HUGHSON — Carol and Derek Ross brought their financial records to the City Council meeting, so determined to show the losses their restaurant has suffered that they they were willing to open up their books to public scrutiny.
The Rosses, owners of Pizza Factory on Hughson Street, sent the city a letter seeking reimbursement for $14,000 in lost income because of an extended street project that closed them off from their customers from September through November. Owners of Lacy's Furniture, also on Hughson Street, sent a similar letter, citing losses of $74,000.
"We're not looking for a handout," Derek Ross said Monday night. "We're just looking for the right thing to do."
He called the damage to his business, and his family's finances, crippling.
"We've fallen behind on some payments," he said. "My daughter can't go on her eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. Our dirty laundry has already been aired."
Mayor Ramon Bawanan cautioned the couple against submitting their income records to the city, because they would then become part of the public record and accessible to anyone, including competitors.
Councilman Thom Crowder wanted to pay the claims outright at an earlier meeting. Councilman Doug Humphreys said he didn't disagree but wanted to find out if the city could spend money from its redevelopment fund to reimburse business owners who suffered losses.
Bawanan asked City Manager Joe Donabed to meet with the Rosses and the Lacy family by the end of the week to further discuss the matter.
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2343.