2012 Campaign Mailer Settlement


CONTACT: Andrea Velasquez, 760-839-4608

In mid-2012, the City Council took action to present two ballot measures to the City’s voters on the November 6, 2012 municipal election ballot.  The two ballot measures were later designated as Propositions N and P, respectively.  Propostion N proposed various changes to the City’s General Plan.  Proposition P proposed the adoption of a city charter.

On October 17, 2012, Item 16A was added to the October 17, 2012 City Council meeting agenda.  Item 16A consisted of a request by the City Manager for the appropriation of up to $20,000 for “Educational and Information Publications on Upcoming City Ballot Measures.”  The accompanying staff report stated that the requested educational and information publications would be modeled on the material previously provided as a utility bill insert.  The City Council unanimously approved the expenditure for “Educational and Informational Publications” requested in Item 16A.

A resident and taxpayer of the city filed a lawsuit alleging that the mailer that was subsequently prepared and distributed to City residents exceed the scope of the communications authorized on October 17, 2012.  More specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the mailer was not merely “informational” and instead constituted “campaign activity” that could not lawfully be paid for with City funds.  The lawsuit alleges that the City and one or more City officers and/or employees violated constitutional and statutory law in connection with the mailer, including by failing to file various documents required by the Political Reform Act.

The City believes there is a possibility that a court might agree that state law was violated in connection with the preparation and distribution of the mailer, and that it is in the best interests of the City to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve the lawsuit.  Accordingly, the City has agreed to a settlement that acknowledges the possibility that contrary to the intent of the City Council, a court could ultimately determine that the mailer was campaign activity.  The has agreed to adopt rules and guidelines for the purpose of preventing City funds from being used in the future to pay for activities that could constitute campaign activity, and under the settlement, the City will satisfy any necessary disclosure obligations under the Political Reform Act.  Lastly, the City agrees to reimburse plaintiff for costs incurred in enforcing this important public interest.  The plaintiff has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit after the City takes these actions.



“Dine Out Escondido!” Launches in January with 24 Restaurants


Contact: Katherine Zimmer, 760-839-4777

In conjunction with Visit California’s “California Restaurant Month” during the month of January, Escondido is introducing the first annual “Dine Out Escondido!” culinary tourism program promoting 24 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 tremendous first-time response of 24 restaurant participants. “I’m thrilled with the positive reaction from our very popular restaurants!” says Katherine Zimmer, tourism & marketing administrator for the city. “Each restaurant is providing something special for the month of January and we’re hopeful locals and visitors will dine out often.”

Everyone can savor 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. Enjoy a showcase of artisanal foods and the creativity of Escondido’s fantastic chefs and restaurateurs.  

For details of participating restaurants and their specials, go to www.VisitEscondido.com


Participating Restaurants:

Around town…           

Cocina Del Charro

Offbeat Brewing Company

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Canyon Grille Restaurant & Bar - Welk Resort

Vintana Wine + Dine

Westside Cafe



A Delight of France Bakery & Bistro

Bellamy’s Restaurant

California Avocado Grill

Cuscatlan Salvadorian Cuisine


Intertwined Bistro and Wine Bar

Jalapeño Grill & Cantina

Kettle Coffee & Tea

La Farfalla Café

La Tapatia Restaurant & Cantina

Mi Guadalajara

Plan 9 Alehouse

Swami’s Café

Taco Caliente

The Continental Deli

The Grand Tea Room


Vinz Wine Bar & Tasting Room


About California Restaurant Month

California Restaurant Month is a promotional initiative created by Visit California in 2011 designed to encourage post-holiday travel to the Golden State during the month of January and to continue to position the state as the top culinary destination in the country. Visitors can go to www.DineInCA.com to see which destinations are participating and for direct links to their local websites for offer details and participating restaurants.

-          California is the top destination in the U.S. for culinary travel, with visitors drawn to the rich and diverse wine, craft beer and food product.

-          California produces 90 percent of American wine and is one of the leading agricultural producers in the U.S.

-          California has more than 400 agricultural crops, attracting some of the greatest chefs who enjoy creating with the freshest ingredients.

-          Last year travelers in California spent $28.5 billion on food and beverages, more than for any other spending segment and constituting 27 percent of all visitor spending last year (Source: Dean Runyan Associates).


About Visit Escondido

Visit Escondido promotes Escondido’s great variety of attractions, events, and things to do in the “Hidden Valley” of San Diego’s North County Inland area. Escondido is home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park; and also Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, the California Center for the Arts, and renowned events such as Cruisin’ Grand, as well as beautiful wineries, craft breweries, unique arts & theatre, culinary experiences, and a trend-forward historical downtown. Additionally, there are many outdoor activities to take advantage of in the beautiful year-round climate including golf, hiking, biking, fishing, equestrian and sporting events. Go to www.VisitCalifornia.com for a complete event calendar, dining, lodging, arts and attractions information, or call 760-839-4777. The Visitors Information Center is located at 235 East Grand Avenue and is open Tue-Fri, 10am – 4pm.


For a the complete list of participating “Dine Out Escondido!” restaurants and specials, please go to www.VisitEscondido.com




Escondido Public Library's 2nd Tuesday Book Club to Discuss The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

CONTACT: Neva Robinson, 

Escondido, CA -- Escondido Public Library invites adult readers to join the 2nd Tuesday Book Club meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at 6:00 PM in the Board Room.  This month’s selection is The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history.  Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world's most heinous villains—a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother's children to make his crown secure?  Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne?  Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.  

The 2nd Tuesday Book Club will continue on February 11, 2014, with a discussion on The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.  The selection for March 11, 2014, will be The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of Escondido Public Library. All Library programs are free and open to the public.  Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.  For more information about the 2nd Tuesday Book Club visit library.escondido.org or contact the Library information desk at 760-839-4839.


Kick Start a Healthy New Year with Escondido Recreation

Kick Start a Healthy New Year with Escondido Recreation                                                                                        

The City of Escondido’s Recreation Department is offering an exciting lineup of classes specifically developed to “Kick Start a Healthy New 2014.”A variety of new and affordable classes have been added to the winter schedule for all ages to learn quick and easy ways to sustain healthy habits. Most classes begin the week on January 6, 2014 and will be held at different City facilities.

“The Recreation Department is here to inspire optimal health for our community by offering classes such as Healthy Resolutions in 2014, Jazz-Contemporary Dance, and Creative Play and Movement,” said Kimi Severson, Recreation Coordinator. “Fitness classes such as Boot Camp for Zoomers, Pilates Barre Fusion, and Zumba will start the heart pumping while Intro to Archery, Tae Kwon Do, and Quilt as You Go classes are designed to encourage friends and families to spend quality time together while learning new skills! Other classes such as Move Your Way out of Pain will teach gentle, direct movement to improve function and increase physical comfort, while POUND: Rockout Workout™ combines cardio, strength training, and Pilates.”

For a full review of these classes and more, the winter recreation brochure can be viewed online at www.recreation.escondido.org. Preregister by mail, fax, phone, walk-in, or online at http://activenet.active.com/escondido. Walk-in registration is accepted at City Hall, located at 201 North Broadway, or at the East Valley Community Center, 2245 E. Valley Parkway. For more information, call 760-839-4691 or e-mail recreation@escondido.org


Escondido Public Library’s 2nd Saturday Concert Series Presents The Art of Voice: an Introduction to Opera

CONTACT: Paul Crouthamel, 760-839-4814

Escondido, CA - The Art of Voice: an Introduction to Opera, a program of operatic selections, will be performed at Escondido Public Library on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 3:00 PM in the Turrentine Room. Dr. Nicholas Reveles, Geisel Director of Education and Outreach for the San Diego Opera, will accompany four of Southern California's top young artists, Michelle Law (soprano), Anthony Whitson-Martini (baritone), Alexis Alfaro (tenor), and Chelsea Seener (soprano) as they perform selections from favorite operas.

Dr. Reveles will host this exciting program, accompany the vocalists and provide background information on the arias they perform. The arias included are by Mozart, Puccini, Massenet, and Donizetti.  Some of the favorite selections performed will be Mozart’s Papagena! Papagena! Papagena!” from the Magic Flute, and Dove sono” from Le Nozze de Figaro; and La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto.

All concerts are free and open to the public and are generously sponsored by the Friends of the Escondido Public Library.  Escondido Public Library is located at 239 S. Kalmia Street.  For more information, please call (760) 839-4839 or visit the library online at http://library.escondido.org/.


Escondido Public Library Presents a Kwanzaa Celebration by Musical Storyteller and Artist Lecturer, Josiah

CONTACT: Natalie Mason, 760-839-5450

Escondido, CA – Escondido Public Library’s Literacy and Lifelong Learning Services presents the talented Josiah and his performance of the Kwanzaa celebration, targeted for children in grades K – 6th and their families. This event will be held at the Escondido Public Library in the Turrentine Room from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

 In this Kwanzaa presentation, Josiah demonstrates through songs, stories, poetry, and narration, the significance of this cultural and social holiday celebration. Josiah encourages families to engage themselves in this cultural experience, celebrating the seven values of Kwanzaa such as unity, responsibility, building self-esteem, and creativity.

For the last 15 years, Josiah has been performing for schools, from pre-school to college level, at all types of organizations. He is a professional singer, songwriter and guitarist, and is accomplished on the piano, drum, native flute, and assorted percussion instruments.

Library programs, events, and services are free and open to the public. For more information on this event please visit the library website or contact Natalie Mason in Literacy Services at (760) 839-5450. The Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido. Contact the library at 760-839-4684 or go to http://library.escondido.org.


Author Ernie Cowan Presents Anza-Borrego: a Photographic Journey at Escondido Public Library

CONTACT: Paul Crouthamel, 760-839-4814

Escondido, CA – Author and photographer Ernie Cowan will speak at the Escondido Public Library on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 6:00 PM in the Turrentine Room. He will discuss the second edition of his book, Anza-Borrego: a Photographic Journey, and showcase his stunning photographs.

Ernie Cowan, also widely known as a former Escondido mayor, captures the essence of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in his photographs. The book’s beautiful images highlight the sheer scope of the size, moods, and seasonal variations found within this remarkable and sometimes mysterious California state park.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information on this and other Library programs, visit the Library’s website at http://library.escondido.org or call Adult Services at 760-839-4839. The Escondido Public Library is located at 239 S. Kalmia St., Escondido, CA 92025.


Final Districting Plan


Contact: Diane Halverson, 760-839-4617

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013 following a presentation by Dana Nuesca, Chairperson of the Independent Districting Commission, the Escondido City Council unanimously approved the Commission’s Recommended District Plan, dividing the City of Escondido into four (4) Council districts. 

The seven member commission drew the district boundary lines pursuant to the criteria set forth in the Consent Decree  in the following order of priority:  1) Districts shall comply with the United State Constitution, including containing reasonably equal population; 2) Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act; 3) Districts shall be geographically contiguous and drawn to encourage geographic compactness; 4) Districts shall be drawn with respect for geographic integrity of any neighborhood and any community of interest; and 5) The place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate shall not be considered in the drawing of district boundaries.  The Commission held a total of nine meetings and nine public hearings, where public comments were heard.  The minutes may be viewed on the City website by visiting http://www.escondido.org/IDC-minutes.aspx

These districts shall be used for all future elections of City Council members, including their recall, and for filling any vacancy in the office of member of the Council until new districts are established. The City will hold elections in November 2014 for Districts 1 and 2.  The Final Districting Plan may be viewed on the City website by visiting http://www.escondido.org/IDC-maps.aspx


Nominations Sought for Escondido City Council Awards



Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Each year at the State of the City meeting, the Escondido City Council recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to improve the quality of life in Escondido through volunteer service. Nominations now are being solicited for these awards. 

We encourage the general public to submit nominations of qualified members of the community for consideration. Award nomination forms can be obtained by calling the City Manager’s Office (760-839-4631) or by downloading  a copy from the City’s web site:


Categories include: Arts, Business, Community, Education, Public Safety, Historic Preservation, and Youth.  The deadline for nomination is 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 27, 2014.

A sub-committee of the City Council will review all nominations and make its final selection in January.  The awards will be presented at the Annual State of the City Address on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.


Don't Be Misled by Paid Advertisements or "Robo Calls"

For Immediate Release

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido is NOT facing bankruptcy contrary to paid advertisements in the San Diego Union Tribune, as well as automated telephone calls. These appear to be part of a campaign by one of the parties involved in litigation over the future of the Escondido Country Club property.   

Escondido finances are sound. The City has a balanced budget and maintains a General Fund Reserve in the amount of $16.5 million.  In addition, the City sets separate reserves for all litigation such that litigated cases have little impact on the general fund.