On Aug. 16, Susana Maza dropped off two letters at National City government offices detailing an odd visit to her store from the city’s vice mayor, Jerry Cano, a couple of weeks earlier.
Months before, Maza had submitted an application for a permit to add two refrigerator doors of beer and wine to her small market, Gama Produce, on the corner of 4th Street and Palm Avenue.
Maza has owned the market for 16 years. She was worried about her business and decided adding beer and wine could help her stay afloat.
“I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” Maza told the National City Planning Commission during her first hearing on Feb. 8. “I’m just trying to give my best service.”
City staff recommended that she get the permit. But in the months that followed, Maza’s application opened up a world of strange small-town politics and alcohol permitting drama.
At first the Planning Commission split its vote over the issue at a February meeting. It re-heard her case in May, denying her application.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
When you shake down small business in order for that business to stay afloat, that is not just unethical, but criminal.. we need to GET OUT THE VOTERS and vote NO ON JERRY CANO... unethical is not something we need in National City. VOTE YES ON LOUIE NATIVIDAD AND YES ALEJANDRA SOTELO-SOLIS. we need ethical, honest council members who represent the residents of National City and not his own pocketbook.
Just because a local government says no to an alcohol permit doesn't mean they're playing politics. Have a ton of alcohol licenses clustered together simply isn't good for the community. Look at what Los Angeles did in rebuilding after the riots nearly 25 years ago. Here's a link:
Read the "Liquor Store Abatement" section. the bottom line is this: "Today, South Los Angeles is still burdened with proportionally far more liquor stores than are affluent neighborhoods. But the riots triggered significant policy changes in the realm of “social hazard” zoning that have enhanced, however modestly, the quality of life."
The state no longer enforces many of the laws that used to protect communities from the impacts of alcohol licensees. Local governments have been saddled with that responsibility. National City's Conditional Use Permit is a good example of sound public policy.
Without commenting on whether the policy's being fairly applied, it's important to note that not everyone who "qualifies for a liquor license and has provided all documentations required to be granted one." Not unless you're intentionally trying to create another South-Central L.A., circa 1990.
Mike and Nadia Hermiz should mind their own business and allow others determine how they chose to run their own business. If Jerry Cano [knows] he is blameless here, he should never have recused himself and abstained from voting. Most importantly here, is an example of the shameless ways local politicians may be [demanding] donations . . . such a behavior being attributed to Cano, is bordering on felonious criminality if true. And such criminal acts will definitely backfire on them eventually!
If Maza qualifies for a liquor license and has provided all documentations required to be granted one, then the City Council [must] approve it and not play politics with the application.
I am a National City resident!