20th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival

This year the California Center for the Arts, Escondido will hold its 20th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival.  Each year, guests are invited to create altars to remember and honor their loved ones in a special area outside of the Center’s museum.  While these altars are the focus of the festival, the event will also feature live music by Son de San Diego and Mariachi Divinas.  The festival  is free and will be held on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. on the Great Green and Lyric Court areas.

The Center’s Museum exhibition, Re-Membering Our Ancestors Discovering Ourselves, will be free and open to the public for the duration of the Festival.  Additionally, guests can enjoy free face painting, sugar skull decorating, and other celebratory activities. Traditional Mexican fare will also be available for purchase. 

For more information please visit http://artcenter.org/event/dia-de-los-muertos-festival


A Disaster Readiness/Winter Weather Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 28th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Police and Fire Headquarters, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway. 

The workshop will provide valuable information related to water issues and emergency preparedness.  Greg Thomas of the Rincon del Diablo Water District will give an update on the drought. Alex Tardy from the National Weather Service will provide an update regarding El Nino and Winter storms.  Alicia Appel from the City of Escondido Utilities Department will speak about erosion protection, proper clearing of drainage structures and storm preparation. Jeff Murdock, from the Fire Department will discuss emergency preparedness, evacuations, and information resources.

This event is free but seating is limited.  To reserve your seat, please call 760-745-5522.  The workshop is co-sponsored by the City of Escondido’ Fire Department and Utilities Department, Rincon del Diablo Water District, and the National Weather Service. 

Additional information about preparing for El Nino is available on the City’s website at https://www.escondido.org/El-Nino-Preparations.aspx.

A Letter From the Mayor

On September 24th, the City partnered with the Escondido Chamber of Commerce to hold the 2nd Annual Escondido Business Walk. 12 pairs of volunteers (consisting of one Chamber representative and one City representative) set out with a combined list of 86 businesses. All the businesses had been mailed a notification letter in advance of the visit. This year, we took a "deeper dive" into Escondido's business community, choosing businesses based on specific industries that tend to offer higher paying jobs like manufacturing and professional services rather than businesses with whom we already have strong relationships or that we visited at last year’s Business Walk.

Volunteers made personal contact with 50 businesses, collecting business cards and leaving surveys for the primary contact if they were not available. In-person surveys were completed for 27 of the businesses visited. Final survey results are still being tabulated, but preliminary data are positive, showing that the majority of the businesses surveyed are growing and hiring. Two especially important contacts were made during the Business Walk: one that revealed a specialized manufacturing business outgrowing their space and considering moving out of Escondido, and one business that would like to fund a City park improvement project. City staff members are now working with these businesses. Additionally, innovative businesses that were not previously on the City’s radar will now be featured in Innovate 78 branding activities.

The Escondido Business Walk is a valuable economic development tool, and we appreciate all the volunteers who helped make it happen this year. A final report of the survey data will be ready soon and posted on the City's Web site at https://www.escondido.org/business.aspx.

Director of Community Development Retires

After twenty-five years of service to the City of Escondido, Barbara Redlitz, Director of Community Development has retired.   Barbara has been a key member of the City’s  management team for decades and Escondido has benefited from her many talents and strong leadership.  We wish her a long and happy retirement. She will be missed! 

The City is fortunate to have the in-house talent that allows us to promote from within so a smooth transition is anticipated. City Manager Clay Phillips has promoted Assistant Planning Director Jay Petrek to the position of Director of Community Development.  Bill Martin, Deputy Planning Director will succeed Mr. Petrek as the Assistant Planning Director.