City of Escondido


Posts in Category: City of Escondido

Escondido Town Hall Meeting


CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed will hold a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway. Residents are welcome to ask questions or share their thoughts on any topic relating to city government.  The event is free and no reservations are required.

The meeting will be videotaped and rebroadcast the following Sunday and Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. on Cox. Ch. 19 and AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99, as well as being available in the online archive at .

This is the sixth town hall meeting Mayor Abed has held since his election as Mayor.


El Caballo Master Plan Project Underway


Contact: Loretta McKinney, 760-839-4871

The City of Escondido recently contracted with Tim Smith, President of Wynn-Smith Landscape Architecture, Inc. to work with the community and City staff to develop the master plan for the proposed El Caballo Park; a potential new equestrian-oriented public recreational facility.  The master plan will solidify a vision for the appropriate development and recreational use of the future   park and guide the City’s plans for future civic investment. The site, located at 3410 Valley Center Road is owned by the City of Escondido. Smith will conduct three meetings with the community to share information about the master plan process, timeline and project concepts. Meeting participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about the project and share their ideas regarding the activities in, and uses of the future park. The schedule of the meetings, which will all be held at the East Valley Community Center at 2245 East Valley Parkway, is:

Saturday, September 21, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

A special site visit will be held on Saturday, September 21, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the proposed El Caballo Park site, at 3410 Valley Center Road.

Library and Community Services Director Loretta McKinney, said,  “The goal for the master plan is to create a vision for the future park  to be a public facility that accommodates equestrian-oriented activities, incorporating unique facilities and services that benefit the entire community while preserving the natural beauty of the area. It is important for Smith and the City to hear the valuable input and concerns of the community in order to create an appropriate plan, to develop the property in the future as funding becomes available.” For information regarding the El Caballo Park Master Plan, call Loretta McKinney at 760-839-4871.


Escondido Police Chief Selected


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621 

Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips announced today that Police Captain Craig Carter has been promoted to the position of Police Chief effective immediately.

In making this announcement, City Manager Clay Phillips noted, “The rigorous selection process we followed included highly qualified raters from cities in San Diego and Riverside Counties whose independent assessment confirmed my thinking. Craig has distinguished himself during his career with the Escondido Police Department.  He will be an excellent Police Chief and will provide stability to the City’s and the Police Department’s working relationships with businesses, schools and community groups.” 

Craig Carter has worked for the Escondido Police Department since 1992 when he was hired as a Police Officer Trainee after previously serving as a Reserve Police Officer. He has risen through the ranks serving as Police Officer until he was promoted to Sergeant in 1998.   In January 2005 he was promoted to Lieutenant and then to the position of Police Captain in March 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Bellevue University. 

Commenting on the announcement, Police Officer Mike Garcia, President of the Escondido Police Officers Association said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Association membership, I extend our most sincere congratulations to Craig Carter on his promotion to Chief of Police. We are very excited to work, not only with Chief Carter, but Captains Benton and Loarie as we lead the department forward into the future. As President of the Association, I firmly believe the community and the department will prosper under the professional leadership of Chief Carter and his team.”

A badge pinning ceremony will take place at the August 28, 2013 City Council meeting at 4:30 p.m.

His salary will be $160,550.




City Opens Visitors Center on Grand Avenue


August 14, 2013



Katherine Zimmer




Open Reception: Friday, August 16 from 5-7pm

235 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA

A Visitors Bureau in any community serves as an important information portal for visitors and potential residents.  For the past several years, Escondido’s visitor bureau services, known as “Visit Escondido”, have been provided by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce through a contract with the City of Escondido.  The organization’s most recent Executive Director, Katherine Zimmer, has made outstanding progress in promoting Escondido’s diverse attractions and amenities.

As part of the City’s increased emphasis on economic development, the City decided to provide visitors bureau services directly and on July 1, 2013, Katherine Zimmer joined the City Manager’s Office staff as the new Tourism and Marketing Administrator.  According to Joyce Masterson, Director of Economic Development and Community relations, “Visit Escondido plays an important role in helping Escondido achieve its economic development goals.  Having Katherine join our staff will ensure greater coordination with the City’s economic development staff as well as all of our local leisure and hospitality stakeholders.”

With this new reorganization, the “Visit Escondido” office has moved to 235 E. Grand Avenue where it shares space with the Escondido Police Storefront.  This prime location in downtown Escondido will give the office greater exposure and visibility to visitors particularly during Cruisin’ Grand and other special events in downtown Escondido.

Dan Forster, Owner of Design Moe Kitchen & Bath and CEO of the eDBA commented, “The eDBA Escondido Downtown Business Association is pleased to have Visit Escondido join our merchants on Grand Ave. Having Visit Escondido so close to businesses in the downtown core should encourage visitors to learn more about the charming historic character of Escondido. The downtown area is continuing it's long history of being a destination for entertainment, dining and shopping. Having another storefront that visitors can stop into and learn more about what one can do while visiting Escondido is a great addition.”

Visit Escondido has been consistently gaining momentum through marketing, social media, and editorial exposure and by building collaborative relationships with its stakeholders to leverage their unique venue experiences. When attractions, events, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and the arts work together to create a marketing synergy that attracts visitors and keeps them here longer, it impacts the community in a positive, long-term way.

“Successful destination management in this era of social media, global competition, and shorter vacation planning cycles requires a tourism brand to be inviting and intriguing, while offering diverse options in activities and attractions… Escondido has a lot of uniquely varied experiences – something for everyone!” says Katherine Zimmer.

For more information about Visit Escondido go to and connect on and Twitter @VisitEscondido.



Swimming Pool to Open Additional Hours


Contact: Loretta McKinney, 760-839-4382

The City of Escondido will increase the hours of operation for the remainder of the summer season at  the Washington Park Pool. Beginning Sunday, August 4, through August 18, 2013 the pool will be open on the following days and hours for open swim:

Monday through Thursdays: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Fridays: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Saturdays: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Sundays: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm_

The added days and hours are Sundays for four hours each and Monday and Tuesdays for two hours each. There is a minimal charge of $3 per person for entry.

“The goal of the Recreation Department is to provide as many hours of open swim as possible for the community.” said Loretta McKinney, Director of Lbrary and Community Services.  “As a result of making various adjustments within the existing budget, Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips authorized the additional hours for the pools in anticipation of the hottest weather of the year typically occurring in August.”

The Washington Park Pool is located at 501 N. Rose. For more information regarding open swim and other Recreation programs, call 760-839-4204 or visit the City’s Recreation web site at


Employee Agreements for City Manager and City Attorney

Employee Agreements for City Manager and City Attorney


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

At its June 26th meeting, the Escondido City Council will consider new three-year employment agreements for City Manager Clay Phillips and City Attorney Jeffrey Epp. 

Under the terms of the new agreement, several existing controversial provisions are being eliminated. This includes the elimination of the “evergreen” provision so there is no automatic renewal. It also eliminates the requirement that the base salary of the City Manager be set at “not less than” the third highest city manager salary among San Diego County cities. In addition, severance will be phased out so that no severance benefit will be payable at the end of the term. Also being eliminated are certain travel expenses and reimbursement for an annual physical evaluation. Both employees would receive salary increases in the amount of 3.95% effective July 1, 2013, 2.95% effective July 1, 2014, and 4.95% effective January 1, 2015 based on an annual performance review.

Commenting on the agreements, Mayor Sam Abed said, “Clay and Jeff are two of the most professional, talented and experienced city officials in San Diego County. They have successfully implemented the City Council policies to achieve financial stability for the City during difficult times.  I believe their continued service would serve the City’s best interest for the next three years.”

A copy of the staff report and agreement is available on the City’s website at  


Selection Process for Escondido Police Chief


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido will begin an internal selection process for the position of Police Chief starting in mid-July.  The selection process will include an assessment center which is a series of exercises in which each participant is given an opportunity to demonstrate his skills to a group of experienced observers who carefully monitor the candidates’ responses. It is anticipated the process will be completed by early August, with an announcement made shortly thereafter. 

The City’s three Police Captains, Robert Benton, Craig Carter and Michael Loarie are the only candidates under consideration.  

Until the new Police Chief is selected, responsibility for the daily operations of the Police Department will be handled by Captain Benton.



Park Avenue Saturday Night Dance in Escondido


Contact: Mary Rodelo, 760-839-4678

Slip into your dancing shoes and come on down to the Park Avenue Community Center for a fun night of live music, dancing, refreshments, and door prizes.  Join us on Saturday, June 1st for this special dance event featuring the live music of The Calico Ridge Band.  This highly acclaimed band which includes Charly & Calico Ridge is an award winning variety dance band that plays a mix of Rock, Pop, Swing, Oldies, Disco, R&B, Blues, Latin, Country and original music.  This band is great for swing, line dancing, two-step, cha-cha, and much more.

Singles and couples are invited to these exciting monthly Saturday Night Dances. Entry fee is only $4 per person which includes live music, refreshments, and door prizes. The City of Escondido’s Park Avenue Community Center is located at 210 Park Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025.  These dances are always held on the first Saturday of each month from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

For questions or additional information, please call 760-839-4688.


Nominations for Independent Districting Commission


Contact: Diane Halverson, 760-839-4617 

The City of Escondido will be accepting nominations for appointment to the Independent Districting Commission as required under the Voting Districts Settlement Agreement. Applications will be accepted in the City Clerk’s Office, 201 N. Broadway, Escondido, during office hours from Monday, June 3, 2013 through Friday, June 28, 2013. The term of the Commission will begin September 1, 2013.

Interested applicants and individuals or organizations desiring to nominate persons for appointment to the Commission must submit an application.  The application is available online at  or by request to the City Clerk at  You may also call 760-839-4617 should you have any questions. 

Under the settlement, Escondido will be divided into four districts with each district to be represented by a Council member living within that district.  The Mayor will continue to represent the entire City. The districts will be determined by a Districting Commission consisting of 7 members.  The members will be chosen by a selection panel of retired San Diego County judges.   After the District boundaries are drawn, they will be submitted to the City Council for final approval.  Districts may be re-drawn every 10 years if required by changes in the population as reflected in the census.   



Escondido Receives Award from San Diego Taxpayers Association


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

On May 9, 2013, the San Diego Taxpayers Association (SDTA) presented the Metro Golden Watchdog Award to the City of Escondido for reforming Paramedic Services.

According to SDTA, “In 2008 the City of Escondido opened its newest fire station but could not afford to fully staff it due to the economic downturn. Nearly five years later, the city is now moving forward with hiring the staff necessary to fully operate its newest fire station, but not in the traditional sense. Fire department officials spent time reviewing 20 years worth of emergency calls to determine the true needs of the city. Officials determined that rather than cross-training paramedics as firefighters, new staff would primarily focus on medical emergencies. This new model of providing emergency services to Escondido residents will save over $2 million compared to the city electing to operate under the norm.  It’s out-of-the-box thinking like this that we hope catches on with other cities across the county.”


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