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Virtual Town Hall: Ask the Lemon Grove City Council Candidates a Question

What's on your mind—streets, business, crime? Patch will post the candidates' responses in the days prior to the election.

Election Day is just one month away. Do you know enough about the six candidates in the Lemon Grove City Council race to make your decision?

Join our Virtual Town Hall by posing your question in comments, or uploading a video clip of yourself here (click on the green Upload Photos and Videos button), or emailing christine.huard@patch.com.

Ask a question about a local issue City Council members will face during their four-year term in office. Lemon Grove Patch will post the candidates' responses in the days leading up to Nov. 6.

If uploading a video clip, please say your name, how long you've lived in Lemon Grove, and ask a question that can be answered by all the candidates. If posting your question in comments or by email, please be sure to tell us how long you've lived here.

What's on your mind, Lemon Grove? Tell us what you want to know about the candidates vying to represent you at City Hall.

ZJ October 08, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Christine, Where can we go ti meet the candiates with out having to donate to thier campaign? If you read about what they wrote it is only a wll crafted response and gives you little into how they think. So from from reading the Patch I have found no concrete ways the candiates will improve the city. ZJBob
Christine Huard (Editor) October 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Some of the candidates have posted campaign events on the calendar. George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez hold a coffee hour at Starbucks every Saturday at 9 a.m. (Here's the link to the event: http://patch.com/E-pDwg). Matt Mendoza and Mary England are holding a community picnic Oct. 13 from noon to 2 p.m. at Civic Center Park (http://patch.com/E-p9jX). It sounds like you've got lots of questions! Post them here in comments, and I'll publish the candidates' responses in an upcoming Virtual Town Hall segment. Thanks for reading Patch, ZJBob!
Lou Melendez October 09, 2012 at 06:28 AM
This is Lou Melendez. I am running for Lemon Grove City Council. I have been walking door to door passing out my doorhanger which explains my platform, however I am available to explain my plan and all the details to any citizen willing to give me some time. If email works best then I can always respond that way (loumelendez4council@cox.net). As far as I know, other than myself, no other candidate is willing to debate me on the issues so this Patch forum is the next best thing.
James Davis October 09, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I am with ZJBob on this. So far I have heard topics ranging from: improving streets, safety and improving business. Yet I have heard no specific plans or ideas yet as to what will be done to make this happen. I am not saying the candidates dont have plans, but the information is sparse. There may be many of us that are unable to attend some of these meetings or meet and greets. Is this the page to ask the questions or will there be another set up like the on proposed on this story? I only ask because I think its really interesting to see what other readers are thinking in a commenting type of format. Thanks
Christine Huard (Editor) October 10, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Hi James! Readers can leave their questions here in comments, post a video clip by clicking on "Upload Photos and Videos," or by sending me email. I'll forward questions to the City Council candidates and then post their responses in a separate article. So ask away!
Ivy Westmoreland October 11, 2012 at 03:47 AM
I have been working with Lou for the past year with other volunteer citizens for 1 and half years researching how our taxpayers money is being spent. Given his expertise, engineering background, and desire to clean up Lemon Grove, I urge each of you to give him a chance and vote for him on November 6. You will not be dissappointed.
Scott October 12, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Lou, what issues would you like to debate the other candidates on? Also, you claim that no other candidate is willing to debate you, but which of the candidates have you actually asked and have been turned down by? Christine: Maybe the maybe the Lemon Grove Patch can create an one-hour on-line debate forum with interactive questions that could be submitted by Patch users. Just a suggestion.
Christine Huard (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Scott, Patch would be happy to host a debate with all the candidates!
James Davis October 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM
To the candidates: I have not lived here long (2 years) but have heard from some of my established neighbors that fixing the streets had been talking about for years or was a campaign issue (eg. so and so was running and said our streets would be fixed.) I had also heard that streets are recommended for paving once they reach a certain gradation. WIth the exception of grants that have been used to improve some streets, there is a LOT of pavement to cover in LG. If you were going to lobby for having the streets be such a priority, how would that look as a plan considering the size of LG and the many streets we have? What areas or streets would be getting higher priority? Besides block grants which we seemed to have relied on heavily for such improvements, what fiscal plan do you have to pay for these street improvements? How long would that take to accomplish based on projections?
James Davis October 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Question 2: Safety/Crime Looking at the most recent budget numbers on what we spend in LG, our contracted Sheriff's services cost over 4 million dollars a year. Easily one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive services we have. To improve safety in LG, what plans do you have to work with the Sheriffs Dept lessening some of that financial burden and improving safety as it related to the types of crime that we have? What will you bring to the table to help lessen this financial burden and offer some expertise to one of our most expensive annual expenses per year?
James Davis October 12, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Question 3: Business Development When my wife and I decided to buy a house here two years ago, we really saw a lot of potential in the our downtown and still do. We are seeing tremendous improvements in our downtown and lots of construction. Basically this was years in the making and is coming to fruition now. Going forward based on the DVSP and General Plan, what kind of expertise do you bring to the table to help spur growth in our shopping and business district? What new business opportunities can a small city like ours find a niche in and grow upon? Do you have contacts that will see LG in the way that we see its potential? What obstacles do you see besides the current state of the economy (which appears to be improving).
LemonGroove October 15, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I would like to ask All the Candidates,even the incumbents: 1) What they would have done different and how, and exactly how would they pay for it? 2) How can you involve more of the community more in decision making, not just a select few? 3) Do you think Lemon Grove Residents are happy living here? And why? 4) If your were a child living here in Lemon Grove, what would you do with your free time and where would you go? 5) Why are our streets so thoughtless done? For instance: One turn lane when 3 are needed, Stop signs thrown up, when yield signs or street calming would work, street lights not synchronized, sidewalks too narrow, if any at all, and just how big does a pothole need to be to be filled? 6) What do you think can be done about the rampant drunkeness and crime in our area? 7) What is the percentage of homeowners and business owners compared to renters (non property tax payers)?
ZJ October 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM
ZJ Chirstine , As I have seen that no organization wants to host a candiates formun. I would sure like some substitive answers to a few questions that are confronting our city. #1--Lemon Grove has 24 miles of paved streets many have not been repaved for over 20 years. How many miles of streets should the city be repaving each year? And how should we pay for it? Use gas tax money? #2--Lemon Grove will need a new fire engine in the next year or 2--cost $500,000. How do you think the city should pay for it? Our newest engine is a 2002 followed by a 1997 engine and the city's reserve is a 1992--20 years old now. Life of these engines are supose to be about 12 years. #3--The state ended our Redevelopment Agency earlier this year, at the time the Agency owed the city $3,100,000. How should we get the city's money back? The state says it will only repay a small protion and that will be in small installments. #4 The Lemon Grove Lighting District has a surplus reserve of about $600,000. The city wants to borrow this money to repay a high interest city loan. Do you think this a prudent or do you think some of the surplus should be used improve the lighting of streets and parks or should some be returned to the District's rate payers? ZJBOB
Christine Huard (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Good news, ZJ! Patch is organizing a live town hall forum with the City Council candidates. Details will be announced soon.
Lou Melendez October 18, 2012 at 04:24 AM
This is Lou Melendez. I am waiting to hear back from the Patch because they want to actually have a physical (not a virtual) town hall meeting. Last time I heard they were looking for a place and a day and time. If I don't hear back by Monday 10/22/12. I will respond to all your questions via this virtual method with my plan for dealing with the infrastructure, business development, safety/crime, etc.
Scott October 19, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Thanks Christine. I'm looking forward to next week's debate. I appreciate the Patch's efforts in organizing this debate and keeping the community of Lemon Grove informed. :)
LG Joe October 22, 2012 at 04:36 PM
LemonGroove, can you clarify your question #7? All property is subject to, and has tax collected from, whether it is occupied by a renter or the owner.

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