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Larry Grogan becomes E.C. mayor

November 21, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The El Centro City Council elected councilman Larry Grogan as mayor and councilman Jack Terrazas as mayor pro tem Tuesday night.

Councilwoman Cheryl Walker is outgoing mayor. Newly elected councilman Ray Castillo was sworn in as well.

Grogan said he would like to continue the successful programs emphasized by Walker, including an improvement in the city's quality of life and nuisance abatement.

"If you want a theme, it's ‘quality too,' " he said.

Grogan said the city needs to update its general plan to streamline the city's permitting process and do away with the need for conditional-use permits.

"There is no need for us to go through conditional-use permits for buildings that are basically in a commercial park," he said. "That delay of four, five or six months is killing our contractors. … We need to update the whole city plan with the idea that things are going to be a whole lot different in the next 10 years."


Grogan said the city needs the money from an increased sales tax because of the poor economic condition of the state. He has been promoting the idea around the county. He said without the increased revenues the city will not be able to build a third fire station, and that without it, homeowners in future housing developments will pay higher insurance premiums.

Another issue Grogan would like to see more involvement in on the part of the county's cities is the pending water transfer between the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego County Water Authority. He said the cities should formulate positions on the potential impacts of the transfer.

Grogan also said the city must ensure the Imperial Avenue overpass of Interstate 8 comes to fruition. He said the city has set aside $1 million for it, but it will cost upward of $17 million. He said the city might be able to sell revenue bonds to finance it.

"I would proceed as soon as possible," he said.

Meanwhile, Walker said she is looking forward to Grogan's administration.

"He has a true love for this community and he seems to have an endless amount of energy and enthusiasm for his job," Walker said. "I think he's going to be an outstanding mayor."

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

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