March 26, 2020

Message from the City Manager, Jeffrey Epp:
As things change constantly, City staff have been working around the clock to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. Our Emergency Operations Center continues to be open and meets daily for briefings on County and State guidelines. I encourage you to check our website and social media accounts for updated information on the City’s response, closure information and much more using the links listed below. At this time, we are following the County of San Diego’s lead and will be keeping all of our parks and trails open; it is important for residents to have an opportunity to get outdoors and exercise as long as strict social distancing is practiced and gathering rules are followed. We all need to work together to make a difference during these unprecedented times. 

VideoClick here to view a message from City Manager Jeffrey Epp from the March 25 City Council meeting.

COVID-19 Information:
The City of Escondido continues to follow the State and County orders as well as direction from County health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. There is a dedicated page on our website where you can find our latest news releases, closures, information about City appointments, and links to resources and other agencies:
https://www.escondido.org/covid-19.aspx

Pursuant to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20: Members of the Escondido City Council and staff may participate in meetings via teleconference. The Wednesday, March 25 City Council meeting was conducted virtually, view the meeting here.

Mayor Paul McNamara shared a message with the Escondido community about the COVID-19 situation, watch the video here.

With City facilities closed to the public there are many ways to do business online with the City:

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at coronavirus-sd.com. The County also has information relating to the virus on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

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March 19, 2020

Message from the City Manager, Jeffrey Epp:
Emergency circumstances can bring out the best and the worst in our society. Here in the City of Escondido, I’ve seen the absolute best. Escondido responded to this pandemic by firmly hitting the brakes of our bustling city and acknowledging the dramatic changes required to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As we adapt to this new environment, online forms of doing business and engaging with each other have moved into high gear. Restaurants have closed but we have a new directory of take-out options. Our library is closed but we can now text a librarian and research online. The Park Avenue Senior Center had to close but we are delivering the meals to our seniors enrolled in the lunch program. Our Emergency Dispatch Center and our First Responders are always available, now using updated protocols based on the science of grappling with this virus. Our equipment stores are well stocked and we’re keeping our employees healthy.  We update our website and social media daily to keep you informed.

In addition to dealing with this pandemic, my other goal for Escondido is to look back on this and be proud of how we responded. So far, so good. 

COVID-19 Information:
Prioritizing the health and well-being of the community remains our top priority. 

The City of Escondido is working closely with County health officials and following all rules and guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19. All public gatherings, events and meetings have been either postponed or cancelled in the coming weeks. In addition, City facilities are closed to the public through March 31, with some essential services available by appointment. Public meetings will be limited to essential meetings with essential items only, and will be practicing social distancing. 

This week a Declaration of Local Emergency was signed by Escondido City Manager Jeffrey Epp and was ratified by the City Council on Wednesday, March 18. As a result, the City is now able to enact emergency powers, as well as potentially gain access to federal and state relief funds. The City of Escondido’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is staffed to monitor the COVID-19 situation. 

We have created a page on our website where you can find our latest news releases, closures, information about City appointments, and links to resources and other agencies: https://www.escondido.org/covid-19.aspx 

There are also many ways to do business online with the City:

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at coronavirus-sd.com. The County also has information relating to the virus on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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March 12, 2020

Escondido Mourns Passing of Councilmember John Masson
The City Council is saddened to announce the passing of Councilmember John Masson. He was appointed to the Escondido City Council in 2012 and elected in November of 2014 representing District 2 and then re-elected in 2018. During his tenure on the Escondido City Council, Councilmember Masson served as the Deputy Mayor, a representative on the Economic Development Subcommittee of the City Council, representative to the San Diego County Water Authority, and as Escondido’s representative on the League of California Cities. City Manager Jeff Epp stated “While there is much to say about all of the things Councilmember Masson was involved in and contributed to, I shall always remember his tremendous passion for all things Escondido, and his incredible support of City employees. John really, really cared about Escondido and doing great things for our community. He was inspirational to have on the City Council, as a colleague and as a friend to many of us. We will miss him a great deal.”

Flags at all City facilities will be lowered until the day of Councilmember Masson’s interment.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update:
The City of Escondido is committed to keeping our community and employees up to date on the latest developments relating to COVID-19, Coronavirus.  A team of representatives from throughout City departments is working together, along with our partners from the county, other cities, education, healthcare, businesses and other agencies, to make sure we’re ready to respond to keep our communities safe and healthy.

Additionally, the City has deployed hands-free sanitizer stations to all City facilities and frequently touched surfaces are being sanitized frequently. There are also many ways to do business online with the City:

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at coronavirus-sd.com. The County also has information relating to the virus on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Right now, the emphasis is on preparedness. There is no need for the public to panic, but everyone is encouraged to be prepared.

Census 2020
For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online starting today, March 12. The process will be quick and secure. You can respond to the census in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. You’ll still be able to respond by mail. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.2020census.gov

New Bleachers at Washington Park
Through a successful partnership between the City and Classical Academy, the Washington Park ballfield now has bleachers! There were previously no bleachers at this field.

2020/21 Budget Updates:
Come to our next community meeting to learn about the City budget, ask questions, and share your thoughts:

  • Tuesday, March 31, 6:00 p.m. at Palomar College Escondido Center, 1951 E. Valley Parkway, Classroom ESC403

A copy of the budget presentation can be viewed here:
Link Here

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March 5, 2020

Escondido Giving Arch Makes Progress

The new arch spanning Grand Avenue at Centre City Parkway, which was made possible by an anonymous donation through the Escondido Community Foundation has been put into place.

Join us for a lighting and dedication ceremony on March 12 at 6:00 p.m. under the Arch.

More information about the project and event can be found at: https://www.escondidofoundationarch.org/

 

Check-Out Nature Backpack Event

The Escondido Public Library has new “Check Out Nature Backpacks”. These are part of a program to get kids out in nature and learning about our wilderness. Dixon Lake will be hosting the kickoff event on Saturday, March 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Backpacks can be checked out at the event with a valid Escondido Library Card, and rangers will be hosting two guided hikes for kids during the event.

This is a free event that is open to all ages. Present a library flyer at the gate for free entry into the park for the day.

Business News: Escondido Insight

Did you know that the City’s produces a monthly newsletter that features business spotlights and stories, City related news articles, events and more? Subscribe to get updates here. You can read this month’s issue by clicking the image below.

 

2020/21 Budget Updates:

The City’s annual operating budget cycle begins in January with the preparation of the budgetary forecast for the next fiscal year that runs from July 1 through June 30. The current budgetary forecast for Fiscal Year 2020-21 is projecting a $6 million operating budget deficit. This deficit is due to projected revenue growth not keeping pace with projected municipal costs.

City Departments have been asked to submit their Fiscal Year 2020-21 General Fund operating budgets with a 3% reduction over their prior year adopted budgets. Departments are to specifically identify the impact a 3% budget reduction will have on the services and programs provided to City residents. Departments are scheduled to submit budget proposals to the City’s Finance Department in February and March.

The City’s operating budget provides a plan for how the monies coming into the City (revenues) will be spent in order to operate and maintain City functions and services, such as police, fire, parks, and libraries. Core City services funded through the General Fund’s budget are supported by a variety of revenue sources. The four major General Fund revenues are sales tax, property tax, transient occupancy tax, and franchise fees and account for 78% of the General Fund’s revenue. The City spends 66% of its General Fund departmental budget on public safety, and the remaining on services such as parks, libraries, public works, and general government services. City services require people to provide them, and as a result 84% of the City’s costs are personnel costs. 

City staff has been working diligently to keep costs down and increase efficiencies, but without new revenues Escondido will continually be forced to reduce or eliminate essential municipal services in order to balance future city budgets, including the upcoming 2020-2021 budget.

The City is currently considering placing a one percent sales tax measure on the November 2020 ballot. The current sales tax rate in Escondido is 7.75 percent; but Escondido receives only one percent of that revenue, with most going to the State, County and SANDAG. However, 100 percent of the revenue generated by this ballot measure would stay in Escondido and provide stable local funding for the City to maintain and enhance our Police and Fire services, improve our roads, parks and facilities, and elevate the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Below is a link with more information about the Public Safety and Essential Services Ballot Measure. 

https://www.escondido.org/2020-revenue-ballot-measure.aspx

Come to our upcoming community meeting to learn about the City budget, ask questions, and share your thoughts:

  • Tuesday, March 31, 6:00 p.m. at Palomar College Escondido Center, 1951 E. Valley Parkway, Classroom ESC403

A copy of the budget presentation can be viewed here:

https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Finance/Budget202021/BudgetCommunityMeeting02.27.20.pdf

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