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Lemon Grove Council Candidates Aim to Restore Recreation Department

George Gastil, Lou Melendez, Mark Gracyk, Matt Mendoza and Racquel Vasquez agree on issue.

Restoration of the Lemon Grove Recreation Department, eliminated after the 2010 election, appears to be a goal of candidates in the 2012 City Council election, according to a 4,100-word report in East County Magazine.

Councilman George Gastil, the only incumbent running for re-election, was quoted as saying the cut was much too drastic.

“We still have recreation programs, but we lost the department and the director, so we lost that perspective and set of skills. The way I looked at it, we had already cut recreation programs, but not so drastically. Some people said public safety and streets should be the top priority, but I don’t think people realized we were losing an entire department.”

Council candidate Lou Melendez told the online publication that he agreed the council made a mistake, saying:  “This was not a good idea in terms of the result: denying services to the youth of the community. There were other opportunities for saving money, but the City Council decided to prioritize in favor of the white-collar bureaucracy at City Hall.”

Council candidate Mark Gracyk was quoted as saying: “As a parent of two children, I know how important it is to provide low-cost recreation alternatives for our city’s families. I would work hard to make sure our children have as many recreational opportunities as possible.”

And candidate Matt Mendoza was quoted as saying: “I not only support restoring the department, it is one of my passions.”

Racquel Vasquez, labeled the only Democrat besides Gastil in the race, told East County Magazine: “I’ve met with many residents throughout my campaign who have voiced their displeasure in the elimination of the recreation department. … We benefit greatly from those services. I hope that we will revisit bringing back those services sometime in the future, because it is really great for our city.”

David Brammer II October 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I get the parks part... dumb move by city councel. But the lady in the video wants a more walkable downtown where people hang out and spend their money. With all the new low income section 8 housing coming in (on top of what's here already) why would a restaurant want to move here? Tweakers, homeless, gang members, drifters, 5150's in local living.... they walk around all day and sorry to say it but THOSE ARE THE REPRESENTATIVES of Lemon Grove. That's what people see when they come here. And that's why we all get the same look from people when we tell them we live in Lemon Grove=/ That's not a recipe for a great business. You can't just paint the city, you need to clean up the people as well.
Bill Ott October 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Guess I don't vote for any of these candidates. Those running the rec department were overpaid for the amount of programs offered and the facilities, i.e., parks, playing fields, etc. When a secretary is making more than $40,000 and the director around 100K--rediculous! Fix my streets, cleanup the shopping cart problems, etc.
Lemongrovelocal October 17, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Wow... Really David? I've grew up in Lemon Grove when I was a teenager and I moved back here with my family 9 years ago. On top of living here, I work here and my kids attend the local schools. I hardly think of tweakers, homeless, gang members, and drifters when I think of Lemon Grove. Yes, these people pass through Lemon Grove as do they in the surrounding cities such as La Mesa, El Cajon and San Diego. That's what happens when you have a mass transit system coming through your city. Believe it or not, there are a lot of hard working, tax paying citizens in Lemon Grove who would love to see new stores, restaurants, and the community come together. As for the elimination of the recreation department, there are still services offered to the youth and adults of our community, no one is being denied a service. They may not be provided for directly by the City but they are there (adult softball, judo, peewee sports and the summer camp) and flourishing.
Lemongrovelocal October 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Bill - there is a shopping cart removal hotline. If you see one stranded, call (800) 252-4613 and they will pick it up within 48 hours. I use it all the time. Here is a link with more information: http://www.lemongrove.ca.gov/documents/62/Shopping%20Cart%20Retrieval%20Info.PDF
David Brammer II October 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM
You use the shopping cart hotline all the time? Speaks volumes!!!
David Brammer II October 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM
You are in denial I think??? La Mesa is way on top of it's drifters hanging around the downtown area. La Mesa should not be in that sentence. But you are missing the point. I know Lemon Grove has good people here like yourself and James and others, I piss them off on here all the time with my truthful badinage. But what do you see when driving around Broadway? They very people I mentioned. You can say all the nice things you want but the city's visual image doesn't match the praise. That's why i say those people are our reps. Everytime the Sheriff's dept releases a report about Lemon Grove 80% of the crimes happen on and around Broadway. It's like I wrote... you can paint the city but if you don't paint the people then what's the point.
David Brammer II October 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
How come nobody defended the 40k secretary and 100k director? lmao It's like you didn't even write it. OUR WISHES HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.... Lemon Grove will be rescued by a shopping cart hotline WOOHOO!!!! Maybe if we had sidewalks and level streets those people would push those carts back to the store. On second thought, don't put in sidewalks... those carts will just come closer to my house. lol
David Brammer II October 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
btw LOCAL why are you calling a hotline when the city should keep our streets clean anyway. I mean that is what you wrote on the other story right=)
David Brammer II October 19, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Mendoza and Richards 2012

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