By Karen Brainard
Jewelry World and Loan’s 1937 Chevy truck, often seen parked in the lot of the Sun Valley shopping center, has become the focus of a petition that appears to be the result of a misunderstanding.
The truck displays advertising signs that promote Jewelry World, but it is also used for community events.
Tom and Kathleen Cole, owners of Jewelry World at 1338 Main St., said they were told over the phone by Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services, that a new tenant, Fresh and Easy, will not sign a lease until the truck is moved. However, Brendan Wonnacott, a spokesman for Fresh and Easy, said he talked to the company’s property team and there is no issue with the truck.
“From our side, we have no problem with the truck, no problem with it being there,” Wonnacott said.
He added that the company stated in its lease that the truck can remain.
Fresh and Easy and Big 5 sporting goods are planning to move into the former Foodland grocery store space at Sun Valley Center.
After the Coles said they were told Fresh and Easy did not want the truck in the lot, they began to circulate a petition around town that by Monday had about 75 signatures.
That petition states that Fresh and Easy is demanding the truck must go and notes the truck has helped to promote community events with its advertising signs.
Kathleen Cole said she feels really bad now that she circulated the petition.
Cole said Meissner Jacquet took over as the property management company about a year ago. Jewelry World has been at the location for 12 years and the truck has become somewhat of a landmark in Ramona for the past 10 years, she said.
Cole said Cheri Eckis with Meissner Jacquet sent a letter stating that pursuant to a section in their lease dated March 17, 1999, they, as the tenant, are to refrain from parking the large truck sign in the Sun Valley parking lot. The Coles were given 10 days to move it.
“Tom misunderstood the conversation we had,” said Eckis, adding that typically anchor tenants prohibit signage like that.
“We’re just following the signage ordinance...of the county,” said Eckis.
Jewelry World has a lease with the landlord that prohibits that type of signage, Eckis said, adding there is ample signage on the property.
“We’re just enforcing the lease,” she said.
There was a complaint about the truck from a tenant, Eckis said, but she declined to say which tenant.
“We would really like to keep the truck,” said Cole. “It’s been kind of a little landmark in Ramona. If we have to get rid of it, we’ll get rid of it. But we’d like to keep it.”
The Coles have moved the truck from the parking lot and are periodically changing its location.