CALEXICO — The Calexico City Council on Dec. 18 approved eliminating the city’s lone street-sweeper position and reinstated a formerly vacant and unfunded street-painter position.
The move includes an
adjusted salary for the employee displaced by a new street-sweeping contract to
begin in January.
The action was passed 3-0.
It was somewhat of a formality considering the former sweeper driver moved to
the street-painting job several weeks ago.
The action included a pay
raise for the street-painter position. Although the affected employee will be
making five percent more annually than he did as a sweeper, the wage is less
than the painter position paid when it was eliminated several years ago.
Council Members Rosie
Fernandez and Morris Reisen, and Mayor Bill Hodge approved the changes. Council
Members David Romero and Lewis Pacheco were absent.
The 27-year city
employee’s job behind the wheel of the sweeper is the casualty of the city’s
new trash contract with Republic Services/Allied Waste that will take effect
Jan. 1. It includes an annual $245,000 street-sweeping component, a key element
of the city’s Downtown Action Plan designed to revitalize the embattled retail
The job reassignment
occurred after a city-employee union raised concerns over the sweeper driver
possibly losing his job because the work was to be contracted to
Camera Server Purchase Approved
The council also approved
3-0 spending $35,000 on a new computer server to power as many as a dozen
security cameras and nine automated license-plate readers.
The monitors are expected
to be installed on top of traffic signals on Cesar Chavez Boulevard from
Highway 98 to Second Street.
The cost of the server,
which includes labor, installation, software and hardware support, will be paid
for entirely out of Measure D funds, which is a county-wide, voter-approved
sales tax for street-related expenses.
Police Chief Gonzalo Gerardo
said during the meeting the installation of the cameras will be covered by a
previous contract that purchased the cameras and license-plate readers in 2015,
when the city bought 75 cameras in all.
Nuisance Debate Continued
The council briefly
opened a public hearing to consider approving some major changes to the city nuisance-abatement
ordinance officials said would allow the city to better address public eyesores
and accumulations of trash on private properties. However, the council opted
against approving the changes until it had all five members present.
Despite having a quorum,
there were two members absent. The hearing was closed and continued to Jan. 22.
It is recommended the
council repeal a chapter of the ordinance that contains only a limited list of
public nuisances and an “overly brief and general recitation of the city’s
authority to, and procedures for, abating public nuisances,” according to a
report to the council prepared by City Attorney Carlos Campos and planning
consultant Christopher Velasco. It would be replaced with a more detailed entry.
The chapter as worded
does not provide adequate notice to property owners and code enforcement
officials on what conditions constitute public nuisances, the report states.
Moreover, it does not define what due-process protection property owners have
available to them during the mitigation process. That increases city liability
if it is taken to court over issuing citations and removing public nuisances,
the report indicated.
“The lack of clear and
uniform procedures for seeking property owners’ compliance and affording
property owners due process will continue to mire the city’s efforts to abate
dangerous nuisance conditions in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” the
The replacement chapter
to the ordinance is intended to create uniform policies and procedures for code
enforcement officers and other city officials. In turn, that would allow nuisances
to be removed faster and at less upfront cost to the city.