Sparks was In the same commercial space for over 75 years. One day in February 2006, a man entered Sparks and started measuring the doors and windows. I asked him why he was measuring my bar's door and windows. He stated, "l am planning to redecorate my new bar. " He introduced himself as Eric Hamburger, stepson of my late landlord. A couple of days later, I received an eviction letter that demanded that I remove the bar equipment and furnishings from the space in 60 days. I immediately started the process of buying a commercial building o move my bar in to.
I bought a commercial building in the city of Lemon Grove. I had managed to save about $50,000. 00 while I owned Sparks. This money was earmarked for funding the Small Business Administration loan and to cover the application fees for all of the required permits and licenses. I completed all of the appropriate applications, forms, and paid the fees. I was confident that I would be in business within the 60 days that I had to move. I could not have been more wrong In my inure life. The city of Lemon Grove's Mayor, Ms. Mary awesome and the Lemon
Grove city council had a plan for the property that I had Just purchased. They had an agreement with Tipping Point Partners, a developer in La Jolly, to develop the property Into a mixed use mega project. I did not know that 6 months prior to my attempt to buy the property at 3496 Main Street, the Supreme Court had upheld Keel vs... New London. This law allows a city to use eminent domain to redistribute personally owned real estate to develop additional tax revenue. The city of Lemon Grove intentionally denied me any permit to operate a business in Lemon Grove.
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The repose behind their decision was to force default on the commercial property that I had purchased. I had no legal recourse. I had to suck it up and take it. $60,000. 00 was gone before it was over. Losing the bar cost 200 points on my credit score. My liquor license and business equipment have yearly and storage fees. Devastating! Attraction's hired me and my life stabilized. My thoughts were about the way that I was treated by some selfish connected people. This made me really mad. The callous way that I was treated made me want to know how the process worked and abbey throw a monkey wrench here and there.
I chose to run for San Diego City Council. My campaign budget was $1,000. 00. My wife and four of my friends became my campaign staff. It took 11 days walking in the district collecting 2000 signatures necessary to run on the ballot without paying a fee. We attended every 1 OFF for all of the offices that were up for election. There was a lot to learn about San Diego politics. It appeared as if all of the candidates were either owned by a special interest, or were powerless and ineffectual. It was apparent at the first candidate's arum who was going to win the election.
Todd Gloria was next in line for the office. He was on Congresswoman Davis' staff. He was the darling of the unions, LEGIT, and the tourism industries. He had 26 endorsements one year prior to the race. Man, was he connected! Money was no object in making Mr... Gloria a city councilman. This fact shaped my strategy. I chose to use my candidacy as a pulpit to be completely honest and bring issues up that I thought needed to be addressed. Some of the positions that I took during the election was placing grid tie solar electric systems on every city owned building.
San Diego Gas & Electric was not happy about that. That did not matter, they endorsed Todd Gloria. I received a standing ovation at Earth Day in Balboa Park for advocating the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. This reaction caused Todd Gloria to restate his position from zero tolerance to allowing medical marijuana legalization. Our major campaign issue was the San Diego Wastewater Treatment Plant in Point Loam. This wastewater treatment plant is not currently up to code in the National Pollution Discharge Permitting Elimination System.
In 2008, most people did not see the coming secession and were making money by overdeveloping every market and resource in San Diego. My campaign staff was working for ideas back then that are popular now. We did not win the election. We received 7. 8% of the vote. We felt like we made a big difference. I have used this experience to mentor and coach every person who is serious about making a change in their political leadership. Being perceived as arrogant is not a bad thing. You don't have to win an election to be a winner. Ideas are contagious. You do make a difference, sometimes a small one I grant you, but you do make a difference.
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