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Calexico RDA severs ties with Urban Futures

October 11, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The City Council here, seated as the city Redevelopment Agency board, ended its 22-year relationship with consulting firm Urban Futures Inc. during Tuesday's RDA meeting.

Mayor Victor Carrillo and councilmen Gilbert Grijalva and Frank Montoya voted to sever ties with the Orange-based consulting firm. Mayor Pro Tem John Renison and councilman Javier Alatorre dissented.

Urban Futures President Marshall Linn attended the meeting but didn't comment publicly.

After the vote he shook hands with city Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa and left the council chambers.

On Wednesday, he called from his office, commented on the board's action and addressed some of the claims made by Grijalva in the discussion leading up to the Tuesday's vote.

Grijlava blasted Urban Futures for proposing an amendment to the city's RDA plan that had been rejected in another city.

"They bring it here because he doesn't think we are as sophisticated," Grijalva said.

Recently, the RDA board rejected Linn's "Amendment 4," a proposed change to the RDA plan that would have brought almost the entire city under the agency's purview.

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Weeks after that vote, Grijalva said he got word from his friends that Linn "badmouthed" Calexico during a California League of Cities event.

During Tuesday's meeting, Grijalva said, "I have a problem with that."

He said it would be no problem to find a different consultant because "consultants are a dime a dozen."

Linn called the claim that he denigrated the city, "patently untrue."

"Why would I badmouth a client I have been loyal and dedicated to for 22 years?" he asked.

During Tuesday's discussion, City Councilman Javier Alatorre said he would not vote to sever ties with Urban Futures until he was presented with facts.

Grijalva mentioned a water park study the city's RDA board commissioned.

Grijalva said that study was incomplete because it didn't take into consideration the Mexicali market that might have made a city-owned water park a viable project for Calexico to pursue.

Linn said, "We did not have anything to do with the water park at all."

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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