YOU CAN SERVE YOUR CITY

The Escondido City Council is preparing to begin its recruitment for volunteers to serve on eight boards and commissions. Vacancies will occur on all of the following: Building Advisory and Appeals Board; Community Services Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Library Board of Trustees; Personnel Board of Review; Planning Commission; Public Art Commission; and Transportation & Community Safety Commission.

For the most part, the qualifications to serve are residency within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan. Skills and experience are required for some positions.

The Historic Preservation Commission requires a resume to assure that you have specific expertise. The Planning Commission may require evidence of certification for design professional classification. The Library Board requires either residency or that you work within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan, and the Public Art Commission requires that you either reside or have a business within the designated boundaries.

Meeting times and frequency vary, depending on the commission, and the term of office is four years, with the exception of the Library Board, which has a three-year term. The application period will begin on January 2, 2014 with a closing date of Thursday, February 13, 2014.

More information is available on the City’s website at www.escondido.org/boards-commissions.aspx or by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 760-839-4617.

Good Government At Work

As many of you know, the majority of the Escondido City Council has been philosophically opposed to a district-based election system for City Councilmembers. We have believed that at-large elections are best for maintaining unity in our city and giving the best possible representation to residents. However, to comply with the Court Consent Decree, we were forced to adopt the district system. I am pleased to say that our City has complied with the court settlement agreement. Our Independent Districting Commission (IDC) has done a good job in engaging the public and spent several months conducting public hearings to develop a four-district plan that complies with the law and maintains community interests in each district. The IDC’s proposed map was unanimously adopted by the City Council on December 4.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the seven members of the IDC for their good work and for engaging the general public in the process. I am proud of our City to not let this issue drag us down or divide us. I look forward to working with our Council in maintaining focus on job creation, neighborhood improvement, economic prosperity and fiscal responsibility. Working together with a diverse City Council will be my goal to best serve our city and our community.

“Dine Out Escondido!” Launches in January with 22 Restaurants

In conjunction with Visit California’s “California Restaurant Month” during the month of January, Escondido is launching the first annual “Dine Out Escondido!” culinary tourism program promoting local restaurants. The statewide program represents over 32 cities and has a robust marketing reach of over 70 million impressions through its website, social media, and advertising efforts.

The City’s Visit Escondido tourism office is spearheading “Dine Out Escondido!” with an overwhelming first-time response of 22 restaurant participants. I’m thrilled with the huge response from our very popular restaurants!” Each restaurant is providing something special for the month of January and we’re hopeful locals and visitors will take advantage of “Dine Out Escondido!” month.

Everyone can enjoy the diverse culinary flavors of Escondido during the month of January by taking advantage of this opportunity to visit their favorite restaurants and experience many new ones. Each restaurant is providing a special offer to celebrate “Dine Out Escondido!” For a the complete list of participating restaurants and their specials, please go to www.VisitEscondido.com.

Happy Holidays

I want to take this opportunity to wish every Escondido resident a very happy holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous 2014. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or are of any other faith or tradition, the holidays are a special time of celebration, reflection, and looking forward.

During this holiday season, let us all be thankful for this special community in which we live. The progress we have made over the past several years has been exceptional and Escondido is once again an exciting place to live, and to plan a future. I have a renewed sense of purpose to do whatever I can to ensure that Escondido continues to be the strong, special and vibrant place that we love. It is my hope that each of you reaffirms your own commitment to continue to foster the great sense of community and cooperation that distinguishes Escondido from many other communities.

It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as your mayor and I look forward to working with our residents and my colleagues on the City Council in the coming year. We have many challenges ahead of us, but I know that our community will continue to grow stronger and enjoy much success in the future.