By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council will look into providing a City Hotline to the public as a request by Councilman Bill Hodge.

The item came as a request from Hodge in order to have a better communication between City officials and residents. The idea for this Hotline, Hodge said, came out from the recent Town Hall meeting held two months ago.

Hodge proposed to have this hotline be installed and have the messages and concerns be channeled to the appropriate department heads. The messages will then be sent to department heads and will be answered as soon as possible. He said that there are many people that can’t make it to the meeting and he wanted to take government closer to the people and more accessible.

“We need to know what are the concerns of our constituents and I believe this Hotline will help residents to have a closer communication with our City.” Hodge said.

Mayor Pro Tem Maritza Hurtado said it was a good idea but worried about the burden this could put on City employees now that they are short staffed. Hodge responded it would have to be looked at but emphasized that the City should know the concerns of the public and the issues that need to be solved.

The Council agreed that this was a good idea and gave direction to City Manager Oscar Rodriquez to look on how they will implement the new Hotline into the City of Calexico.

In other news, the City of Calexico approved an agreement with the Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center to provide technical assistance to microenterprise businesses.

The City of Calexico received a grant in 2011 in the amount of $500,000 for Micro Enterprise Façade loan/grant and microenterprise Technical Assistance. The Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center will provide the Technical Assistance to micro businesses. The amount of $120,750 will be used for the technical assistance.

City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that this will assist the City of Calexico with expanding and attracting new businesses. The program will additionally prepare the microenterprise owner to be loan ready for the façade loan/grant with the remaining funds.

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