Joe Males | Courtesy Photo of AML Post 53

No one should ever accuse the San Jacinto City Council meetings as dull or slow. I covered one on the web Tuesday night and had barely signed in when the doings began.

What started out as a well-deserved moment of silence and remembrance for Rose Salgado and a beloved member of the Soboba reservation who passed away this week after a long battle with cancer took off afterward at a pace on a back-country preacher at a West Virginia Pentecostal Meeting. I know because therein lie my roots.

San Jacinto is a city on the move. In fast succession, several remembrances were recalled, including the life of a local riverbed resident who recently also passed.

All pertinent items on the agenda were passed unanimously in rapid-fire order, including issuing several updated amendments to already approved lots for housing developments. Mayor Alonso Ledezma Loza, who chaired the meeting, discussed the rising appearance of roadside vendors that are rapidly aligning the roadways into and in San Jacinto, without vending permits, some of whom are coming all the way from Los Angles. He felt that in order for them to operate in a healthy atmosphere, two things must be brought into play, (1) licensing and (2) assurance of healthy non-contaminated fruit and vegetables. All agreed that they should not operate within the city without obtaining a vendors license.

Not to be denied a place in the rotation, City Manager Robert Johnson ran off a litany of projects that would startle the city council of a great metropolis, including but not limited to the following; a new Dollar Tree, Healthy Eating (involving a series of places and events that your reporter will be covering in weeks to come, Demler Egg Ranch which will include a fertilizer plant, new home developments. Etc.

There was much discussion and slides to make their point about progress with filling potholes on the streets of San Jacinto, as well as on the Ramona Express, which one councilman described as questionable to drive on. They boasted of the 7200 yards of rubbish removed from the local storm canals, 77 leaking water meters being replaced and 82 dig alerts that were checked out in order to prevent interference with underground wiring and piping.

San Jacinto beatification was thoroughly covered and approved, including Community Partnerships that include gardening, churches, resources and sponsorships (seeking as many financial investments into their effort as possible and announcing many new community business donations to the effort).

The HARP program (which I will be going into in full depth up the road) covers San Jacinto Unified School District, Public Safety, Philanthropic Organizations, The Faith-Based Community and Street Outreach programs. One project should attract the attention of the entire Valley, Mistletoe Park (Once a notorious gang hang-out) is being converted into a Future Court Project, which will be in conjunction with the business and civilian community. I gather it to be a sort of stop by gym, recreational and exercise location with a 7-minute program that isn’t going to over-tax anyone’s energy. (More in the future on that as it progresses).

Then, there is the oft-neglected Sallee Park which is currently being upgraded, but I would describe it as more a rebuilding with total remodeling that will include a Community Garden, Boxing for Christ, etc. (partly financed by generous grants with many local businesses chipping in. Community Garden Murals are planned with local artists (youth and elder) contributing.

There seems to be no end to the projects, projects in progress and projects in the planning stages. Nearby communities will be casting envying eyes on the runaway train that is now the city of San Jacinto. Fasten your seat-belt folks; this may be a bumpy ride that is headed for a smooth ending and I, for one, would like to watch it grow and be a part of it. Just sayin’.

Rusty Strait • Senior Reporter

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