Lemon Grove

LEMON GROVE INITIATIVE CHALLENGE WON’T BE HEARD IN TIME TO BLOCK BALLOT MEASURE

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A challenge seeking to block the Lemon Grove sales tax initiative on technical grounds won’t be heard until February 21 – too late to keep the measure off the March 3, 2020 ballot.  But if a judge rules the process was invalid, the vote could later be voided and the sales tax hike would not take effect.

The initiative, Measure S, would raise the sales tax by three quarters of a cent, from 7.75 to 8.5 percent. The city is facing serious financial shortfalls, with a budget deficit of nearly $1.2 million projected by the end of its fiscal year 2021-22. More than 85% of the city’s budget is spent on public safety, police and fire protection, leaving not enough money for other needs.

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE WITH LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY DEC. 6 INCUDES SANTA--AND BOOKS ON LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery 

November 30, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Historical Society invites you to Christmas Open House on Dec. 6 from 5-8 p.m. Santa will be in the H. Lee House. You can tour the museum and also buy books at the Parsonage Museum before enjoying the city’s annual bonfire.   

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:

FPPC CLOSED COMPLAINT AGAINST ROSIAK AND WITHDREW WARNING LETTER

 

Update Nov. 25, 2019:  Lemon Grove has confirmed that it has no records of any prior complaints filed against any other candidates for violation of campaign contribution or disclosure requirements in the past 10 years.

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Earlier this month, we reported that the city of Lemon Grove has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accused the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.  Rosiak told ECM, “The FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) cannot provide help or an opinion, but my filings were received by them and they have no issues with me.” 

The city contends that Rosiak borrowed money from her campaign and didn’t pay it back within 30 days, nor disclose expenditures on her behalf totaling over $100.  The city claims Rosiak violated state and city laws.

ECM asked the FPPC for a record of any FPPC complaint against Rosiak and the resolution, and the FPPC has now responded.

The FPPC confirmed that did send  a warning letter on July 13, 2018 regarding a missed filing deadline of form 470 in her campaign for Lemon Grove City Council. However, that warning letter was later withdrawn on July 16, 2018 after Rosiak stated she had sent a copy of the statement to the County Registrar’s office 10 days before the deadline via U.P.S. When notified by the Registrar that it had not arrived, she emailed a copy of the paperwork which she had retained.

ROSIAK CLAIMS LEMON GROVE COMPLAINT IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Teresa Rosiak has run for Lemon Grove’s city council and mayoral positions in the past, but did not win election. She’s also been a vocal critic at council meetings and is a potential candidate in 2020.  The city has filed a complaint in Superior Court accusing Rosiak of misdemeanors in her 2018 campaign over campaign contributions and disclosure requirements, but Rosiak accuses the city of improperly targeting her for political retribution.

“The city again is not using the taxpayer’s dollars properly,” says Rosiak (also known as Rosiak-Proffit) in an e-mail to ECM, adding, “They want me to be discredited since I am outspoken and they will do this regardless of the cost to the taxpayers.”

Rosiak, a former Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce president, is a fiscal conservative. The Council majority is Democratic.  She has criticized the Council on spending priorities, dipping into budget reserves, litigation in which the city has been embroiled over assault allegations against Councilman David Arambula, and has called for resignations of Arambula,  Mayor Racquel Vasquez and City Manager Lydia Romero.

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.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: GIARDINO AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATE SECOND ANNIVERSARY

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Giardino Neighborhood Cucina celebrated its second anniversary last night, treating all guests to a delicious array of complimentary appetizers as well as toasts with champagne and lavender-vodka lemonade.

The appetizers include savory meatballs, cheese platter, olives, strawberries and more.  Guests also enjoyed live music and a festive ambience with red and gold balloons.

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX MEASURE QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: George Gastil, former Lemon Grove Councilmember who spearheaded the petition drive

November 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Registrar of Voters confirms that the Lemon Grove sales tax measure has qualified to appear on the March 2020 ballot. If approved, the initiative would increase the city’s sales tax by three-fourths of a cent to 8.5 percent, the same as neighboring La Mesa.

According to the Registrar, 1,987 signatures have been verified as valid, substantially more than the 1,482 required for the measure dubbed the "Lemon Grove Security Initiative."

Advocates for the measure posted on their “Sweeten Lemon Grove” Facebook page, “Shoutout to all of the volunteers who circulated 233 petitions and to every person who provided their signature in support of the measure.”

The stakes are high for Lemon Grove residents and businesses.

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.

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.   

LEMON GROVE MULTI-CULTURAL DIVERSITY EVENT NOV. 9

East County News Service
 
October 30, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Multi-Cultural Diversity Event will provide an opportunity for residents to connect with each other through music, dance and art and to share their diverse perspectives, cultures, and values in a space where all can be accepted, appreciated and celebrated.
 
 

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.

MAN ARRESTED FOR STEALING SHERIFF’S PATROL CAR IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Matthew Porter, 44, is under arrest after admitting to stealing a Sheriff deputy’s patrol car last night.
 
Around 8:52 p.m., a deputy assigned to the Lemon Grove Patrol Station was unloading his patrol car at the end of the shift. According to Lieutenant Mike Rand, a “transient male gained access to the patrol car and drove away.”

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. 

FREE HEALTH AND VISION SCREENINGS PLUS HEALTHY FUN FOR ALL AT KIDS CARE FEST IN LEMON GROVE THIS SATURDAY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 3, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – “Kids Care Fest,” a healthcare festival for kids will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center at 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.

SHERIFF INVITES LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS TO COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY OCT. 3

East County News Service
 
September 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s department will host Coffee with the Community on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Starbucks (3520 Massachusetts Avenue near Broadway) in Lemon Grove.  The public is invited to meet patrol deputies and ask questions about issues brewing in the community.  
 
During the one hour meeting, attendees can also learn about crime prevention and free safety programs offered by the Lemon Grove substation.

LEMON GROVE SALES TAX INITATIVE SPURS JUICY DEBATE

Mary England and George Gastil sound off in arguments for and against measure

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Advocates of a ballot measure proposing a three-quarters of a cent sales tax increase argue that the measure will sweeten Lemon Grove, shoring up a structural budget deficit to fund city services wanted by residents, such as parks, road repairs, and improving public safety. 

But former Lemon Grove Councilwoman Mary England, also president of the Chamber of Commerce in neighboring La Mesa, is sour on the idea.

Both England, who opposes the ballot measure dubbed the “Lemon Grove Security Petition,” and former Councilman George Gastil, a leader of the citizens’ group advocating for the petition, agree that the city has had a structural deficit for years, with a budget that’s nearly entirely consumed by rising police and fire protection services.  But they disagree sharply on solutions.

LEMON GROVE MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING POLICE BIKE, BREAKING INTO HOME ON CORONADO

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 22, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – This morning, The Coronado Police Department announced the arrest of Lemon Grove resident Nicklas Paul Jorgenson. He was taken into custody at a motel in Point Loma by Coronado police, aided by San Diego Police Department K-9 units.

SENIORS FROM LEMON GROVE AND ESCONDIDO KILLED BY COLLISION

East County News Service
 
September 22, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Lauro Ordonez, 81, of Lemon Grove died in Palomar Medical Center on September 3rd of injuries sustained in a car accident the day before in Escondido. 
 
According to the County Medical Examiner’s report, Ordonez ran a red light  in his sedan while exiting Interstate 15 south and collided with a vehicle on Del Lago Blvd.  He was transported to the hospital, where he died.
 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN STRUCK BY SEVERAL VEHICLES, DIES ON HIGHWAY 94 IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 18, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – An unidentified man walking north in traffic lanes of State Route 94 east at College Avenue was struck by a 2010 Nissan Altima around 8:45 p.m. The driver, a 27-year-old woman from San Diego, swerved upon seeing the man walking directly into the path of her vehicle in the number three lane, but was unable to avoid hitting him.  

HUNTER’S NURSERY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL OCT. 19

By Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Historical Society
 
September 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Five generations of Hunters will be on hand to celebrate the centennial of Hunter's Nursery on Oct. 19, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the nursery, 3110 Sweetwater Road, Lemon Grove. Crafts, food, music and, of course, trees, plants and flowers will greet all comers.

PARSONAGE MUSEUM CELEBRATES 20TH BIRTHDAY SEPT. 21

By Helen Ofield

September 13, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- The Lemon Grove Historical Society will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Parsonage Museum on Sept. 21 from 2 - 4:30 p.m. in Civic Center Park between Main and Olive Streets, Lemon Grove. 

KIDS CARE FEST COMES TO LEMON GROVE OCT. 5: FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS, SAFETY INFO, GAMES, ACTIVITIES AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

September 9, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Grossmont Health District’s Kids Care Fest will bring “healthy fun for the kid in all of us” to the Lemon Grove Rec Center (3131 School Lane) on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event also includes free dental and vision screenings,  fun and active games, flu shots, blood pressure checks, and information on a variety of health services and conditions. 

LEMON GROVE HOME INVASION SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A home invasion robbery that went awry in February led to a struggle between the home’s occupants and two suspects. The homeowner’s son was shot and wounded, resulting in the homeowner firing back, killing a teenage suspect. 

LEMON GROVE COMMUNITY CLEANUP AUGUST 31

East County News Service

August 20, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove Improvement Council invites you to a community cleanup on Saturday, August 31 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lemon Grove Community Center. 

Volunteers wishing to take pride in their community are needed to remove graffiti, clean up trash, and make the area look and feel better. Participants are encouraged to bring a team of friends, family, coworkers, or colleagues from school, church, clubs or athletic teams.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE CAT AFTER EXPLOSIVE FIRE IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News
 
August 15, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Heartland Firefighters used oxygen to revive a cat found unconscious in the front yard of an explosive house fire yesterday afternoon. When firefighters arrived at the scene at 1783 Dupont Drive in Lemon Grove, the home was 50 percent engulfed in flames, 10 News reports.
 
Sheriff’s deputies evacuated neighboring residences while firefighters battled the blaze.
 
No residents or firefighters were injured; the cat ran off after it was resuscitated.

DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER STRIKING CHP OFFICER AND FLEEING SCENE

East County News Service
 
August 14, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A California Highway Patrol officer hit by a suspected drunk driver last night near Lemon Grove suffered moderate injuries but expected to make a full recovery, says Officer Travis Garrow with the CHP.

LEMON GROVE CITIZENS LAUNCH SALES TAX INITIATIVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 12, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – For years, Lemon Grove has been struggling financially. Now, a group of residents led by former Councilman George Gastil is gathering signatures on a ballot initiative to raise Lemon Grove’s sales tax by three-quarters of a cent, an action the “Vote Yes for the Lemon Grove Tax” committee estimates would raise approximately $3 million.

TASTE OF ITALY WINE DINNER AT GIARDINO AUGUST 15

East County News Service

August 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Take your tastebuds on a culinary journey through Italy with five fine fantastic wines paired with five original courses (not on the menu) at Giardino Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove on August 15 at 6 p.m.

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