Free Public Tours of City Hall & Police and Fire Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Free guided tours of Escondido City Hall are now being offered on a quarterly basis on the first Thursday of January, April, July, and October. The next tour will be held on July 5, 2012 and will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the City Hall lobby, 201 N. Broadway. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. No reservations are required.

Tours of the Police and Fire Headquarters, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway, are available by appointment. Please contact Community Service Officer Roberta Akans at 760-839-4961 or rakans@escondido.org

School groups wishing to tour City Hall may arrange to do so by contacting the Community Services Department at 760-839-4691.

 

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Daley Ranch Trails Re-Opened

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

All trails within Daley Ranch in Escondido have been reopened following the completion of the repaving of roads surrounding the Ranch House. The work was performed by Asphalt & Concrete Enterprises, Inc., of Santee and was completed approximately two weeks ahead of schedule and under budget.

The project may not have been completed ahead of schedule had it not been for Escondido businessman George Weir of George W. Weir Asphalt Construction, Inc., whose “above and beyond” efforts allowed the project to be completed in a timely manner.  During the last evening of construction, the final load of asphalt was being delivered at approximately 7:00 p.m. when the dump truck inconveniently broke a drive axel at the bottom of La Honda Drive. Since the asphalt plant had closed by then there was no possibility of the contractor finishing the job that evening and his other commitments for the next few days unfortunately would have prevented him from finishing the work quickly. However, Project Manager Bud Oliveira contacted George Weir to see if by any chance he had approximately 10 tons of asphalt still on the road. Within 45 minutes George Weir personally escorted his truck to the site and the other contractor was able to complete the project. 

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City Seeks Input from Residents on Communications Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; Contact: Michelle Geller (760) 839-4587

The City of Escondido is conducting a survey to solicit input from its residents regarding communications. The survey is online at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e5ycfxo1h2j7r62g/start and can also be accessed via the City of Escondido Web site at www.escondido.org . Hard copy surveys will be made available in the next several days at City facilities including the Escondido Public Library, the Park Avenue Community Center (formerly the Joslyn Senior Center) and the East Valley Community Center. The survey will remain open for approximately 30 days and results will be shared at the July 25, 2012 City Council meeting as part of the City Council Action Plan update.

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A Portion of Daley Ranch to Close Temporarily in June

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The City of Escondido will temporarily close the La Honda Drive entrance to Daley Ranch, as well as several trails surrounding the Ranch House in order to repave the road.  The closure will take place June 11, 2012 and should be completed by June 27.  During that time, visitors may still access Daley Ranch by using the Caballo Trailhead or Cougar Pass entrances, as well as the Rattle Snake Road Trailhead within Dixon Lake.  A map clearly showing the closed areas will be posted at those entranches.  The affected trails and extent of the closures are listed below: 

Trail Name                                         Closed From                          Closed To

 

Middle Pond Trail                                East Ridge Trail                      Daley Ranch House  Rd.

 

East Ridge Trail                                  Coyote Run Trail                     Daley Ranch House Rd.

 

Boulder Loop Trail (South Leg)           Rock Ridge Trail                     Daley Ranch House Rd.

 

Boulder Loop Trail (North Leg)           Crest Trail                               Daley Ranch House Rd.

 

Daley Ranch House Rd.                     Jack Creek Meadow Loop      East Ridge Trail

 

Creek Crossing Trail                           East Ridge Trail                      Daley Ranch House Rd.

 

Visitors are reminded to obey all trail closure signs to ensure their safety.  Violators will be cited. Any questions or comments should be addressed to Bud Oliveira, Special Projects Manager at 760.839-4665 or aoliveira@ci.escondido.ca.us

 

The contract to perform the work was awarded to the low bidder, Asphalt & Concrete Enterprises, Inc., Santee, CA in the amount of $165,868. The work consists of recycling the existing road in place, moisture conditioning and compacting the recycled road and underlying soils, compacting them and them placing a 3 inch thick compacted asphalt concrete pavement from the Gate at the La Honda Drive parking lot/trail  head to the Daley Ranch House approximately one mile to the north.

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Escondido Highlighted in StrongCities/Strong State Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The city of Escondido was recently profiled as part of the ongoing “Strong Cities /Strong State” campaign highlighting local government success stories across California.  “Strong Cities/Strong State” is a project of the League of California Cities and the California City Management Foundation (CCMF).

 “For the past 125 years, Escondido has been the economic, recreational and cultural heart of northern San Diego County,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed. “With an abundance of assets, Escondido is a great place to live, work, own a business or visit.”

The city of Escondido’s profile is accessible at: www.strongcitiesstrongstate.com/city/escondido.

The “Strong Cities/Strong State” website is the centerpiece of a campaign broadly promoting city success stories alongside profiles of the elected officials and city managers working together to build and maintain a high quality of life for California city residents.

Highlights of the city of Escondido’s profile include:

  • Public-Private Partnership for Renewable Energy Source;
  • $1billion State-of-the Art Palomar Hospital; and
  • $50 million investment in Westfield Shoppingtown.

“The recent major investments in Escondido show just how strong confidence is in our city” said Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips. “We will continue to strive to keep that forward momentum going.”

The overarching goal of the “Strong Cities” campaign is to promote the innovation and experience of local officials in delivering vital services at a time when this expertise is vitally needed by state leaders struggling with fundamental issues of governance. “Strong Cities/Strong State” seeks to position cities as vital, necessary and equal partners in building a better California.

The Strong Cities/Strong State campaign will continue profiling individual cities each day, with a goal of highlighting all California cities over the coming year-and-a-half. Profiles include photos, video and other media articulating how each individual city has been working to both provide essential services, as well as elevate the quality life of its residents. Success stories will range from public safety initiatives to educational partnerships, infrastructure improvements to community engagement strategies and more.

Visit “Strong Cities/Strong State” at www.strongcitiesstrongstate.com.

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Historic Preservation Awards Presentation May 23

For Immediate Release; Contact: Rozanne Cherry; Phone: (760) 839-4536

In observance of Historic Preservation Month, the City of Escondido will present the following awards at the May 23, 2012 City Council meeting on behalf of the Historic Preservation Commission:

  •  Historic Research Award: Lucy Berk, for her lifelong dedication to historic preservation.
  • Adaptive Reuse Award: J & W Lumber, located at 1179 W. Washington Avenue for turning Escondido’s original airport site into a successful retail business and adapting an airplane hangar to their needs.
  • Historic Sign Preservation Award: Wagon Wheel Restaurant, located at 427 W. Mission Avenue for the continued maintenance and preservation of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant signs, including an iconic sputnik.
  • Special Merit Award: Union Bank, located at 303 W. Grand Avenue for maintaining the bank building’s unique architectural elements
  • Best Appearance Award: The Rocco Residence, a Craftsman bungalow located at 209 E. 4th Avenue for consistently keeping its gardens immaculate in appearance and successfully adapting them to a commercial use.
  • Historic Preservation Award: 1150 Chestnut Street for continued historically-appropriate and immaculate maintenance of the 1950 house originally built by the Sweet family.

In addition, Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Rea will give a brief presentation on the economic benefits of historic preservation. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Escondido City Hall located at 201 N. Broadway. Council meetings are also aired live on Channel 19 (for Escondido Cox Communications customers), streamed live on the Web and archived at www.escondido.org and are replayed on Channel 19 on Sunday and Monday at 6 p.m.

 

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Ash St Bike/Ped Path Undercrossing Grand Opening and Interpretive Walk May 19

For Immediate Release; Contact: Michelle Geller (760) 839-4587

The City of Escondido, in partnership with the Reveal Escondido Creek Coalition (RECC), invites the public to attend a grand opening event for the new bicycle and pedestrian path undercrossing at Ash Street, which is slated for final completion this week.

The grand opening event will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 on the Escondido Creek Trail at Ash Street (between Valley Parkway and Washington Avenue). A ribbon cutting ceremony will include remarks from City officials. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, RECC volunteers will guide attendees on an interpretive walk along the Creek Trail, providing information about Escondido Creek and the natural history of Escondido. The easy walk will last approximately 30 minutes and walkers are encouraged to bring water, hats and sunscreen.

In preparation for the grand opening, RECC will host a cleanup along the Escondido Creek Trail on Saturday, May 12 starting at 8 a.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park and ending at Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market on East Valley Parkway. The City of Escondido will provide tools and supplies to assist volunteers in removing trash and covering graffiti, and Fresh and Easy will be providing water and snacks. All are welcome. For more information on the cleanup, call (760) 743-8207.

RECC is a coalition of volunteers and organizations working together to transform the Escondido creek into a popular, effective, recreation and transit corridor that is an asset to local residents, visitors, the city and the environment.

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Second Charter City Public Hearing

The Escondido City Council will hold the second public hearing on the proposed Charter City ballot measure on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at the 6:00 p.m. City Council meeting. A copy of the draft charter may be found on the City’s website at http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/CC_Proposal.PDF

As part of the public hearing, the City Council requested that staff evaluate and bring back alternative forms of electing the mayor and city council for possible inclusion in the City Charter. Options to be reviewed include, among others, district elections, cumulative voting, run-off style elections and other options to the current at-large system of electing the Mayor and City Councilmembers.

The Escondido City Council currently plans to place a charter city proposal on the November 2012 ballot to change the governing system from a general law city to a charter city.  In California, there are two kinds of cities: charter cities and general law cities. Of the 477 cities in the state, 105 are chartered. Both kinds of cities have broad powers and enjoy considerable freedom in the form of government, which may be established, and the types of activities in which they may engage.

A general law city operates within the parameters of California municipal law. The advantage of a general law city is that general state laws have been subjected to judicial scrutiny and tested over the years, so there is relatively little confusion about their application. A charter city is defined by the city's own charter rather than by state, regional or national laws. An advantage of a charter city is that its powers are not restricted to only those outlined in the general state municipal law, so a city can tailor its organization to provide for unique local conditions and needs.

The first public hearing was held on April 18, 2012.

 

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North County Times Article Refers to Wrong Property

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

In the May 9, 2012 edition of the North County Times an article entitled “Escondido: New project proposed for long-vacant East Valley site” refers to the wrong property.  The site that is the subject of today’s City Council closed session discussion is the property at 620 N. Ash Street, which is at the northeast corner of Washington and Ash, rather than the south east corner which previously housed an old Quonset hut.

 This item is being discussed in closed session as allowed by the Brown Act since it pertains to a potential real estate transaction.

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Reserves Incorrectly Reported by Union Tribune

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

In the April 29, 2012 edition of the San Diego Union Tribune’s Watchdog  report entitled, “Certain government reserve funds overflow,” Escondido was depicted as having only $1,113,151 in general fund reserves, or approximately 2% of expenses in reserve.   That information is wrong. The correct amount is $19,295,333 in the Emergency Reserve and  $9,059,255 in the Economic development reserve, for a total of $28,354,588.

Information about Escondido’s reserves can be found on page 85 of the City of Escondido Comprehensive Annual Financial Report at http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Finance/CAFR2011.pdf

 

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