Portion of Jesmond Dene Park Playground to Close Temporarily


Contact: Antone Oliveira, 760-839-4665

The City of Escondido temporarily will close the northern children's playground at Jesmond Dene Park, 2401 N. Broadway, starting Monday, November 26, 2012 and it will remain closed until Friday, December 7th, 2012.  The closure is necessary to remove silt from the playground area,  re-establish drainage flows and replace the mulch in the playground areas. The southern playground  also will be closed for a short period within this two week period to replace the mulch also. One playground will remain open during park hours.



Accepting Applications to Fill Escondido City Council Vacancy


Contact: Diane Halverson, City Clerk, 760-839-4617

The City of Escondido is accepting applications for a potential appointment to the City Council to fill a vacancy that will be created when Deputy Mayor Marie Waldron is sworn in as the elected State Assembly Member for the 75th District on December 3, 2012.

The term of the Council seat is from the date of appointment to the next regular municipal election on November 4, 2014.  Candidates must be 18 years of age, reside within the city limits of Escondido, and be registered to vote in the City at the time the application is accepted.

Candidates must complete an application and respond to a supplemental questionnaire in order to be considered.  Verification of voter registration will be confirmed upon submittal of the application.  The packet is available online, by request to the City Clerk at cityclerk@escondido.org, or by phoning 760-839-4617.  The deadline to apply is Monday, December 3, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.

The City Council will be discussing the vacancy procedures and potential appointment following the swearing-in ceremony on December 5, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.  They will take action within the required 60-day period thereafter.

In accordance with California law, the City Council has 60 days from the resignation of the official to either call a special election or make an appointment to fill the vacancy.

Learn More about the Asian Citrus Psyllid Pest


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The California Department of Food & Agriculture is hosting a second open house in Escondido on Tuesday, Nov. 20, due to another find of the Asian Citrus Psyllid  in the city. If you would like  to learn more about the Asian citrus psyllid pest, HLB disease and the response to the find, please plan to attend the meeting to be held on:

Tuesday, Nov. 20

5:30pm to 7pm

Escondido Public Library

Turrentine Room-2nd Floor

239 South Kalmia Street

Escondido, CA  92025


Esondido To Study Allowing Food Trucks


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido is considering changing the municipal code to allow food trucks to operate in Escondido during special events.  An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Mitchell Room at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway, to solicit  feedback from the public about this issue.

Currently food vending vehicles that serve hot foods prepared in the vehicle are not permitted in the City of Escondido on public or private property. The City has received requests to allow them from food truck owners, special event organizers and the general public.   The City also has heard concerns about the possibility of food trucks negatively impacting existing business, especially “brick and mortar” restaurants.

Following the informational meeting in November, public hearings will be held by the Planning Commission and City Council in early 2013.  For more information, or to voice comments, please visit the city’s website at http://www.escondido.org/food-truck-study.aspx



Escondido Police Chief to Retire in December


Contact: Dick Castle, 760-802-4495 or Sheryl Bennett, 760-839-4589

Escondido city officials reported today that Escondido police Chief has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. Maher has served with Escondido Police Department for 32 years, and was previously a U.S. Military Marine Corps Police Officer for 4 years.      

 "I have been fortunate to serve the community and the men and women of this department as Chief for the past 6 years. We have an excellent Police Department. I have been honored to lead them as their Police Chief. It is hard to leave, but it is clear to me that it is time to move on, " Chief Maher said.
Chief Maher has been on administrative leave since September 12th 2012. A personnel investigation was initiated and the Chief was interviewed as a witness. The investigation is ongoing and further details will not be discussed publicly due to confidentiality rules.


Escondido's General Plan Environmental Documents Win Honors


Contact: Jay Petrek, 760-839-4556

Environmental documents for Escondido’s updated General Plan, portions of which are on the November 6 election ballot for voter approval as Proposition N, won top honors in a regional competition conducted by the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP).

An independent panel of judges evaluated the documents that assessed the General Plan’s environmental impacts, climate action planning, and traffic analysis and awarded Escondido first place in every category. Results of the competition were announced in San Diego on October 24, 2012:

  • Escondido’s Draft Climate Action Plan won “Outstanding Environmental Resource Document.”
  • Escondido’s General Plan Update Traffic Impact Analysis won “Outstanding Technical Report.”
  • Escondido’s General Plan Update, Downtown Specific Plan Update, Climate Action Plan EIR won “Outstanding Environmental Analysis.”

The documents were prepared by Atkins Consultants (the Traffic Analysis was conducted by Linscott Law and Greenspan as a sub-consultant to Atkins) under contract with the Planning Division and judged against very stiff competition. Other projects in the competition included San Diego’s Convention Center Phase III Expansion EIR, the Balboa Park Plaza Project EIR, Palomar College Campus Park Biological Technical Report, Sycuan Band Cultural Resource Management Plan, and more.


Escondido and ACLU Reach Agreement on Checkpoint Protests


CONTACT: Lt. Tom Albergo, 760-839-4901

Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips announced today that an agreement has been reached with the ACLU regarding the public’s expression of their First Amendment Rights to object or support daytime and nighttime checkpoints. Under the agreement the operational area of daytime checkpoints will not include any portion of a public sidewalk normally accessible to pedestrians, unless the checkpoint is conducted in a location where it is necessary to close a portion of sidewalk to create a distance of 15 feet between the public and the officers conducting the screening.  Night time checkpoints that require additional equipment, such as generators, and lights may involve the closure of sidewalks as part of the operational area. 

Commenting on the announcement, Acting Police Chief Cory Moles stated, “This agreement allows the Escondido Police Department  to continue with our traffic checkpoints to ensure community safety, while also protecting the First Amendment Rights of our citizens.”

The agreement allows the Escondido Police Department (EPD) to continue controlling and closing areas normally open to the public in the event of a police investigation, pursuit, or other emergency or exigent circumstances that occur during the course of a traffic checkpoint.  The agreement also allows EPD to continue having the ability to conduct traffic safety checkpoints, both during the day and at night.  Nothing in the agreement prohibits any police officer from making a lawful and constitutional stop or arrest.  The agreement further states that if EPD allows members of the press to enter an operational area the individual plaintiffs must be provided equivalent access for a tour, but such access is limited to one time per location and will not exceed 15 minutes per tour.  The City has agreed to reimburse ACLU attorney fees of $7,300.

On May 24, 2012, the City of Escondido was served with a complaint filed in Federal District Court by lawyers for the ACLU, which alleged that on three separate occasions the Escondido police officers and California Highway Patrol officers infringed upon Plaintiffs’ First Amendment Rights to free speech by prohibiting protesting activities at checkpoints conducted in the City of Escondido.  The Plaintiffs sought monetary damages as well as an injunction prohibiting the City and CHP from further infringing upon their rights to free speech. 


Backyard Citrus Threatened by Devastating Disease


Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

In March 2012, Huanglongbing (HLB), a plant disease considered a death sentence for California citrus, was discovered in Los Angeles, putting homeowners on high alert. While not harmful to humans or pets, once a citrus tree is infected with HLB, there is no cure and it will die. The disease can be spread by a pest called the Asian citrus psyllid, and the pest has been found near the city of Escondido. The best way to protect citrus trees from the disease is to control the psyllid population. Help protect your backyard citrus trees by:

  • Inspecting citrus trees for signs of the pest and disease each month or whenever watering, spraying, pruning or tending trees.
  • Calling the California Department of Food & Agriculture hotline at 1-800-491-1899 if any suspicious pests or symptoms of HLB are found. 
  • Not bringing any plant material into California from other states or countries and not moving citrus plants out of quarantined areas, because they might be carrying psyllids or be infected with HLB.
  • Only buying citrus trees from reputable, licensed California nurseries.
  • Drying or double bagging plant clippings before placing in green waste recycle bins to avoid moving psyllids and HLB-infected plant material.
  • Cooperating with agriculture officials on detection and suppression efforts of the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB.

 For more information and to find out what to look for, visit www.CaliforniaCitrusThreat.org.



Escondido Community Wellness Expo Saturday October 20

All are invited to attend the Escondido Community Wellness Expo. This fun event will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon at the Park Avenue Community Center, home of Escondido Senior Center located at 210 Park Avenue, Escondido. This free community event, coordinated by the Community Wellness Association, will provide valuable health/wellness information and resources to older adults and their families. Participants can come and enjoy this event which brings together over 40 exhibitors, free health screenings, gift basket drawings and continental breakfast. Parking is easy and convenient. For more information please call Escondido Senior Center at (760) 839-4688.

Fire Department Recruiting Senior Volunteers Age 55+

The Escondido Fire Dept. is seeking qualified men and women, 55 years of age and older, for the Fire Department Senior Volunteer Program. Uniformed volunteers provide incident support and assist in daily operational duties.

This volunteer program is ideal for retired individuals interested in joining a hardworking team that shares a commitment to providing top-quality service to the Escondido community. Candidates must possess a valid California Drivers’ License and pass a DMV and Live Scan (fingerprint) background check.

Interested individuals are invited to attend a three hour orientation on November 19 beginning at 9 a.m. in the first floor meeting room at the Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters located at 1163 North Centre City Parkway. Applications will be available at the orientation, and online at http://www.escondido.org/volunteer-intern-program.aspx Application deadline is November 19.

For more information call Fire Administration at (760) 839-5400.