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E.C. council to address ‘Mayor Dhillon' problem

June 19, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The El Centro City Council is scheduled to take up the issue of what can be done to a council member who has passed himself off as mayor in a number of circumstances.

Councilman David Dhillon conceded he has done so, but that the circumstances are not straightforward. He had asked the issue be discussed privately but was told the issue does not qualify for a closed-session discussion under the state's open meeting laws.

It's uncertain what authority the City Council has to reprimand Dhillon other than to limit his official travels for the city or by seeking his removal from the Southern California Association of Governments, for which he travels extensively.

The council meets in open session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1725 Main St.

In other business, the council will hold a series of public hearings to decide whether it should approve a 162.6-acre development on four parcels of land to the west of the city. On three of the parcels there would be built 325 single-family residences. The area under consideration lies north of Ross Avenue, east of Austin Road, south of an extension of Orange Avenue and west of the Lotus Drain. The fourth parcel is slated to remain under agricultural production for the immediate future and no plans for development yet exist.

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The first public hearing will be to decide if the projects' final environmental impact report should be adopted. Subsequent hearings will address the prezoning of the areas from agriculture to single-family residential and the parcels' development.

The projects are the Desert Estates West, with 83 homes on 21.5 acres; Wildflower El Centro, with 115 homes on about 32 acres; and Santa Rosa, with 127 homes on about 40 acres.

Prior to their development, the parcels would have to be annexed into the city.

The City Council will conduct several public hearings in conjunction with its Redevelopment Agency. The first hearing will be to consider the addition of new territory to the RDA project area and its associated final environmental impact report.

The second hearing will be to discuss the potential sale of city-owned land in the Centerpoint Business Park off Dogwood Road. The parcel would be sold for the development of an inventory business, expected to result in the creation of 10-15 full- and part-time jobs.

The third hearing will be to consider the sale of a parcel on South Hope Street near Ross to the Association of Retarded Citizens Inc. for use as a 20,000 square-foot office/warehouse, the creation of 50 to 60 jobs as well as local retention of about 260 jobs.

Separately, a public hearing will be conducted to accept comments on a proposed amendment to the city's solid waste facility element. The city's waste plan must include the address of Valley Environmental Services at 702 E. Heil Ave.

The City Council also will:

· consider upgrading the position of recreation supervisor to director of parks and recreation to coincide with the city's search for someone to fill the position.

· consider granting power to the city manager to approve all grant submissions.

· consider rescinding its policy regarding notices and posting for land-use issues to only those required by the state. A potential $4,000 yearly could be saved.

· consider reconfiguring Swarthout Park to minimize the impact of baseballs and softballs on local homes. The changes are estimated at $50,000, to be funded by the Simplot settlement.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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