City, Calexico Parents Athletic Assoc. at Ink Field Deal

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VSALEXIQUE — Being the “fighter” that she is, Calexico Parents Athletic Association founder Carmen Estrada threw no punches at a recent city council meeting where she acknowledged her tireless advocacy and approved a deal to allow the non-profit organization she founded to build a football pitch at Parc de Cordoba.

Estrada first landed a series of blows aimed at both council and city staff when the time came for council to honor the 64-year-old Calexico resident for the 27 years she served worked to promote and organize youth sports in the city.

Despite the council’s praise and conciliatory tone for initially delaying recognition at the March 16 meeting, Estrada nonetheless went on the offensive. First, she reminded city officials of the dirty and muddy conditions CPAA soccer players endure on the fields they use.

She then underlined the strong attraction that the association exerts on the young people of all the Valley since its creation, and the frustration that she felt because of the number of years that she spent asking for the help of the city ​​to improve the retention basins of the association’s participants on a regular basis. use.

Calexico Parents Athletic Association founder Carmen Estrada was recognized by Calexico City Council on March 16 for her tireless advocacy. The board also approved a deal allowing the nonprofit organization she founded to build a soccer field at Cordova Park. | VIDEO CAPTURE

“I think this may be the last time I come here because I can’t stand the promises and the lies anymore,” Estrada told the board in Spanish.

But she was back later in the meeting when the board discussed a separate resolution regarding an agreement between the city and CPAA to allow the association to design and build a football field at the Adrian C. Cordova. Memorial Park.

Although the board ultimately voted unanimously to approve the deal, the action was not without suspense and drama.

At one point, Estrada expressed lukewarm support for the deal, though she had previously spoken with city officials who explained it to her. Her reluctance then prompted the council to ask her if she would prefer it to be deposed, with council member Raul Ureña initially nodding, then retracting that motion, to do so.

Her unease with the deal seemed to stem from the absence of four written amendments she had recently submitted to city officials who were asking for some concessions on behalf of the Calexico Parents Athletic Association.

These provisions called for the city to waive all building permit fees for the soccer field and waive CPAA’s requirement to pay city park rental fees for practices, tournaments and bi-national games. for a period of five years with the option of renewal.

Additionally, CPAA requested to have priority use of the Cordova Park soccer field and to have the wording of the agreement changed to state that any potential termination by the city of the agreement must provide an explicit reason.

These provisions were to be incorporated into the agreement when it was adopted by the council.

Prior to the resolution’s approval, Pro Tem Mayor Camilo Garcia had also expressed initial unease with its passage due to the potential ramifications the provisions could have on the legality and enforcement of the agreement.

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He too initially supported the tabling of the agenda item so that City staff could determine the impact, if any, that the four amendments would have on the agreement.

City Attorney Carlos Campos said the four amendments did not appear to directly affect the legitimacy of the deal and were primarily a matter of policy that the city had discretion to adopt.

The agreement itself primarily sets out the conditions under which CPAA must proceed in the design and construction of the soccer field. This requires the use of a licensed contractor, payment of prevailing wages, and insurance and bonds.

Yet it was council member Gloria Romo who forcefully opposed the tabling of the resolution, given all the work that all parties had undertaken to put it on the agenda. Since the council could simply direct city staff to add the amendments, Romo suggested a vote was in order.

“It’s not something that has to wait,” she said in Spanish.

Long-time CPAA volunteer Jesse Garcia was also recognized by the board at the March 16 meeting. Garcia is a longtime advocate for youth sports and currently serves on the city’s Parks, Recreation, Beautification and Senior Services Commission.

Longtime Calexico Parents Athletics Association volunteer Jesse Garcia was recognized by Calexico City Council at the March 16 meeting for his advocacy for youth sports. Garcia currently serves on the city’s Parks, Recreation, Beautification, and Senior Services Commission. | VIDEO CAPTURE
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