Last July my client, Christopher Williams, was invited to a meeting with Lemon Grove City Councilman David Arambula, at Mr. Arambula’s residence, to discuss the status of my client’s application for a marijuana-dispensary permit. Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez showed up at the residence after my client did. During the meeting, Mr. Arambula was drinking – at one point he even began skinny-dipping in his pool – and there was no discussion of my client’s application. The Mayor eventually left, and my client decided to do the same. (While I have seen the video of Mr. Arambula skinny-dipping, I have not yet been able to secure a copy of the video.)
While my client was inside the residence waiting for his ride, he was severely beaten and could have been killed. Mr. Arambula snuck up behind my client, hit him in the head with a bottle, and then proceeded to kick, punch, bite, and choke him. My client suffered serious injuries and had to be treated at a nearby hospital. Though a police report was filed, my client did not immediately press charges due to fear of retaliation by Mr. Arambula and his past reports of violent behavior.
The City has declined my client’s request to be made whole. So next month my client will be filing a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Mr. Arambula and the City. In addition, my client and I will be requesting a meeting with the Interim District Attorney. Until then, neither my client nor I will have any further comment on the matter.
Kimberly and Christopher Garnier, frequent critics of Poway Unified School District and several of its board members, filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the District, board president Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff, and board member T.J. Zane. The defendants have blocked the Garniers from commenting on their Facebook and/or Twitter accounts in retaliation for their negative criticism of the defendants.
You can read the lawsuit here: Complaint.
Yesterday community activist Marcus Bush sued Lemon Grove City Councilmember Jerry Jones and City Manager Lydia Romero for abusing their power as public officials when they retaliated against Marcus after he criticized Jones’s “racist tendencies” on Facebook. Jones and Romero have been sued in their private capacities, not as public officials, which means their wrongdoing may not be subsidized by the taxpayers of Lemon Grove.
Read the press release here: Press_Release_2017-10-04.
Read the lawsuit here: 1_Complaint_FINAL ALL.
On July 17, 2017, the Del Mar Alliance for the Preservation of Beach Access and Village sued the City of Del Mar for its failure to disclose public records concerning short-term rentals. The City has been actively working to ban STRs, but the City has been unable to turn over a single responsive public record after more than two months.
You can read the lawsuit here: 1_Petition for Writ of Mandate and Verified Complaint.
Donna Frye released the following statement today in response to reports that last week the Downtown Partnership has negotiated a number of concessions to Measure C that were reflected in a side letter signed by Dean Spanos:
I’m glad for the Downtown Partnership’s recent success in getting Charger concessions to Measure C.
However, even with those concessions, Measure D remains far superior to Measure C for three reasons:
1) Measure D contains those same protections, and even more. And, unlike the Chargers’ concessions in a side letter, Measure D’s protections are actually built into the law and will be legally enforceable.
2) The transient occupancy tax rate under Measure D will be only 14%-15.5%, which is 1%-2.5% lower than the rate under Measure C. So, Measure D leaves the door open for additional TOT capacity in the future to help pay for other public projects and services if the public votes to do so.
3) Measure D includes the necessary voter approval for the Qualcomm Stadium site to be turned into a public river park, for new active recreational park and open space for the public, and a transit-oriented campus expansion for SDSU and UCSD. Measure C does nothing for SDSU/UCSD, or for the future beneficial use of Mission Valley.
Measure D is just better for the greater good of all San Diego.
The public is entitled to know exactly and fully what is being proposed by the Citizens’ Plan. The public should not be limited to a biased analysis or summary prepared by City Hall. The public has a right to know that the taxpayer resources in the Citizens’ Plan can be used to fix roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure, to help strengthen our police, fire, and lifeguard forces, and to provide affordable housing and homeless services — all through a general tourist tax without earmarks for special interests.
On its face, the Citizens’ Plan protects taxpayers and makes our tourism economy and infrastructure competitive while compelling tourists and the corporations who benefit most from tourism to pay their fair share of what it takes to keep us America’s Finest City. City Hall has refused to do that on its own and cannot be trusted to deliver that message to the voters now. Voters are entitled to read for themselves that the Citizens’ Plan requires the tourism industry to pay its own way.