CALEXIC – Construction of a new soccer field at Adrian C. Cordova Park was approved by the Calexico City Council at its regular meeting Wednesday, March 16, amid a series of ongoing requests from the Calexico Parents Athletic Association (CPAA). The approved contract between the city and CPAA stipulates that the Sports Association will be responsible for submitting construction plans, requesting permits and providing all materials and labor for the construction of the soccer field.
The city will conduct inspections to ensure that the land is built to all codes and that when completed, the land will be open to all members of the community for recreational activities.
CPAA President Carmen Estrada, who received special recognition from the mayor for her 25 years of community involvement earlier in the evening, was also on hand to advocate for the creation of the new field. Estrada repeatedly appeared before council to demand the creation of a new football pitch for the league due to what she called “inadequate conditions in all of the city’s existing parks”.
“It’s been 8 months since I first mentioned to you, I told you Gloria, that if we as an organization could take the lead on this project, buying the sprinklers, the seeds for the grass , everything,” Estrada said. “It was never intended for our organization to use it alone, but because our football league doesn’t have a park to set up in, and because we train in places that are just abysmal, in places where the conditions are worse than Mexicali. It’s just sad to be honest with you.
Estrada said the conditions they constantly had to work in were muddy fields and patches of dirt where the sprinkler system was not working. Estrada said they had already lost two parks and only Andrade and Casitas parks were left to use, as well as Quinta park in Mexicali.
“At this time the town of Brawley is allowing us to use their fields for testing,” Estrada said. “The city of El Centro continues to support us and got IID to work with us 100%, and Jesus Escobar is also helping to strengthen our program. If we made a mistake somewhere along the way, if we we did something you didn’t like, please don’t close the door in our face.
Estrada said she didn’t know what to do anymore and it took too long and it was time to finish the project.
“I’m 64, it’s been 27 years since we’ve been there and nothing ever happens,” Estrada said.
The board seemed to be in broad agreement, but were concerned about the legality of anything being advanced, and in particular the liability Estrada would have to bear.
Council member Gloria Romo expressed frustration with the motion to delay the vote.
“You know what Mr. Mayor is very disrespectful to Ms. Estrada, she only agreed to delay this discussion because you suggested it to her,” Romo said.
Romo said it has been a long and painstaking process, including a very complicated contract that has been drawn up, and that all parties at this stage should be crystal clear on what is being asked for.
“It seems really difficult, after hearing all the issues, that we have 2,500 players in the league, that we grew up adults who played in this league as kids with these issues, what do we need to hear from another as a city council, as representatives of this community, that we don’t have a single park that can be called a playground for our children. It just seems very disrespectful to me to allow this case to be refiled,” Romo said. “It also frustrates me because I’m sitting here today, and because you (Estrada) are 26 with this situation and these issues never seem to be resolved, but if you want Ms. Carmen, we can file right now. this or vote on it now.
Various motions to file the case were made and withdrawn, a long back and forth with various members and the city attorney took place, and even the public was brought into the conversation in an attempt to clear up the confusion.
Romo eventually moved the motion to approve the contract along with four additional points raised by Ms. Estrada, which were declared entirely legal by the city attorney and passed with the unanimous support of all five council members.