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Traffic woes among concerns aired on citizen's day

June 25, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Residents took advantage of the first citizens' day at City Hall on Monday.

More than 12 residents showed up from 3:30 to 5 p.m. to talk with City Councilman Alex Perrone, the first councilman to host what will become a bi-weekly event. Councilman Victor Carrillo is scheduled to host the next citizens' day at the same time Friday.

Most of the Calexicans who chatted with Perrone are worried about traffic, including jam-packed Highway 111 leading into Mexicali, truckers on Cole Road and speeding moms and dads dropping kids off at William Moreno Junior High School.

Maggie Goff of Palm Street told Perrone the city needs to get a traffic study done. Perrone told her there was a meeting today at the Elks Club that would address the Imperial Avenue/Highway 111 concerns specifically.

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Goff and her husband, Gene, wanted to know what's happening with the big mall project near the downtown port or the city's "China city" plan. Maggie Goff said she hasn't heard anything about the much-touted projects recently.

Gene Goff said he thinks a Target store should be put in the Crossroads Plaza, the under-construction shopping center at the corner of highways 111 and 98. Perrone said the city is in negotiations with Target.

"We're going to try to make that happen," he said.

The Goffs then talked about recent stories in the news, such as the possibility of the City Council moving taxicab stands and the council's plan for downtown revitalization.

Maggie Goff thinks Police Chief Mario Sanchez's idea to move taxi stands to the Heffernan Avenue bus depot is a great idea. As for the downtown, Goff thinks the city fathers should consider painting the buildings white instead of dingy brown and beige.

"It would give the city a real clean image," she said.

Perrone said all of her suggestions and concerns would be noted and a written response would be sent.

Daniel Gutierrez, a city police commissioner, followed the Goffs. He said there are some soda machines at the Camarena Memorial Library that aren't working and he hopes the City Council will move quickly to get shade structures built at city parks that don't have any yet.

Lourdes Ortega stopped by City Hall to participate in the event on a break from work. She told Perrone a pedestrian bridge across Highway 111 at Cole Road would help prevent an accident.

"One accident is all it is going to take to get some thing done there, but we shouldn't get to that point," she said.

Regarding the traffic situation around Moreno Junior High, Ortega said the city needs to come up with a solution and quickly, "before the next school year starts," she said.

Perrone said he would broach the subject with his colleagues.

Ortega said she likes the idea of a citizens' day but said more people might be able to participate if the hours were moved back a bit, say from 4-5:30 p.m.

Perrone said, "We can always modify it to meet the needs of the people."

Jesus "Chuy" Solano, a former Calexico Housing Authority commissioner, said citizens' day needs to be in the City Hall council chambers instead of in the small ante room just off the chambers where the council holds closed session discussions.

When Perrone had his discussions with the Goffs, Gutierrez and Ortega he was sitting at a table inside the ante room, along with two reporters and a secretary recording minutes.

Perrone said he liked the idea of meeting one-on-one like that because it brought him "down close to the people."

Solano said this morning, "Nah, I don't think that's right."

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

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