Teresa Rosiak is a long-time activist in Lemon Grove. The Republican ran for city council in 2018 and lost, but said she is running again because under current leadership, the city is no better off than it was four years ago. Rosiak said she is running as a nonpartisan concerned citizen that has lived in Lemon Grove her entire life.
Rosiak said the voters are going to have a choice.
“Are they satisfied with the status quo and do they want more structural deficit, more excuses, because I think they are being ignored by the incumbents? We have to stop the mismanagement. They have done too little, too often for too long. For some of us running we are the future and we are the change that Lemon Grove so desperately needs,” she said.
Rosiak said the worst problem the city faces today is its budget deficit, being about a year and a half away from bankruptcy. She said she does not want that choice, but that the city has to look at disincorporation so that everyone has clear information to make an informed decision. She said she believes there are way to keep the city intact. Rosiak said she pledges not to increase taxes and will donate her salary and benefits to begin a fund to build and refurbish sidewalks. Rosiak said a resident, Jack Moore has pledged to match those funds. She said gas tax funds are supposed to be dedicated for street repairs but are being diverted for other purposes at City Hall.
“Curbs, gutters protect the streets from erosion,” she said.. “Too many of our school children are not walking on sidewalks. They are walking in the streets. In winter they are walking in mud. Sidewalks improve our property values and our quality of life. There is no annual operating expenses for sidewalks and they last 100 years.”
She said the sales tax Measure S failed and that she was one of the 59% of voters that said no. But she said that these are not all of the issues the city is facing today.
“Basically, 78% of our revenues is going to fire and police,” she said. “We need to explore other options so that amount is not so high. If that means going in with another city, so be it. We have to explore and seek out collaboration.”
Rosiak said 68 cents of each dollar spent by residents is spent out of Lemon Grove because the city does not have the businesses that residents want or need. She is the co-founder of the Lemon Grove Improvement Council and the Lemon Grove Business group and once the president of the local chamber of commerce.
“Our city is not business friendly whatsoever and we need to become business friendly,” she said. “We need to seek out businesses and beg them to come to Lemon Grove to fill up all of our vacant buildings. The more money we can get in Lemon Grove from the taxpayer dollars it is going to help us.”
Rosiak said there needs to be more transparency and that residents deserve better than the same thing that has been going on over the years with current leadership.
“Two of my opponents have served on City Council for 26 years,” she said. “I want to thank them for their service and now one of them is trying to run for mayor. What will either of them do different that they haven’t done? The answer is nothing. It is time for new leadership. What we have here in Lemon Grove is not working for any of us.”
Rosiak said that the Lemon Grove Realignment Project is a financial disaster.
“Millions were spent, then there was a $845,000 deficit that had to come out of reserves with no plan to pay it back. It is unacceptable,” she said.
Rosiak also said that attorney fees our outrageous with many fees spent for things that should never had been an issue.
“Since Measure V [repealing the ban on medical marijuana] was passed, we have one and it just opened in the past few weeks,” she said. “One dispensary in town. The process to operate a medical marijuana dispensary business is not a fair process. What they do for one, they don’t do for the other applicants. We have well over $600,000 in attorney fees that should never have been, and they are mounting.”