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Calexico: Changes ahead for downtrodden areas

May 29, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Four members of the Calexico City Council and a big group of City Hall staffers walked through the disheveled areas of this city's downtown Saturday morning and let the merchants there know that change is in the wind.

Mayor John Renison, Mayor Pro Tem Frank Montoya and councilmen David Ouzan and Alex Peronne were among those on the tour.

Renison said merchants were told by city officials, "We're getting ready to attack this problem and start putting a real emphasis on the downtown area."


Renison said he asked merchants to make their comments known as the downtown revitalization process begins.

As for some of the problems downtown that the councilmen noticed, Renison said it looks as if some of the storefronts haven't been pressure-washed in a couple years.

Fire Chief Carlos Escalante said the department has the equipment to hose down those businesses, so that problem might be easily fixed.

Perrone said the condition of the sidewalks downtown is terrible.

"They need a lot of work, (they're) in very bad shape and the lighting structures weren't working," he said.

In addition, Perrone said the councilman got a firsthand look at the problems caused by the city's taxicab companies. He said the council has come up with a good idea where to move them; the parking lot near the border fence, just east of Sam Ellis Department store, across the street from the public parking lot. That plan is still being worked on, though.

Asked about the reaction of merchants, Perrone said, "They were excited because they saw the councilmen and city employees. One of my campaign things was working with the downtown area and that's why I brought it up in the meetings."

"We don't want to be like the other ones (previous councils) who had a public relations tour. Every two weeks we're going to get a report."

"At the end we should be completing some of these projects," he said.

Renison said the key to getting something accomplished downtown will be communication.

"The only complaint we got was that the city wasn't doing enough, there needed to be better communication on water breaks and things like that.

"Those are the issues, communication with those folks is lacking."

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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