By Mario Conde
The Calexico City Council voted Tuesday to begin the search to hire a grant writer for the City of Calexico.
The item was brought up by Calexico Mayor Bill Hodge who said that the City was behind and not being aggressive enough in pursuing a grant writer for the city and get funds for city needs. Hodge has proposed in the past to bring a grant writer to the City and help the city get funding for parks, public safety, among other things. The agenda item called for direction or consideration for an interim 6 month fund developer assistant to the City Manager position.
Mayor Pro Tem John Moreno said that the idea was good but had too many concerns about the proposal since there is not plan in place.
“We don’t have a scope of work that would allow us to make a decision.” Moreno said.
Councilwoman Maritza Hurtado also had concerns about the hiring of an assistant to the City Manager/grant writers since there is a hiring freeze in place due to the financial constrains and a limited budget the City has right now.
City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that department heads assist the City Manager in several areas and that a grant writer in budget in the city’s books.
Mayor Pro Tem Moreno suggested waiting on this and forming a subcommittee and possibly workshops to work on this and create a plan that can be presented to the Council later on. Councilman Luis Castro responded that there are a lot of subcommittees right now in the City and agreed that action needed to be taken.
Castro was forceful in saying the city is still complaining and discussing the situation of the parks five years after he was first elected to city council and nothing has been accomplished as of yet. He said the city should just move forward and give direction to hire a grant writer.
Councilman Joong Kim agreed with Castro and said that there is a lot of talk and no action when it comes to services in the city. He suggested the City Manager work on a salary schedule and work description for the grant writer.
Mayor Hodge mentioned that he had listened to the valid points, pros and cons, from all the councilmember’s but decided to move forward with this plan. Hodge said the proposed this at the January’s team building workshop and he had grown tired of waiting for the City to take action and said it would be better to move on.
The Council voted 3-2 to approve this item and give direction to the City Manager to see how they will hire a grant writer for the city. Mayor Hodge and Councilman Kim will work together in developing a business plan for grant for several areas of the city.