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Hermosillo prepares to leave office

November 16, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — In one of his final acts in office, Mexicali Mayor Victor Hermosillo Celada signed a letter of intent here Thursday to create a binational advisory committee that would address transportation and environmental issues along the border.

The signing of the letter by Hermosillo and other officials occurred during a ceremony at the Hotel De Anza during which the outgoing Mexicali mayor was honored for his administration's close relationship with Calexico and the Imperial Valley.

Before the ceremony started, Hermosillo walked into a lavishly decorated De Anza lobby and spoke about the significance of the night and the new committee.

"First of all, this is a great surprise for me," he said, after checking out the dining hall and shaking the hands of local civic leaders assembled to greet him.

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"By all means, we need to have more relationship with our neighbors. This (committee) is something I worked on 12 years ago with Mr. Ruffo," he said.

Ernesto Ruffo Appel was governor of Baja California at the time. He now serves in the cabinet of Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Hermosillo continued, "We are linked together by heritage.

"There is a lot of Mexican heritage in this area — not only in Calexico — but in Imperial and Coachella Valley.

"What's going to be in this area a hundred years from now?

"We have to visualize and not be short-sighted because we are linked together.

"And now, with this war, we have so many problems. We have to have the ability to join forces to see what we can do to unite us and make us work together for both nations, especially in this region.

"As you see, we live together. Our economy is intertwined — if we have a problem you have a problem and there is a lot of things that need to be done," Hermosillo said.

As for the significance of the new committee, Hermosillo said, "It will help to inform both sides of the border of what we are doing.

"There are misinterpretations with power plants, sewer lines, water; you name it.

"We have our points of view, you have your points of view.

"The only way to work it out is to sit down — not through Mexico and Washington, D.C. — but locally, and try to solve things here," he said.

Public Works Director Mariano Martinez said Tijuana and San Diego officials will be watching for tangible results of this new committee as officials there have considered forming one as well.

Martinez said the committee is a first for the city of Calexico.

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

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