From the daily archives: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District is pleased to announce the successful completion of its second Leadership Academy, which has produced nine graduates. The Leadership Academy is an internal training program for employees who have demonstrated the interest and aptitude for additional leadership and management responsibilities. The Academy was conducted over a four-month period with classes each month.

The graduates are Brenda Delgado, Calexico Health Center; Claudia Moreno, Calexico Health Center; Loren Johnston, Imaging Services; Heather Munger, RN, Medical Surgery Unit; Lupe Orozco, RN, Nursing Administration; d’Andre York, RN, Perinatal Services; Gina Parker, RN, Quality; Daniel Camillo, RN, Surgery; and Sandra Mendoza, RN, Calexico Health Center.

“This ongoing training for employees is designed to develop and hone leadership and management skills,” stated Bob Honaker, Associate Administrator and Chief Human Resources Officer. “We are extremely pleased with the participation, the subject matter, and the feedback. With two classes of graduates now, we are ensuring a succession plan for the future of PMHD,” continued Honaker.


“On behalf of all the members of the PMHD Board of Directors, I just want to say that we are as proud of this second class as we were of the first,” stated Marcus Tapia, Board president. “This accomplishment —both for the graduates and the instructor team—is one of the many reasons PMHD has received the Employer of Choice™ award,” noted Tapia.


The topics covered in the Academy included a broad overview of the organization, performance improvement/quality/risk management, human resources policies, compliance, budgeting, project management, work injuries (the employer’s role and PMHD’s Safety Program), recruiting, coaching, disruptive behavior, conflict management, teamwork, and patient satisfaction. Each of the various topics was presented by the appropriate internal expert on the subject matter or by contracted service providers.


The Leadership Academy will ensure that, as Pioneers continues to grow; its employees will have the necessary management skills to step into key positions within the hospital as needed


First Imperial Credit Union will be hosting a bake sale to help raise funds for the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert on Friday, October 21, 2011 from 10:30am-1:00pm at their El Centro and Brawley Branch. Please help us help the Cancer Resource Center by stopping by our fundraising bake sale.


For more information please contact (760) 352-1540 ext. 109



Thank you,


Jennifer Paez

First Imperial Credit Union

Director of Marketing/Business Development


By Mario Conde

The Calexico School District and the City of Calexico are ready to work for the construction of a new Olympic swimming pool.

The Measure H Committee approved Monday the usage of  $1 million dollars towards the construction of a new pool and related facilities with possible 100% reimbursement. City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that with this action will allow them to advertise the community that they will have a new pool and the appropriate facilities by 2013.

A committee made up of the City Manager Oscar Rodriquez, CUSD Superintendent Richard Fragale, City Council members Maritza Hurtado and Daniel Romero, and School Board members Norma Aguilar and Ruth Duarte, have been meeting and discussing financing options.

The committee met Monday morning and identified a reasonable project schedule for this project. They have also identified the facilities that will be built, except for the smaller recreational pool, financing permitting; the committee is also prepared to commit repayment of these monies requested if the school receives more than $416,000 dollars from FEMA. The request is for $3 million. Also, if Redevelopment Agencies are allowed to continue to operate by the Supreme Court, with their ruling to be handled down in January 2012, said RDA monies will be pledge by the School District. Funds over $200,000 that are remaining after the appropriate repairs, caused by the April 4, 2010 Earthquake, are made to Jefferson Elementary School. Rodriquez said that Measure “H” funding will only be a “bridge loan” and will be totally paid back.

The City needs $3 million dollars for the construction of the Olympic swimming pool that will be constructed at Calexico High School were the Soccer Field is currently located. The new swimming pool will allow the high school to have a swimming competition team like they had in the past.  The committee also discussed doing fundraising for the swimming pool and having the community play a part in the construction of the new pool. School Board member Norma Aguilar suggested contacting old Calexico residents and families that live away to support this project.

Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr said that having a swimming pool is the single most important crime prevention tool they have since it keeps teens away from trouble. Neujahr said that juvenile crime in Calexico is in an all time high because there is now swimming pool.

Recreation Director, Sandra Tauler, said that by approving this item it would be living proof that Measure “H” monies are at work since the people of Calexico are demanding a swimming pool.


By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of James Moffett as interim County Probation Officer.

CEO Ralph Cordova said that on October 5th he was notified by the Imperial County Superior Court Presiding Judge, Christopher Yeager that the Superior Court Judges voted unanimously to appoint Moffett as Interim Chief Probation Officer for the County of Imperial pending appointment of a permanent CPO. Recruitment for a permanent CPO closes on October 21st. The selection process, including review of the applications, scheduling of interviews, physical and background check, is expected to take up to 90 days.

Moffett has served as Chief Probation Officer in four California counties including Inyo, Calaveras, Mariposa, and Mono. He most recently was employed by Grant County, New Mexico as a detention administrator of its county detention facility. Cordova said that he has 25 years of experience including budget preparation and oversight, supervision of personnel and juvenile facilities. He has served as Chairperson for the Chief Probation Officers of California Central Region and Children’s System of Care Policy Council.

El Centro Resident Tony Ramos thanked the board for moving forward in electing an interim chief. He said that for the last two years the County Probation Department had very bad times the last two years with Krizay in charge. He told the board that Moffett needs be guided so he can do a good job at the department. Ramos is against having judges appoint the permanent Probation Chief since they were the once that appointed a bad leader, he said. He suggested a committee be made of Supervisor Mike Kelley, Sheriff Ray Loera, and members of the community to select a new County Probation Chief.

The agreement of James Moffett to serve as interim chief will be at a cost not to exceed $11,000 per month and not to exceed a period of six months. He replaces Martin Krizay who was dismissed as probation officer after many allegations of “unfair labor practice” and violations of the Brown Act.

In other news, the County Board approved the donation of a 1983 fire engine to the Ciy of Mexicali. The Mexicali Fire Departmetn has shown an interest in obtaining this fire apparatus for the use within their City. The intent is to add the engine to their inventory and keep it in service as  a reserve fire engine to assit with needs in the City of Mexicali/San Felipe.


By Mario Conde

An ambitious medical campus planned to be developed at Towncenter Plaza in Calexico has been put on hold indefinitely.

Last week, Towncenter owner, Kevin Smith, attended the Calexico Economic Development Commission announcing that the Medical Campus that would have consisted of a Dementia Care Center, a Skilled Nursing Facility, and a Veterans Care Facility will no longer establish at Towncenter since, according to Smith, there was a lack of commitment and interest by the City of Calexico.  Towncenter Plaza had been in escrow for 18 months with Medical Management Group, who were planning on building a 15.1 acre medical building.  City Manager Oscar Rodriquez was not present at the meeting. The Chronicle contacted Rodriquez to respond to those comments and said he didn’t agree with the statements made by Smith.

Towncenter Plaza had been working with the City to implement the CFD that was formed as a financing mechanism to repay a portion of the infrastructure cost paid by Towncenter and financed through Liberty Bankers Life Insurance. The CFD was going to provide approximately $1.2 million net to be paid to Liberty to reduce the amount of the loan. The City, through the RDA, was going to provide an additional $2.8 million to MMG in order for them to acquire the balance of the 15.1 acreas. This amount was going to create 600 jobs. The RDA was going to provide the funds as soon as the State had resolved its differences with the RDA structure.

Smith said that in 2007 the Heffernan Memorial District originally considered the Towncenter Plaza development for the location of their medical facility but decided to go to the Mega Park project that was later rescinded due a lawsuit made against the project. Smith asked for the assistance of the Calexico EDC in obtaining approval and support of the Heffernan Hospital District.

“We feel that this is a great fit for the City of Calexico and with the help of the RDA the financial return to the City of Calexico will be significant.” Smith said.

Towncenter will propose that Heffernan proceed with the purchase of the lots 18 and 19 for $1,250,000 and the balance of the funds required to close the purchase would come from the RDA.  The RDA funds will then be released as the jobs are created by Heffernan to close on the purchase of the full 15.1 acres. The jobs created by the new facilities will help to insure the City’s fulfillment of the EDA job creation criteria that is required as part of their $3 million grants that is in process, Smith said. Towncenter Plaza will help facilitate the recruiting of tenants for the medical facility. Possible tenants include a diagnostic/radiology lab, a surgery center, a kidney dialysis center, a chiropractic center, a blood lab, a physical therapy/rehabilitation center, a DME company, and a home health care company.

The Calexico Economic Development Commission agreed to support Kevin Smith and Towncenter Plaza and will address the issues raised in order to move the Towncenter project forward.

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