Nine Applicants To Vie For Vacant Brawley Council Seat

By Chris Furguson
A list of nine potential City Council applicants have been released by the City of Brawley.  The City Council will select their new fellow from these applicants at a special evening meeting on Monday, December 3, at their chambers on Main Street.
The applicants will have five minutes to present themselves to the council, followed by public comments and the selection.
The new council member will fill out the term of Ryan Kelley, who resigned earlier this month in preparation for his upcoming role as Imperial County Supervisor in January.
The applicants include:
• Arne Eaton, a 20 year veteran of the Brawley Building Department and current contractor.
• Jay Goyal, a Brawley businessman and member of the city Planning Commission.
• Norma Kastner Jauregui, a retired 35-year employee with the California Employment Development Department.
• Joe Paul Lucio, a former worker at the Workforce Development group, among several others.
• Lisa McMillan, a real estate broker and substitute teacher.
• Helen Noriega, a current member of the Brawley Union High School Board of Trustees.
• Lee Quarcelino Sr, a Korean War veteran and former manager for Peabody Coal.
• Jeremy Rodriguez, a grad student currently working for a local student outreach program.
• Donald Wharton, manager of Reach Air Services and member of the Brawley Public Safety Committee.
While the process may appear rushed, the city had a 30-day deadline to appoint a new member or choose to hold a special election.  The city missed the filing deadline for a March election and the council chose to not wait until June 2013.
The city would also have been responsible for the costs of the election, a price believed to range from $12,000 to over $30,000.
The applicants had around a week to fill out and file their applications.

Calexico City Council Tables Impact Fees Discussion

By Mario Conde
The Calexico City Council decided to table the discussion of whether or not reduce the impact fees to a future meeting.
The developer of the Gran Plaza Outlet Center requested the City to reduce all development fees consisting of Developer Impact Fees, Plan check Fees, inspection and permit fees related to the Gran Plaza approval, permitting, inspection, and construction.
Gran Plaza infrastructure engineers discussed their displeasure relating to the City’s assortment of fees, Impact, Plan Check, Inspection and Permit Fees. Staff explained and provided them with the Maximus Study, Taussing Study and Ordinances 1102 and 1036.
Infrastructure Engineers is holding firm on their positions that the Impact Fees developed in the Taussing Study are too high due to the timing and the source of development date used during 2005 when development was very active. This is where Corsair determines that he study is flawed.
City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that while it’s true that development has dramatically reduced to a crawl, it’s also true residents are actually sharing expenses, which has translated to more residents per house than traditionally expected. Rodriquez added that study’s point is that regardless of the development trend, the facilities will be required at some point in the future.
“By taking a reduction now would then translate to a shortfall when the City will be in dire need of the facilities in the future.” Rodriquez said.
The City also received a letter from John McClendon who represents the Coalition for Honesty and Integrity in Calexico, CREED-21, Citizens for Honesty and Integrity by Calexican Officials, and other City of Calexico business, property owners, and residents.  The letter objects to the Gran Plaza developers’ request for a reduction in its development, impact and other fees and implored the Council to support City staff’s recommendation that you reject Gran Plaza’s request.
McClendon warned the Council that if they approve the reduction they will be inviting a lawsuit against them.
“Gran Plaza’s request is beyond craven: It is insulting to the community and any honest elected official should and will deny it.” McClendon wrote in the letter.

SR-111 Closed On East Side Of Salton Sea For Four Days in Early December

EL CENTRO – A portion of State Route 111 (SR-111) on the east side of the Salton Sea will be closed for four days in early December as highway workers replace an aged bridge and upgrade a drainage system, according to Caltrans.

SR-111 will be closed between the communities of Niland in the south to Mecca in the north on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 a.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 a.m.  Traffic will be detoured north and south on the west side of the Salton Sea along SR-86.  Motorists will need to allow extra time for the detour.

Calexico Turkey Drive

By Mario Conde

Over twenty families received food donations that will make their Thanksgiving dinner happier this year.

Children and parents smiled as turkeys were delivered at the Family Resource Center office in Calexico this past Tuesday. This year’s the food donations were given by Kinsell, Newcome, and De Dios and Supervisor John Renison. This is the second year that they have donated turkeys and food for low income families in Calexico.