to hire more police, increasing the number of officers from 200 to over 270. Under John’s guidance, Chula Vista doubled the number of police patrols and implemented police body-worn cameras (increasing transparency), which has moved the City of Chula Vista into the Top 10 Safest Cities with a population of over 200,000 in the United States.

John worked for better traffic management, revitalization of Chula Vista’s older communities, strong public safety, and affordable housing. John opposed additional sales taxes and protected homeowners’ property tax increases by supporting Proposition 13. 

With his experience as a 30-year small-business owner, John worked to streamline the permitting processes to support individuals and local businesses to make Chula Vista a small-business-friendly city. John was a part of the team that approved and started the construction of the Gaylord resort hotel convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront and the Chula Vista Innovation District that will attract thousands of high-paying professional jobs.

A Vision for the City

John at Bayfront Gaylord Ground Breaking Event with City Manager Maria Kachadoorian and Deputy City Manager Tiffany Allen

As Mayor, John is aiming to accomplish a lot by putting public safety first, to protect the taxpayers, finding solutions for the homeless, and working to decrease the high cost of living.  John opposes the mileage tax that has been proposed by the San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG), advocates for more police officers, is leading efforts to open the new 66-unit bridge shelter with wrap-around services, increasing the City’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), and believes in providing your future children opportunities to have generational wealth through homeownership.

Mayor John McCann has a track record of proven results, legislative accomplishments, high ambition for the City’s future, and a detailed plan on how he wants to solve the most pressing issues for the community. What might be the most surprising tidbit of the 41st Mayor is, you would have never guessed his life story if you met him for the first time.

Under the John’s tenure for the next 4 years, he will push to complete the new $1.2 Billion Gaylord resort hotel that will create 4,000 new jobs, expand the educational opportunities in the South Bay by opening the San Diego State University Cinematic Arts Academic Center & Library in Millennia, and master plan the renovation of Harborside park. 

As a Councilmember, John McCann served as an anchor and was a part of the initial phases for all of these innovations. Now as Mayor, he will take these projects and much more across the finish line. Although these projects could be impressive to have under the Mayor’s belt, the personal intangibles he has exhibited quietly throughout his life go a lot deeper.

John is deeply humble and appreciates all the people he has worked with at the city and those who have helped the city get to where it is today.  

John recognizes that without a test you won’t have a testimony. John understands the power of persistence and the fruit it bears if someone works hard. John knows what it means to sacrifice for a cause bigger than himself.

John McCann has proven that he is more than our Mayor.