From the monthly archives: October 2012

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council took more steps into implementing a hotline for residents of City this past Tuesday.

Councilman Bill Hodge proposed to have a “hotline” for residents in order for them to express their concerns and give their tips. Hodge argued that this would be a great way to have a better communication with their constituents.

Last Tuesday, City Manager Oscar Rodriquez brought up and option to implement this ideas and asked for direction by the Council. The Citizen Request Management System is an option that is available to us for obtaining comments and concerns from the general public Citizen Request Management CRM Module manages customer communication regarding inquiries requests for information and requests for service complaints questions and compliments.

This public communication tool would allow the City to increase transparency improve responsiveness and manage expectations keeping residents informed and involved. The CRM Module is designed to incorporate with the City existing website look and feel creating a seamless connection to the Public User Accounts can establish a profile and log into the system allowing them to track history of their requests.

Implementation of the Citizen Request Management System has a one time cost of $4,000

The implementation includes 4 days of Project Management Training and system configuration

support. Hosting of the software is an annual fee of $6,000 Annual Software Hosting

includes enterprise unlimited software license unlimited technical support software maintenance/upgrades. The implementation of the system and the annual maintenance fee would be distributed to all city departments. This system would be installed on every computer in the city the city website and have a mobile connect application.

 

Councilman John Moreno asked if this system could take other languages other than English. Rodriquez said that they will check on that but most likely they will be able to provide that option.

 

Councilman Hodge was very pleased with this idea and asked the Council to move it forward. Council gave direction to the City Manager to proceed with the investigation of this devise and for its possible implementation.

 

By Chris Furguson

 

The Brawley City Council heard a special update at their Tuesday, October 16 meeting concerning the aftermath of recent fires in the downtown area and the possible demolition options the city has.

The fires occurred on September 14, when the Superior Furniture building burned, and the more recent October 4 fire at the Top Hat Cocktail Bar.

Demolition of the Superior Furniture building was scheduled for Wednesday, with a portion of North Plaza to be closed while work goes on.  If work is not finished on that day, the road will need to be closed for an additional day.

When the clean up is complete, including the portion of the building that covered the sidewalk, the city will be allowed to open up the right lane for parking and additional flow of traffic.  The lane had been closed due to potential risks with the pillars falling onto the street.

The lane had been closed to traffic shortly after the fire occurred.  The closing has had an impact on businesses on Main Street who have not had the parking they are used to.  “It’s not perfect, but we hope it will provide some relief” said City Manager Rosanna Moore.

Mayor George Nava said that he was glad progress was being made.

The council also heard an update on the October 4 Top Hat fire, which closed portions of G street and 8th Streets.

The street closures are due to the possibility of the building, already visibly leaning before the fire, possibly collapsing onto the street.

Area businesses have also been dramatically affected.  According to Moore, the owner of El Sol Market, which sits on the corner of 8th and Main streets, estimates that he has lost as much as a 25% loss of business due to the street closures.  Moore also said that the owner is trying to be patient with the city.

Moore also clarified that the city is in a bind due to the owners of the property being labeled as “deceased.”  Normally, the city would notify the owners and have them clean up any damage but that process has been complicated.

Since property taxes have not been collected since 2006, Imperial County has begun a process to sell the parcel by February 2013.  According to City Attorney Dennis Morita, Brawley’s costs in any demolition and fencing would achieve “super priority” status and that any money collected would first go to the city.

Mayor Nava added that “it would be next to impossible to collect on any liens” the demolition would warrant.

Moore also said that the Imperial County Environmental Health group has raised concerns about the building and may be able to offer options that the city may otherwise not have.

The council gave Moore direction to pursue avenues of demolition and fencing to help open the closed-off streets and determine the cost to the city.  A special stand alone item on next Tuesday’s joint Council/Planning commission meeting will address the city’s options.

 

Judge Juan Ulloa recognized for cross-border collaboration to meet the legal needs of his community

Imperial County Superior Court Judge Juan Ulloa.

San Francisco-Judge Juan Ulloa, of the Superior Court of Imperial County, was announced as the recipient of the 2012 Aranda Access to Justice Award. The award will be presented to Judge Ulloa by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye at a ceremony in December.
Judge Ulloa was recognized for establishing a collaborative relationship with court and consulate officials from Mexico to better serve the legal needs of his community, as well as, for being a leader in court reform efforts and working to improve access to justice for all Imperial County residents.
Through the Imperial County Blue Ribbon Commission, Judge Ulloa used international collaboration to improve the services to bi-national families in the juvenile and family court systems. They worked with the state government of Baja California, the family court and court-appointed counsel, the university, and the Mexican government to remove jurisdictional and informational barriers and resolve cases.
Judge Ulloa has also participated in the Judicial Council’s California Tribal Court/State Court Forum working group with Judge Claudette White, Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribal Court, to establish protocols for coordinating, transferring, and monitoring cases that involve Quechan families in Imperial County.
The Judicial Council, the State Bar, and the California Judges Association cosponsor the award in association with the California Commission on Access to Justice. The award, named for the founding chair of the Judicial Council’s Access and Fairness Advisory Committee, Benjamin Aranda III, honors a trial judge or an appellate justice whose activities demonstrate a long-term commitment to improving access to justice.

 

By Jim Predmore

Jim Predmore keeps a watchful eye on the three BBQ’s that were used this year to cook the 500 lbs. of Tri-Tip.

For the 8th consecutive year, Turning Point Men’s Home served tri tip to the community in what has become one of their most delicious fundraisers.  Cars were lined up around the block to get a taste of the tri tip that has a reputation for being some of the best tri tip in town.
This year’s BBQ consisted of 500lbs of Marinated Tri-Tip for the main course, 100lbs of dry pinto beans, 30lbs of ground beef, 20 lbs. of chorizo, 20, lbs. of onions and a huge verity of spices to make the 40 gallons of chili. There were 8 full rosters of rice pilaf, 4 cases of salad and 4 gallons of salad dressing toped offed with 700 rolls. For desert a total of 30 pans of delicious peach cobbler were prepared.
Turning Point staff and family members, along with members of Turning Point Life Center, were on hand to help prepare and serve the meals as almost 700 plates were served on Saturday in a two hour period.  Along with the tri tip was rice pilaf, ranch style beans, salad, and a roll.  Guests also had the opportunity to purchase delicious homemade peach cobbler as they waited in line for the plates.
Turning Point Men’s Home hosts this fundraiser each year to help offset the costs of running the men’s home.  They receive no government funding and exist solely through the work they do in the community, fundraising, and generous community giving.  The monies earned on Saturday will help with getting the final necessary repairs and maintenance done for them to move into their new home on Orchard Road.

 

By Jim Predmore

Preston Veliquette breaks thru the finnish line of the 5k race in the memory of his mother Amber Bryant.

Amidst the purple balloons and posters that protested against domestic violence, almost one hundred participants gathered to be a part of the Women of Virtue Empowerment Network’s (WOVEN) 2nd annual Amber Bryant Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 13th.
For the second year, this event was held at Jeffrey Thornton Park in Brawley and offered participants the option of a 5K walk around the park or a 5K run with a route that included Cattle Call Park.
This event was held in honor of Amber Bryant, who lost her life in a domestic violence situation two years ago.  Making Saturday’s event even more special was having Amber’s family, including her son Preston, in attendance from New Mexico.
Prior to the start of the race, Preston challenged himself to complete the 5K run in 30 minutes.  He crossed the finish line with just a few seconds to spare, causing great cheers from the audience.
A trophy was given to the top female and male in both the walk and the run.  Winners of the walk trophies were Mary Delgado at 20:50 and Jacob Ritter at 20:41.  Top 5K runners were Greg Ponce at 19:13 and Bertha Magallanes with a time of 26:10.  Brawley Christian Academy won the perpetual plaque for having the largest team in the event, with 15 members representing their team.
The event was closed out in the same fashion as last year, with family and friends of Amber Bryant releasing purple balloons in the air.  It was a touching moment to see her son Preston, along with her sister and other family members, gather together with friends to release those balloons which soared up into a sunny Imperial Valley sky.

 
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