City Council Award Winners

Congratulations to the following Escondido residents who were honored at the annual State of the City meeting on February 20, 2013, as recipients of the 2013 City Council Awards for their outstanding volunteer efforts:

Name: Karen Jobe
Field: Arts Education

Name: Scott Kolod
Field: Performing Arts

Name: Victoria Muschek
Field: Business Leadership

Name: Daniel Hurd
Field: Business Leadership

Name: Julie Hurkman
Field: Business Leadership

Name: Arline Whited
Field: Charity

Name: Jim Schneider
Field: Citizenship

Name: Rich Aeling
Field: Community Service

Name: The Hofstetter Family
Field: Diversity

Name: Corie DeAnda
Field: Education

Name: Betty Lou Gibbs
Field: Youth

In addition, this year we introduced a new “Mayor’s Award” which was presented to Alfredo Velasco.

Vacation House Check Program

Planning on going on vacation?  Then you may want to sign up for the Police Department’s Vacation House Check program.  Vacation House Check is a community-wide service provided by the Escondido Police Department’s Volunteer Patrol. Homes may be checked periodically, as staffing allows, by an Escondido Police Department Volunteer Patrol unit during the specified vacation time.

The Volunteer Patrol will provide the following service: Check the perimeter of your home, i.e., locked doors and windows, closed garage door(s), including your backyard (if accessible).  If the Volunteer Patrol unit notes a problem, appropriate action will be taken. The Volunteer Patrol will not be responsible for providing the following: feeding your animals, or picking up your mail, newspapers, and/or other deliveries. Unoccupied houses for sale, rental units, and houses with a house sitter are not eligible for this program.

For more information or to request this service call the Volunteer Coordinator at (760) 839-4481  at least two weeks before your planned vacation and complete a Vacation House Request Form in order to be accepted into the program.

4th Annual “For the Love of Chocolate and SweetArt Fest”

Bring your sweetheart or just your sweet tooth to the Downtown Business Association's 4th Annual  "For the Love of Chocolate and SweetArt Festival!"  Enjoy the best of our downtown shops and spas while sampling locally brewed beer and wines, paired with San Diego's finest chocolates.

Also, you can spend the day shopping at “Sweet Street” ( Maple Street Plaza),  taking a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride down historic Grand Avenue, or enjoying live music by  Slowburn.  B e sure to come back to the Plaza after your chocolate tour and enjoy more at the Champagne Garden with dancing until 8:00 p.m.

The festival will be held on Saturday, February 9.  Admission is free to Sweet Street. The cost for the chocolate pairings is $35  per person for 10 Beer/Wine & Chocolate Pairings & multiple Restaurant Samples from great restaurants like:California Avocado Grill. Vinz, Esco Gelato, La Farfalla.

This is a great way to indulge your love of chocolate and enjoy the beautiful new Maple Street Plaza.  For more information about the event, please visit

How Can City Hall Help Your Business?

Big changes have been occurring in Escondido and along with it, public perception has changed dramatically too. Long considered a sleepy bedroom community of San Diego, in 2012 Escondido began to garner attention as a thriving, vibrant community on the cusp of transforming itself.

The driving force behind this transformation has been the City Council’s emphasis on economic development and its commitment to being a business-friendly community.  As a result, it is important to me to personally reach out to businesses. I meet with local businesses almost every week to learn more about them, to see how they are doing, and to find out what we can do to help keep them here and help them grow. Having a thriving business community not only means services and jobs for our residents, it also means revenue for our city which in turn can be spent on public safety, streets and parks and other quality of life amenities.”

If you are a business owner in Escondido and would like to have me visit your business, please contact Michelle Geller, Management Analyst, at 760-839-4587 or