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Plenty of suggestions at second citizens' day

June 30, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO —Wild dogs are attacking elderly ladies who walk the sidewalks of Meadows Road.

Off-roaders are kicking up dust when they ride in the New River basin.

Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa was rude when he denied a woman a permit to build a fence.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service is not doing a good job of moving people through the vehicular lanes at the downtown Port of Entry.

The above were just some of the comments from residents who took part in Friday's citizens' day at City Hall.

Councilman Victor Carrillo listened to each comment, made suggestions when applicable or told a concerned citizen the City Council would discuss the issue in the future.

The turnout for the city's second citizens' day was good. Carrillo had someone to talk to between the scheduled time of 3:30 to 5 p.m. He even stayed a half-hour extra to talk to a man who came to City Hall after 5 p.m. He stressed to a number of people who attended the event that he is available to hear their concerns all throughout the week, not just at a citizens' day.

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Mayor Pro Tem Frank Montoya will host the city's third citizens' day from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The first person to talk with Carrillo on Friday was Marta Alicia Laborin of Lincoln Street, who complained about Hinojosa's alleged rudeness and her problems getting a permit to build a fence. She brought pictures.

Laborin said the Planning Department, specifically Hinojosa, won't let her build a fence as close to her property line as she would like.

Carrillo looked up the section of the city's building codes that dealt with fences. He said he would talk to Hinojosa and try to find out why she was having a problem getting a permit. He said if there was a good reason why she shouldn't be allowed to she might have to try and have the rules changed.

Jesus "Chuy" Solano, a former Calexico Housing Authority commissioner, told Carrillo he thinks the city should have a master plan for the Recreation Department. Carrillo told Solano he could bring his concerns to the Recreation Commission and maybe the City Council at a later date.

Cecilia Maldonado, general manager of KQVO-FM and KICO-AM in Calexico, told Carrillo the City Council could do something with kids, giving them positions of importance for a day.

"A youth day?" Carrillo asked.

Maldonado said children can learn a lot when they interact with their elders.

Carrillo said the City Council has already used the input of children, for instance, when it built the Nosotros Park skate park.

"There were town hall meetings and we invited the skaters to City Hall so they could learn the process," he said.

Carrillo said the city's efforts to build a BMX park would follow the same plan and he said the council would try to provide more recreational opportunities for all of Calexico's youth.

Maldonado, who had a list of issues written down in preparation for her citizens' day time, told Carrillo cars are speeding too fast on Highway 98 east of town. Carrillo said he would see if the California Department of Transportation could put some signs on Highway 98 to slow traffic.

Maldonado then said she had heard a report at her radio station of rampaging wild dogs.

She said someone had to remove a dog off an elderly lady who was walking on the sidewalks along Meadows Road.

She didn't know if the allegedly rampaging pooches are wild or unleashed.

Moving on to another topic, Maldonado said the city could host monthly parties downtown at night, keeping stores open late.

Carrillo said something similar to La Mesa's car shows or the San Diego Gaslamp District's late night concerts could be worked out here.

Before leaving, Maldonado said, "I'm glad you're here."

Carrillo asked if her radio station would start doing live broadcasts of citizens' day. She said she will definitely consider it.

Antonio Ramirez, the owner of a home in the Casas Del Sol housing projects near the New River basin, was the man who complained about the off-roaders.

He said the dust they kick up wafts into neighboring homes, including his.

Carrillo said he would try to figure out how the city could mitigate the problem.

Alma Romero spoke of her concerns about the INS. Carrillo said there was only so much the City Council could do because the INS is a federal agency but he would meet with INS officials soon and discuss some of her complaints.

The council plans to meet with INS officials Wednesday to discuss forming a border working group.

Juan Ortiz, an employee of the Calexico Housing Authority, said the Building Department should check its files before sending notices out that accuse Calexico homeowners of making illegal modifications to their homes.

Ortiz said he got a notice for illegally enclosing his garage when he had pulled a permit for the modification two years ago.

Carrillo asked him if he had brought a copy of the permit. Ortiz said he had it at home.

Carrillo said the City Council would work to make sure the rules governing building were consistent.

Ortiz wanted Carrillo to know he didn't have a problem with the Building Department, calling Chief Building Official Bob Williams "very accessible." Ortiz said he just wanted to make sure that the department checked its records before sending out notices.

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

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