From the daily archives: Friday, December 16, 2011

By Luke Phillips
Vikki Dee Bradshaw announced Monday in a letter to the city council that she would be resigning her position as the chairman of the Holtville Planning Commission.
Bradshaw said she decided to resign after accepting a  new job as Supervisor of Environmental Sevices for the Imperial Irrigation District.
“This promotion was sudden and has caused a drain on my free time as I get up to speed on all that filling this vital role entails,” Bradshaw wrote in her letter. “This appointment is a great professional opportunity for me, but has necessitated my resignation on the Holtville Planning Commission.”
Bradshaw was appointed to the planning commission in 2005 and has since served six consecutive years as a commissioner and chairman. Bradshaw says she is proud of her time on the commission and points to the many accomplishments made by the board during her tenure.
“During this time as a commissioner and then being elected as the chair, there have been many successful planning accomplishments in the city including the Downtown Development Design Guidelines, many capital improvement projects, the establishment of successful new businesses, and while on the commission, I celebrated the city receipt of many substantial grants,” she said. “The rare opportunity to serve during these times has been immensely satisfying to me. On balance, I am proud of what the city has accomplished and the part I have had in these decisions. I will continue to be involved and interested in the future of Holtville; it is above all, my home.”


By Luke Phillips
Holtville City Manager Alex Meyerhoff informed the city council at their meeting Monday that the city has received a petition from the residents of Barbara Worth Resort requesting a reduction in water rates.
Residents who live at the resort currently pay double rates on water along with anybody else who lives outside of the city limits but is still connected to the city water system.
10 of the 27 people who signed the petition showed up at the meeting to let the city council know that they are unhappy with current water rates and want to see the price more accurately reflect the actual cost of delivering the water.
Barbara Worth Resort co-owner Kevin Smith spoke to the council about the issue and told them that he believes the high water rates may have contributed to the decline and eventual closure of the resort before Smith and his partner Daryl Readshaw bought it.
“Just because it’s gone on for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s right,” Smith said. “It’s part of why they (the resort’s previous owners) went under and I don’t want to see it happen again.”
Mayor Jerry Brittsan explained that the city charges on a tiered system outside of the city limits in order to cover the extra costs associated with delivering water to county residents.
“It was implemented to make sure the city wasn’t delivering water without being reimbursed for the costs,” Brittsan said. “It’s extremely costly for us to provide water to the country club.”
Smith says he’s not opposed to higher rates for county residents, but he says the amount currently being charged is excessive.
“We’d like to pay something relative to the actual cost of delivery,” Smith said. “We’re not asking for something for free.”
City treasurer Pete Mellinger says that county residents are charged more for water to offset the fact that they are not helping to pay for water system infrastructure through property taxes. According to Mellinger, the city has bonded millions of dollars to pay for the construction and maintenance of a water system and are still paying that money back through taxes.
“If you receive the same rate, we’d actually be subsidizing you people,” Mellinger said.
The council didn’t take any action on the item Monday, but Mayor Brittsan says the issue “will not be going to bed tonight” and will be revisited in the future. When asked for a specific timeline to review the matter Brittsan said the council would hopefully have some kind of response in time for their Jan. 2 meeting.


Luke Phillips
Holtville’s new Mayor Jerry Brittsan and Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Goodsell were sworn in at a meeting of the Holtville City Council Monday evening.
Holtville City Manager Alex Meyerhoff told the council that they were allowed to reorganize as they saw fit and opened the floor to nominations. Council member Goodsell nominated Brittsan for the position of Mayor and Brittsan nominated Goodsell as Mayor Pro-Tem. The council took a vote and unanimously accepted the two nominations.
The two were sworn-in for a one-year term in their new positions by city clerk Glen Snyder and Mayor Brittsan conducted the rest of the meeting after a short reception.
In Holtville the title of Mayor denotes who will conduct the city council’s bi-weekly meetings, but is only traditional and doesn’t carry any more power than any other member of the council. The Mayor-pro tem is designated to conduct meetings in the absence of the Mayor.
Brittsan has previously served as Mayor twice before, once in 1990 and again in 2006. Goodsell is the newest member of the council and just marked the one-year anniversary of his election.


By Gene Carl
The Open Arms Fellowship Church in Holtville gave a spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings to the residents of Holtville Garden Apartments on Friday from Noon to 4:00 p.m.
Pastor Rudy Garcia and volunteers from his church explained the event.
“The Lord has put in our hearts to come and share with the people here at the Holtville Gardens Senior Citizens Complex. We have been serving spaghetti, green beans, salads, rolls, home made cookies and soft drinks for the purpose of sharing the love of God with all those here.”
“We are dedicated to reaching out to the community and show the love of God to everyone here in the city of Holtville,” Garcia continued. “Once a month, we usually go out to the Holtville Park and invite the community to come out for a free dinner. Many times it’s hot dogs and chili dogs.”
“Today the men and women of the church got together and prepared this spaghetti dinner in their homes and came here to the Holtville Gardens.”
The Open Arms Fellowship Church is located at 538 Olive Avenue in Holtville. They have been functioning as a church and congregation going on four years. Pastor Garcia talked about their men’s home.
“Our Jesus’ Lord’s Home is six months old and we are dedicated to reaching out to the community and the surrounding areas to share the love of God with those around us.”
Pastor Garcia looks forward to working with other churches in the area.
“In the future, some of the men in our church are getting together with Turning Point Life Center and Pastor Norman Chandler for the purpose of reaching out to teenagers. We do not want to leave anyone out. We want to reach out to the young, the old and the middle-aged. God loves everybody.”
Garcia concluded “Our church services are Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. at 538 Olive Avenue in Holtville.”


By Jim Predmore

The spirit of giving was alive on Saturday, December 10th as over 70 children throughout Imperial Valley were chosen to participate in Shop With A Cop Event through a referral from the Department of Social Services, Center for Family Solutions, and CASA.
According to Magda from United Families, this event has been taking place for the last ten years.  She has been a part of the program for the last five years and says that it has been able to continue on because of the generous financial donations of community sponsors such as Calipatria State Prison Centinela State Prison, Chilis Restaurant, Target, United Families, Inc., and I.V. Recycling.  This event also takes a lot of volunteer manpower which comes from agencies such as Brawley Police Department, B.N.E., California Highway Patrol, El Centro Police Department, El Centro Fire Department, D.E.A., F.B.I., D.O.J., H.S.I., Imperial County Fire Department, Imperial Police Department, Imperial County N.T.F., Imperial County Sheriffs Department, and Imperial County Probation Department.
Volunteers from these agencies gathered in the cafeteria of Southwest High School where they were paired up with the children.  The event was kicked off with the Presentation of Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Girls Scouts.  Pictures were taken and each child received a new backpack filled with goodies.
The caravan of squad cars and law enforcement vehicles left Southwest High School and headed to Target with Santa in the lead and sirens wailing.  They were greeted at Target by Santa, and were able to have their photo taken with jolly St. Nick.
Thanks to the generosity of the community sponsors, each child received a gift card for $100, which they were able to use for whatever their hearts desired.  There were many bicycles rolling out the doors of Target, along with bags of toys and clothes.  It was an exciting afternoon for the children and a great time for them to get to know the law enforcement personnel of Imperial County and have a positive experience with them.

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