City Council Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Congratulations to the following people who received a City Council Award at the State of the City Address on February 8, 2012:

Arts
Carina Courtright

Business
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

Charity
Assistance League of Inland North County

Community Beautification
Cole Preston and Michael Rosenburg

Community Spirit
Escondido Mounted Posse

Historic Preservation
Carol Rea

Patriotism
Wayne Louth

Youth Leadership
Jose Jimenez

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City's General Plan Update, Downtown Specific Plan Update and Climate Action Plan Now Available For Public Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jay Petrek (760) 839-4556

After a multi-year process involving extensive citizen and staff involvement, the City of Escondido’s Draft General Plan Update, Downtown Specific Plan Update and Climate Action Plan are available for public review and comment. The Draft Environmental Impact Report that assesses these documents is complete.  Its 45-day public review/comment period is January 13 – February 27, 2012.

Hard copy documents are available to review and purchase at the City Hall Planning Division (201 N. Broadway) and for review at the Public Library Reference Desk (239 S. Kalmia Street). An electronic copy is available the City’s General Plan Web page at http://www.escondido.org/general-plan-update.aspx .

PUBLIC MEETINGS:

A Planning Commission workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. and a City Council workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1 at 4:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in City Council Chambers located at 201 N. Broadway and are open to the public. No decisions will be made at these workshops.  The intent is to provide information and receive public input and direction. Additional public meetings are anticipated during the spring and summer of 2012 and will be separately announced.

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Revised Draft of City Charter Available on Escondido Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer McCain, 760-8394608

In light of SB 922, prohibiting charter cities from banning/discouraging project labor agreements, a revised draft charter has been placed on the City of Escondido website, www.escondido.org.

In addition, due to the deadlines and increased noticing required by AB 1344, the City has scheduled public hearings for April 18, 2012 and May 23, 2012.

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Council Approves Westfield North County Revitalization Plans

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

The Escondido City Council has approved a revitalization plan that will reestablish Westfield North County as the preeminent shopping center destination in North County.  The agreement calls for an investment of more than $55 million by center operator Westfield and the center’s retailers that will revitalize and improve the mall. The renovation will be funded entirely through private investment at no cost to the City or taxpayers. The City has agreed to provide Westfield a 15 year lease extension on the land on which much of the shopping center resides. The current lease expires in 2038.

 “A revitalized Westfield North County will create jobs and provide a substantial source of new revenue for the City to fund economic development programs and vital City services, such as police and fire protection,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed. “Additionally, the project will boost the local economy by adding new jobs at a time when employment opportunities are most needed.”

 Specific elements of the mall revitalization include:

- adding a new 150,000 square foot, multi-level Target;

- revitalizing the interior of the shopping center, which involves new floor finishes, interior paint and lighting schemes, furniture, handrails, signage, and a children’s play area;

- adding two new full-service restaurants;

- overhauling the food court and remodeling the restrooms;

- remodeling and updating all eight entrances to the center; and

- resurfacing the entire parking lot.

 “Westfield looks forward to continuing its long partnership with the City of Escondido,” said Jerry L. Engen, Senior Vice President, Development for Westfield San Diego. “This agreement creates an opportunity to transform Westfield North County to ensure that it remains a top shopping destination for decades to come.”

 Target, which operates 1,767 stores across the United States, will establish a 150,000-square-foot store in the space formerly occupied by Robinsons-May, bringing new life to a former department store building which has been vacant since 2006. The multi-level Target store will include an expanded fresh food assortment providing greater convenience and value to guests.

 “Target will be a welcome addition to Westfield North County that will complement as well as supplement the existing tenant mix, as has been demonstrated at many Westfield centers across the nation,” said Engen, citing Westfield Topanga, where the synergy created by the combination of Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Target has been a huge success and has created the top shopping destination for the valley.

 Work is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012. Westfield’s goal is to complete the revitalization in time for the 2012 holiday season.

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Annual State of the City Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Mayor Sam Abed and the City Council will hold Escondido’s Annual State of the City Address at a morning meeting co-sponsored by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce.  The event will be held in the Conference Center of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 beginning with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

The breakfast is available for $14 per person. To make your reservation for breakfast or to obtain sponsorship information, please contact Michele Pacheco at the Escondido Chamber of Commerce by calling 760-745-2125 or emailing her at mpacheco@escondidochamber.org. The deadline to reserve breakfast is 5:00 p.m. February 1, 2012. Persons wishing to attend the program may do so at no cost, if they are not eating breakfast.

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Road Closures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

There will be two road closures in Escondido on Friday, January 6, 2012:

North Broadway and East Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for crosswalk & signage modifications.

East bound Washington Avenue between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard will be closed between 8:00 a.m. and noon for paving associated with the Paramount/Venue project.  The west bound turn lane from Washington and Centre City Parkway will also be closed. 

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You Can Serve Your City

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

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 and Older Adult Services Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Library Board of Trustees; Personnel Board of Review; Planning Commission; Public Art Commission; and Transportation and Community Safety Commission. 

For the most part, the qualifications to serve are residency within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan.   

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, 2012 with a closing date of Thursday, February 16, 2012. 

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. 

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Naturalist Don Parnell's 81st Birthday Marathon Distance Hike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sue Evarts, Volunteer Coordinator, 760-839-4241 or 760-855-6316

Help Naturalist Don Parnell celebrate his 81st birthday by joining him on a 26.2 mile hike, covering all the trails of Daley Ranch, on Saturday, January 7, 2012.  Don’s hikes are fast paced, long, and not recommended for young children.  Hikers will be treated to an approximately 11-hour guided tour of all the trails on Daley Ranch.  Hikers are encouraged to bring headlamps, hiking poles, lots of snacks, and a lunch and to wear layered clothing and treaded hiking boots.  The hike begins at the Caballo Trailhead at 7:30 a.m.  To get to the Caballo Trailhead from Interstate 15, take the Valley Parkway exit in Escondido and go northeast about five miles.  Turn left at Bevin into the Eureka Springs development.  Follow the road toward the filtration plant entrance and turn right at the Escondido Humane Society sign (Volunteer Lane.)  Park in the dirt parking lot.

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Escondido Makes "Most Inventive Cities in America" List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: December 15, 2011
CONTACT: Michelle Geller
PHONE: (760) 839-4587

A list published recently by Newsweek’s online news outlet The Daily Beast ranked Escondido in the top 25 most inventive cities in America based on patents per capita.  At number 23, Escondido had 257 patents awarded in 2010, which equates to 179 patents per 100,000 residents.  San Diego also ranked in the top 25 at number 15.  The list can be viewed at http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/10/02/america-s-most-inventive-cities-san-francisco-seattle-rochester-ny-more.html .

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Escondido Names New City Clerk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joyce Masterson, 760-839-4621

Escondido City Manager Clay Phillips announced today that Ms. Diane Halverson has been selected as City Clerk of Escondido, replacing Marsha Whalen who retired on October 14, 2011. She will begin her duties in January 2012 with a salary of $112,000.

Ms. Halverson has been employed by the City of Escondido since June 2006 and currently serves as Executive Office Coordinator in the City Clerk’s Office.  Ms. Halverson holds a Master of Arts Degree from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Pacific Union College. She is a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as well as the City Clerk’s Association of California and recently received her Certified Municipal Clerk designation.

In making the announcement today, City Manager Clay Phillips noted, “Our retired City Clerk Marsha Whalen has been one of the best City Clerk’s Escondido has ever had and she will be greatly missed.”  Mr. Phillips further noted, “However, the City is fortunate to have the in-house talent that allows us to promote from within. Diane has outstanding interpersonal skills and I know she will do an excellent job in effectively managing our City Clerk’s Office and ensuring the highest levels of records management and customer service for our community.”

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