Lemon Grove City Council

FIVE-STORY MIXED USE COMPLEX IN LEMON GROVE IS A GO

By Jake Zawlacki 

May 20, 2020 (Lemon Grove) — By a 3-2 vote, Lemon Grove’s City Council on Tuesday denied an appeal of the planning commission’s approval of a five-story mixed-use development, with three retail spaces at the street level. The project at 7946 Broadway is slated to be built on property occupied by Berry’s Athletic Supply, a longtime business no longer in operation; the structure is set for demolition.  


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL OFFERS COVID-19 INFO FOR RESIDENTS AND PASSES CLIMATE ACTION PLAN WITH AMENDMENTS FORTHCOMING

By Jake Zawlacki

Audio Recording Link: https://www.lemongrove.ca.gov/city-hall/city-council/city-council-meeting-audio-recordings

April 8, 2020 (Lemon  Grove) -- In a 3-2 split, the Lemon Grove City Council voted Tuesday to approve the city’s Climate Action Plan, a plan to take advantage of $2.5 million in grant funds  from SANDAG to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through local projects.

In accordance with Gov. Newsom’s Executive Orders in a response to mitigating the transmission of COVID-19, the meeting commenced online via Zoom.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

 

Girl Scouts unveil "Lemon Ups," official new city cookie

By Kathleen Connell

January 23, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On January 21st, Lemon Grove leaders kicked off the new year in a well-attended meeting, with many citizens clearly interested in the medical marijuana dispensary item on the agenda.


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LEMON GROVE DROPS COMPLAINT AGAINST ROSIAK

By Miriam Raftery

December 17, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The City of Lemon Grove has dropped its complaint against Teresa Rosiak alleging misdemeanor campaign finance and disclosure violations. Rosiak, a fiscal conservative, ran unsuccessfully for the Council in 2018. She has been a vocal critic of the Council on financial matters and had called the charges politically motivated.

As ECM previously reported, the FPPC had earlier closed its investigation into Rosiak with no disciplinary action before Lemon Grove filed its complaint in court. The city has acknowledged in response to an ECM records request that it has not filed any similar charges against any other candidate in at least the last ten years.


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WHO WANTS TO BE THE NEXT LEMON GROVE COUNCILMEMBER AND PLANNNG COMMISSIONER? HERE ARE ALL THE APPLICANTS

By Miriam Raftery

November 26, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove City Council will hold a special meeting on December 2 at 6 p.m. to interview applicants to fill vacancies on the City Council and Planning Commission.  A wide range of people have applied for these positions, bringing a diversity of skills and backgrounds. 

Here are summaries of each applicant's primary qualifications and aspirations:


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WHAT SHOULD LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL REQUIRE OF APPLICANTS TO FILL VACANCY? COMMUNITY WEIGHS IN; FORUM FOR APPLICANTS NOV. 13

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove is now accepting applications for appointment to fill the vacancy on the City Council left by the resignation of Matt  Mendoza, who moved to Florida for his job.

The appointment process raises questions over what criteria should be considered, beyond basic residency and age requirements, in choosing the next councilmember.


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LEMON GROVE TO APPOINT NEW COUNCILMEMBER TO FILL VACANCY: APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED NOV. 11-21

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – At a special meeting last night, Lemon Grove’s City Council voted to fill the vacancy left by Matt Mendoza’s resignation through appointment.  Applications will be accepted starting Monday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.


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LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN MATT MENDOZA RESIGNS, REPLACEMENT PROCESS IS ON TONIGHT’S AGENDA

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove Councilman Matt Mendoza resigned Monday after moving to Florida due to his work for Boeing.  The Council will meet tonight in a 6:30 p.m. public session to discuss options for filling the vacancy. The  Council originally planned a closed-door meeting but changed to an open session after the San Diego Union-Tribune raised questions about the legality of a closed-door process, the newspaper reported.

The resignation comes at a critical time for the city, which has been forced to dip into its financial reserves.  An initiative to raise sales tax by three-quarters of a cent has just qualified for the ballot – a measure that Mendoza, a conservative, has said he supports.  He told the Union-Tribune that his greatest regret has been the inability of the city to attract enough new businesses to attain fiscal stability. The city has even faced calls from some to consider disincorporation, or giving up cityhood to revert to county control.

Mendoza’s departure comes just weeks before a December 19, 2019 jury trial in a lawsuit against the city of Lemon Grove and Counclman David Arambula is set to commence.  Judge Richard Whitney authorized Cory Briggs, attorney for plaintiff Chris Williams, to take a deposition from Mendoza but so far, Mendoza has been unavailable for that deposition, Candid Chronicle reports.   


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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS PLAN FOR CAMERAS TO AID LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- A San Diego Sheriff pilot project introducing a video federation program, election sign regulations for Lemon Grove City Council candidates and other matters were discussed by the Council at their meeting Oct. 1st at the Lemon Grove Community Center.

The video federation project was introduced by San Diego Sheriff Lt. Mike Rand. 

Lt. Rand said the department has begun the process of community awareness of a video sharing platform named “SafeSanDiego.” The first community forum in Lemon Grove was held on Oct. 3.  Businesses, government agencies and residents will be allowed to share video with law enforcement to help authorities investigate and solve criminal cases.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: AREN’T WE WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

By Jerry Jones, Lemon Grove Councilman

“Let’s first save the city, and then deal with the leadership and trust issues.” – Councilman Jerry Jones

October 4, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- While I am supporting a city sales tax for Lemon Grove I did oppose the one proposed for last year for a number of reasons. I was very clear in my 11-page PowerPoint that the 1/2 cent was not enough and what I felt next steps should be. At no time did I advocate for disincorporation, though I did call for a discussion on what that would look like. For some people transparency is just a word, not me. I was very clear about the steps needed to address our problem with the end result being a 1 cent tax measure placed on the 2020 ballot. Yes, one cent is a heavy lift but by my calculations and forecast that is what it will take to make us sustainable. I am not a tax kind of guy in principle. For some the word tax is an immutable principle and to be avoided at all cost. The good people of Lemon Grove expect me to protect their asset, that is the city, not force my principles on them. If the facts support a tax that will sustain, benefit the community and improve my home then I will fight as hard as I can to make that happen under the right circumstances. The Citizens initiative, circulating a petition currently, is only 3/4 versus the one cent I proposed but my calculations say that it will work. It just leaves us less to invest than I would have wanted and will require a larger reserve. 


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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS POLICE AND FIRE UPDATES, PLANS TO REGULATE INFLATABLE JUMPERS IN CITY PARKS

 

 

By Allan Acevedo

 

March 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) –  The Lemon Grove City Council conducted business this week in the absence of Councilmember Matt Mendoza. The remaining four councilmembers received annual updates from fire and police. Additionally, the Council discussed at length the possibility of adding a local ordinance regulating inflatable jumpers as soon as this summer.

 


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WITNESS DISPUTES LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN ARAMBULA’S STATEMENT ON MEETING WHICH ENDED IN PHYSICAL ALTERCATION

 

Update February 13, 2019: Judge Whitney has issued a final ruling keeping the City of Lemon Grove as a defendant in this case.

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A witness has disputed a key claim made by Lemon Grove Councilman David Arambula in a civil suit filed by marijuana dispensary applicant Christopher Williams against Arambula and Lemon Grove.  Williams alleges that he Arambula cut his face with a beer bottle, bit, choked and punched him after a meeting at Arambula’s home regarding the dispensary application.


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INCUMBENTS LEADING IN LEMON GROVE



By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Challenger Teresa Rosiak says even if she doesn't win, she hopes to restart a Chamber of Commerce to help bring new businsses to Lemon Grove and help improve the city's economy.

November 6, 2018 ( Lemon Grove) – With 14% of precincts counted, incumbent Councilmenbers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones appear headed for reelection in Lemon Grove. They are leading with 32.48% and 29% of the votes respectively.


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BUDGET CRISIS TOPS CONCERNS FOR LEMON GROVE COUNCIL CANDIDATES



By Miriam Raftery

Photos, top row--Challengers Kamaal Martin and Teresa Rosiak, bottom row--incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones.

October 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – With Lemon Grove facing a budget deficit and 78% of its general fund spent on public safety, the City Council faces tough choices. Should the city consider the drastic step of disincorporating and reverting back to county control? Or can the city be saved through revitalization by bringing in new businesses, or by raising taxes? Proposals for the latter failed to win passage with the current Council majority, leaving the city faced with dipping into its reserves in the next fiscal year if the finances don’t improve.  

Those are among the issues addressed in our interviews with all four candidates, as well as concerns over crime, marijuana dispensaries, street repairs and more.The candidates are  incumbent Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza and Jerry Jones, as well as challengers Teresa Rosiak, a medical credentialing specialist and former Chamber of Commerce president, and Kamaal  Martin, an educator with state and county governmental experience.

Hear our interviews aired on KNSJ radio by clicking the audio links below this story, and scroll down to read highlights from each interview.

 

Audio: 

Kamaal Martin interview
Teresa Rosiak interview
Jennifer Mendoza interview
Jerry Jones interview

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EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL NONPROFIT LAUNCHES FROM EL CAJON DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

July 23, 2018 (El Cajon) – George Gastil, a former Lemon Grove Councilman and history professor at Grossmont College and San Diego State Univesrity, opened the inaugural meeting of the East County Leadership Council (ECLC).  The newly formed 501c(3) nonprofit organization has a mission statement to promote “quality discussion of politics and public policy in the East County region of San Diego County.”


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FLOWERS, BUDGET AND TAX PROPOSALS TAKE ROOT AT LEMON GROVE COUNCIL MEETING

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo:  Lemon Grove Management Analyst Miranda Evans, smiling, received flowers for her self-taught videography in Lemon Grove's 40th birthday year of celebration and history minutes.

July 5, 2018 (Lemon Grove) -- It wasn’t all flowers Tuesday as the City Council discussed roads, sidewalks, a memorandum of understanding with firefighters and bringing various proposals before voters in order to raise revenue for the City of Lemon Grove, which is forecasting a budget deficit.


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DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT BLOCKED IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Lemon Grove Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Jones

May 8, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove's downtown redevelopment climate dampened last week, as the City Council blocked a plan to allow four and five story buildings throughout downtown. The infill plan for redevelopment passed on April 17, by a 4-1 vote. But it failed upon second reading on May 1, by a 3-2 vote.


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LEMON GROVE REJECTS CLAIMS OVER POTHOLES AND BUCKLED SIDEWALKS



By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove’s City Council on Tuesday voted to reject, per staff recommendation, liability claims submitted by three separate individuals plus a lawsuit filed, all claiming injury or harm due to allegedly poorly maintained city streets and/or sidewalks.


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LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN DISPUTES ASSAULT CLAIM, SAYS HE ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE

 

Updated March 17. 2018 with photos of Williams' injuries and quote from his wife, courtesy of Candid Chronicle.

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Last week, the San Diego Reader published an article revealing that a claim has been filed against the City of Lemon Grove by Christopher Williams.  Williams, who has applied to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, seeks punitive damages and medical costs resulting from what he alleges was an assault by Councilman David Arambula. Now Councilman Matt Mendoza is calling for an investigation.


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LEMON GROVE SHERIFF DEPUTIES HAVE BODY CAMERAS; MAYOR TO SERVE AS REPRESENTATIVE TO SANDAG

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: December 19, 2017 was declared Marcos’ Jewelry Day in honor of the retirement of Marcos Ortega.

December 20, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Lieutenant S. Amos updated the Lemon Grove City Council yesterday on the Sheriff’s Department progress on body-worn cameras. Amos announced that all Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Lemon Grove station (excluding those there on overtime from other stations) have body-worn cameras.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL TAKING RISKS TO INVEST IN CITY STREETS

 

Photo: (L-R) Councilmember Jerry Jones, Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Mendoza, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, Councilman Matt Mendoza, Councilman David Arambula

By Jonathan Goetz

November 22, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Two recent votes by the Lemon Grove City Council allocate additional funds for city streets based on promises of additional funds that may or may not materialize.


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LEMON GROVE DENIES ZONING CLEARANCE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

July 23, 2017 (Lemon Grove) - The Lemon Grove City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to deny a zoning clearance appeal for a medical marijuana dispensary in the 7300 block of Broadway because it is within 1,000 feet of two small daycare centers, one on Broadway and the other on Citrus.


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WHAT’S BREWING IN LEMON GROVE? COUNCIL APPROVES BREWERIES, WINERIES AND DISTILLERIES ORDINANCE, ALSO FILLS VACANCIES ON COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMISSION

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: City Commissioners Angeles Nelson (with flowers) and Yajaira Preciado

June 21, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – Breweries may soon be opening up their doors in Lemon Grove, based on action taken at yesterday’s city council meeting. In addition, Angeles Nelson, Yajaira Preciado and James Davis were appointed to the Lemon Grove Community Advisory Commission along with alternates Tom Clabby and Walter Oliwa.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL DROPS OPPOSITION TO GONZALEZ-FLETCHER’S AB 805, SHIFTING BALANCE OF POWER AT SANDAG, DESPITE ASKING FOR FURTHER AMENDMENTS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

May 19, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove City Council voted 3-2 to support, with additional amendments, Assembly Bill 805 authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, which gives San Diego and Chula Vista more power on SANDAG, the regional transportation body in San Diego County.   The key change sought would allow chairs and vice chairs of SANDAG to include leaders from any city in the region, not just San Diego and Chula Vista. 


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LEMON GROVE COUNCILMAN JERRY JONES ASKS SANDAG FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO DECEPTIVE INFO ON MEASURE A

 

East County News Service

February 23, 2017 (Lemon Grove) – After Voice of San Diego revealed that SANDAG misled voters on projected revenues for the Measure A transportation initiative (see stories here and here),  seven SANDAG members said they were not informed of the botched forecast and have signed a letter calling for an investigation, VOSD reported.


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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL TO INCREASE SEWER RATE; PUBLIC HEARING TO FOLLOW

 

Onboard with enviro agreement to purify water

By Thea Skinner

February 16, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove unanimously voted on February 7th to take a wastewater rate increase and reserve allocation to public hearing.  The move supports an agreement between the environmental community and City of San Diego’s Pure Water Project to filter sewer water into drinkable water. The relationship of the agreement in coming years is unforeseen.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL OVERRULES MAYOR ON SANDAG APPOINTMENT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

February 14, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Newly elected Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez forwarded to a list of committee assignments for Council members to a dramatically altered City Council following the November elections.


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: CHARLENE MCADORY, THRIVE LEMON GROVE PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL CANDIDATE

 

November 7, 2016 (Lemon Grove) –Charlene McAdory, president of Thrive Lemon Grove and a long-time community activist, is running for the Lemon Grove City Council.  She reached out to us to talk about key issues in Lemon Grove.  In addition, as a past member of a citizens police oversight board in another city,  she gave us her perspective on the recent police shooting in El Cajon and the importance of oversight.

You can hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ Radio, by clicking the  audio link: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au... and scroll down for more information on this race.

Audio: 

interview: Charlene McAdory, Thrive Lemon Grove president and Council candidate

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JERRY JONES TAKES STAND AGAINST REPEALING LEMON GROVE’S WELCOMING CITIES ORDINANCE

 

By Jonathan Goetz

October 19, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -- At prior meetings citizens have voiced concerns over marijuana. But at last night’s Lemon Grove City Council meeting, instead of pot they were talking about potholes.  Council also heard arguments that the city lacked priorities when it passed a Welcoming Cities Resolution.  The resolution was modeled after a White House initiative to help newcomers by assisting refugees and immigrants integrate into communities.


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LEMON GROVE MAYOR RESPONDS TO THREATS AGAINST HER FAMILY OVER WELCOMING COMMUNITIES RESOLUTION

 

Lemon Grove Council highlights:  public speaks out on immigrants resolution and cannabis dispensaries; Council approves new housing development

By Jonathan Goetz

October 11, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom spoke at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to denounce threats circulated on Facebook by people opposed to the City Council’s “Welcoming Communities Resolution,” an affirmation of inclusion for refugees displaced by war and violence that Council approved.


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