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Santee City Council

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Mayor John W. Minto


Contact Mayor Minto

619-258-4100 ext. 295

Mayor John Minto

John W. Minto was born in Steubenville, Ohio and moved to San Diego with his family when he was only five weeks old. He grew up in East San Diego and attended local public schools. In his junior and senior years of high school, he joined clubs and organizations where leadership opportunities presented themselves with the American Red Cross, Junior Kiwanis, Army ROTC, and the San Diego Police Department’s Explorer program.

Minto said the Explorer program influenced him the most, and at 22 years old, he left his job with San Diego Gas & Electric and entered the police academy on June 30, 1980.  His most memorable work includes walking a beat and cleaning up a crime-ridden neighborhood, now known as the Gaslamp Quarter; being involved in the Green River Killer serial murder case; and designing curfew and truancy programs to provide immediate and long-term intervention for at-risk youth.

Minto served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Police Officer's Association in the capacity of Treasurer, Political Action Chair, and General Manager.  The experience allowed him to comprehend budgets, understand and maneuver through political arenas, and engage in contract negotiations and bargaining.

Minto and his wife, Laura, have called Santee home since 1992. It was here that he chose to settle and begin his true community involvement. He began by serving as president of his homeowner's association, joining the Santee Kiwanis Club and was appointed to the Santee Park & Recreation Committee (SPARC) before becoming a Councilman.  

Minto has served on the following Boards, Commissions and Committees:

  • Santee Community Oriented Policing Committee (Chairman)
  • League of California Cities (State Board of Directors)
  • East County Economic Development Council (Chairman)
  • Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) (Board of Directors)
  • San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
  • Borders Committee (Chairman) Heartland Communications (Board of Directors)  
Minto participates annually in many events in Santee, including the Santee Firefighter’s Pancake Breakfast, Santee’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Santee Chamber of Commerce Awards ceremony, Miss Santee & Miss Santee Teen pageant, Santee Street Fair, Christmas tree lighting, the summer concert series, and Santee Salutes 4th of July.
I consider my greatest accomplishment is creating the Sports Plex USA and Town Center Park. It is my honor to be your Mayor. And as always, hoping you have a great Santee Day.


Vice Mayor Laura Koval

District 3

Contact Vice Mayor Koval

619-258-4100 ext. 295

Laura Koval is a native East County resident and longtime resident of District 3 in the city of Santee. She was born at Grossmont Hospital and is an El Capitan High School salutatorian and Athletic Hall of Fame member, and San Diego State University track and field scholar-athlete and graduate.  Laura began her full-time career as the director of the Santee Branch of the East County Boys & Girls Club in her 20’s.

Concurrently working a part-time position with the San Diego Padres, Laura made the move full time to the Padres in the mid-90s and as the director of Ticket Customer Services she led the planning, development and management of a service and retention team including contact center/call center, loyalty programs, CRM (Customer Relationship Development), website content, customer communications, staffing, training, service standards, surveying and budget development/management and helped open a new ballpark.

After a 25-plus-year career in professional sports,  Laura joined the Padre Dam Municipal Water District in 2012 as customer service manager. She led the teams responsible for integrating new CIS/billing software in tandem with a move to monthly billing, delivering the upgrade on time and under budget.

In 2014, Laura was promoted to Director of Park and Recreation for Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve and successfully launched the park’s Dynamic Vision Plan (DVP), a unique take on a traditional master plan. With the DVP serving as a guide, Santee Lakes reinvested over $2 million in park improvements and planted more than 200 trees in its thriving park and campground during her first three years as director.

Community Involvement (abridged)

  • Santee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Highway 52 Coalition
  • Santee School District Wellness Advisory Committee
  • San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Leadership
  • Stowe Trail Taskforce
  • Grossmont Union High School District Coach and Volunteer
  • 2018 “WILL” Woman in Leadership
  • 2018 San Diego East County Woman of Distinction

A former military spouse (Army), Laura has been a resident of Santee since 1991, is married to JP Koval, and has two daughters. A cool fun fact: Laura’s great grandparents lived in the home that is now Cafe 67 in Lakeside.


Council Member Ronn Hall

District 2

Contact Council Member Hall

619-258-4100 ext. 295

Ronn Hall was elected to the City Council in November 2014, re-elected in 2018.  Born and raised in San Diego County, Ronn is a native of San Diego County and has been a local business owner for 32 years. His 40+ years of leadership experience makes him very capable to handle most situations. He’s an award winning, expert insurance broker. Besides winning many awards he has been recognized by the Santee Chamber of Commerce as a former Santee Business of the Year.

As a business leader, he has previously served as a Board Member and Past-President of the Santee Chamber. With the help of other Chamber members, the Santee Street Fair is now one of the biggest street fairs in the county.

Currently as an elected member of the Santee City Council, his duties include Board Memberships on:


    • MTS (Metropolitan Transit System).
    • SANDAG Borders Committee.
    • SANDAG Regional Planning Committee (MTS Rep).
    • 1st Alternate to the SANDAG Board of Directors.
    • Board Member for the ECEDC The East County Economic Development Council.
    • Prior committee duties:
    • CSA 69 Medical.
    • Heartland Communications.
    • Mission Trails Committee.
    • Personally:
    • Board Member for The Santee Lakes Foundation.
    • Member of the Santee-Lakeside Rotary.
    • Member of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

Ronn has been committed to helping promote business both as a business leader and a Council Member. He has worked with other Santee community groups and events including: Santee Santa’s, Santee Relay for Life, Santee Street Fair, and the Santee Car Show and more. My personal goal is to bring Rotary’s official motto “Service Above Self” to my work at the Santee City Council.

He and his wife live in Northeast Santee, she’s a longtime Santee resident, retired Registered Nurse, and an active Realtor. She is an elected Board Member of the Grossmont Healthcare District.  They both live and work in Santee and attend Pathways Community Church.

Much of their time is volunteering for many organizations in Santee as well as supporting local Santee businesses and causes. Ronn works on promoting collaboration, creating vision-focused thinking, and moving our community needs forward. “Issues with constituents remain important to me. I will continue to answer my phone, meet with you personally, respond to emails, and be accessible on social media”.


Council Member Stephen Houlahan RN, MSN, MBA

Contact Council Member Houlahan

619-258-4100 ext. 295

Stephen Houlahan has lived in Santee for 40 years and is a third generation Santee resident. Houlahan attended Sycamore Canyon Elementary School and West Hills High School.
He has nearly 20 years experience as a Registered Nurse, having graduated from San Diego State University’s School of Nursing. Houlahan served five years as a Clinical Supervisor at the Sharp Memorial Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Houlahan also attended the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science where he achieved a Master’s Degree in the Science of Nursing with emphasis in Healthcare Systems Administration. At that time, he concurrently completed his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of San Diego’s School of Business. He is currently a Clinical Documentation Analyst and Educator for the Sharp Healthcare System.
In 2010, Houlahan became a founding member and the President of the activist group “Save Mission Trails.”  This group’s primary focus is to protect Mission Trails Regional Park and the adjacent East Elliott open space from encroachment.  
On September 12, 2014, with Houlahan’s leadership, Save Mission Trails successfully led the effort to stop the Quail Brush Power Plant from being built adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park, in East Elliott, at the western gateway of Santee.  
Additionally, on July 27, 2016, as the President of Save Mission Trails, Houlahan successfully led the effort to achieve “Scenic Highway” designation for State Route-52 from Mast Boulevard to Santo Road.
Houlahan is very active in the Santee Community.  He coaches baseball at West Hills Little League (WHLL) and coaches soccer for American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).  Houlahan also volunteers at Mission Trails Regional Park. Houlahan is a homeowner, happy husband, and proud father.  He is committed and dedicated to his community, beautiful Santee!

Council Member Rob McNelis

District 1

Contact Council Member McNelis

619-258-4100 ext. 295

Council Member Rob McNelis
Rob McNelis, originally from the Los Angeles area, moved to Santee in 1994 with his high school sweetheart, Dawn, who is now his wife.  He and Dawn have two beautiful children. McNelis has been a business owner in Santee since 1997. 

He currently has two businesses in Santee: his real estate and mortgage company, One Stop Lending & Realty, and his entertainment business, One Stop Party Players, Inc. Over the years, McNelis has been the recipient of many awards and accolades including, the 2004 Realtor of the Year; the 2007 Santee Citizen of the Year; the 2007 Small Business of the Year for the 77th State Assembly District; and most recently, the 2010 “Five-Star Mortgage Professional” award by San Diego Magazine.
McNelis has also served his industry and community on many levels.  He was the President of the San Diego Association of Mortgage Brokers and the President of the East San Diego County Association of Realtors.  McNelis also sat as a member of the Prop “R” Bond oversight committee, as well as the Board of Directors for the East County Boys and Girls Clubs.
McNelis has been involved with helping to ensure the City of Santee continues on its course to greatness by being a part of the Santee Charter City Advisory Committee and Santee’s COMPOC Committee.  He is very pleased to follow in the footsteps of some great previous Santee leaders by having served as the 2009 President of the Santee Chamber of Commerce.