May 21, 2020

Update from Mayor Paul McNamara:
This week, Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara would like to share another update with the community. You can watch it here.

4th of July Update:
One of our largest community celebrations is our 4th of July Fireworks display and festival. We were really hoping to be able to continue that tradition this year on July 4th, but after many thoughtful and some very difficult discussions we have concluded that the pace of re-opening is just not going to allow it to be safe or possible. Our event involves an impressive crowd of residents that usually fills up Grape Day Park. Because health and safety of our community are the top priority, we cannot safely gather as we typically do to celebrate Independence Day. We look forward to sharing this annual tradition with our community next year. Thank you for your understanding and continued adherence to the County of San Diego orders.

The Park Avenue Community Center Receives 2 Generous Donations:Park Avenue Community Center Donations

  • Thank you to VFW Post 1513 who generously donated much needed items for senior citizens in our community. They donated over $200 worth of supplies!
  • A big thank you to The Escondido Senior Housing Corporation. Their generous donation of $15,000 will go a long way to support senior programs and services!

Neighborhood Graduation Parade:
The Hidden Trails Community in Escondido held a graduation parade last weekend to celebrate more than a dozen of their seniors. The parade also honored Jonah Staebell, a would-be graduate of Escondido's Classical Academy High School, who passed away earlier this year in a car crash. Mayor Paul McNamara read the graduates names and participated in the parade. Check out NBC7’s coverage of the event here.

May Escondido Business Newsletter:
The May edition of the Escondido Business Newsletter is out now. Be the first to hear the latest Escondido business news by subscribing here.

In addition, our Economic Development team welcomes your feedback for story ideas and themes. If you hear of a new local business opening they would be happy to give them some love; you can submit these ideas to Local businesses are the backbone of Escondido’s economy and community, we will get through this together. #StrongerTogether

Online Services:
With City facilities still closed to the public please remember there are many ways to do business online with the City by using our Online Services Portal.

You can also get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at

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May 14, 2020

Hand Sanitizer Donated to the City:
Thank you to Firmenich Inc., a fragrance company based in Switzerland, for the incredibly generous donation of 110 gallons of hand sanitizer. It is gestures like these that remind us that we are all stronger together.

As we slowly start to re-open the City, this will go a long way to ensuring our staff, first responders and community are safe and healthy.

For more information about the City’s response to COVID-19 visit:  

Escondido COVID-19 Emergency Business Recovery Strategy:
On Wednesday, to the City Council.  The City Council unanimously approved the strategy which may be viewed as Item 8 here. May 13, Economic Development and Community Development presented Escondido’s COVID-19 Emergency Business Recovery Strategy

Toyota Escondido is Open and Ready to Serve the Community: 

Escondido Resource Recovery Facility Progress:
Escondido Disposal is in the construction phase of the first fully permitted state of the art advanced technology Anaerobic Digestion Facility in San Diego County. This facility will be capable of powering their fleet of trucks with Renewable Natural Gas. Anaerobic digestion is an efficient and environmentally sustainable technology that can make a significant contribution to the management of organic waste in California.
Visit to watch EDCO’s live video of the construction site. 

Business Reopening Plumbing Safety:
The Utilities Department worked with the Communications Department and Economic Development to develop business outreach to commercial, industrial, dining, and retail operators that have been completely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Escondido’s Utilities Department has provided clean and safe drinking water throughout the pandemic, but water sitting in the internal plumbing of a closed building could be unsafe for drinking.  Businesses that have not been occupied are being advised to flush internal plumbing systems to clear the potentially stagnant water prior to building occupancy.  Buildings that have been occupied, even partially, during the pandemic do not need to take these steps because the plumbing in these buildings is routinely refreshed with water from the City’s water distribution system. You can view more information here.

Online Services:
With City facilities closed to the public there are many ways to do business online with the City by using our Online Services Portal.

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at

Effective May 8, the following procedures at the police department went into effect:

  • The use of facial coverings inside police facilities is required when social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.
  • Police employees will wear facial coverings inside residences or businesses when in contact with the public, unless not practical for officer safety reasons.
  • Personal Protective Equipment shall be worn when interacting with known or suspected COVID-19 persons when feasible.


Tragic Vehicle Accident Involves Four Fatalities
On May 5, police and fire responded to the area of San Pasqual Valley Rd and Oak Hill Dr. regarding a traffic collision.  Responding units discovered that a vehicle had struck four pedestrians.  Tragically all four died from their injuries.  The pedestrians included a 50-year-old female, a 33-year-old male, and two children ages 11 and 10.  It does not appear that alcohol and/or drugs played a factor in the collision.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families.  This collision is under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police department.

Neighbors Fighting Over Plants Leaves One Subject Stabbed
On May 5, officers responded to a fight in the 800 block of W. 3rd Ave.  During the fight, one subject was stabbed.  His injuries were not life threatening.  Officers discovered that the fight started after an argument about the placement of some plants.  The stabbing suspect was arrested.

Community Policing:

Officers Help Celebrate Dottie’s 100th Birthday
Twenty years ago, Dorothy Zenovic moved to Escondido, a city she has grown to love.  She’ll wag her finger at you if you call her Dorothy though because she is known as Dottie to family, friends, and acquaintances alike.  When Dottie’s 100th birthday was approaching, her son Tom, who lives in New Jersey, was unable to arrange travel to visit his mom due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Tom reached out to the police department with an unusual request.  Sgt. Mike Graesser fielded the phone call and jumped at the opportunity.  With Chief Varso in tow, the two set out for a surprise drive by to wish Dottie a happy 100th birthday…with proper social distancing of course.  Congratulations Dottie on reaching a fantastic milestone!


Focused Enforcement Efforts in High Call Volume Areas:

  • 3 Arrests
  • 19 Citations
  • 113 Extra Patrols / Calls for Service


Escondido Faith Leaders Visit EPD to Pray for Safety
On May 9, several pastors from Escondido’s Faith Based community traveled around the city praying for safety and wisdom for essential workers that are battling the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of their stops was at Police & Fire Headquarters where they blessed our first responders and prayed for continued safety.  One of the things that makes Escondido truly special is how all sectors of our community come together to support and uplift one another.  We are all truly blessed to have the support and appreciation of our faith institutions.Escondido Officers Honor San Diego County’s Fallen Hero’s
Each year in May, peace officers killed in the line of duty are honored at various memorials throughout the country.  The San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial is located in front of the main County Administration Building near downtown San Diego.  Usually this event is widely attended by law enforcement agencies throughout the county.  Unfortunately, this year the event was canceled because of COVID-19.  Officers from the Escondido Police Color Guard team made it a point to honor those fallen officers, while still abiding by the public health orders.  Each officer took turns standing watch in front of the memorial for 15 minutes.  Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, the gratitude and appreciation for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice with never be forgotten. 

Tip of the Week:
COVID-19 may have limited the number of cars on the roadway, but traffic safety remains a high priority.  If you have to be out on the road, then please drive the speed limit, keep your eyes on the road at all times, and be courteous to other motorists.

The Fire Department is continuing normal operations and fully staffed. We continue to monitor our personnel daily and continue heightened sanitation practices for our equipment, vehicles and facilities.

Thank You Nurses!
May 6 was National Nurses Day and while all nurses do an amazing job helping people, Escondido Fire particularly appreciates the nurses we work with every day at Palomar Medical Center Emergency Department. Thank you nurses for taking care of everyone in our community. 

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May 7, 2020

Message from City Manager, Jeffrey Epp

Parks and Open Space:
Good News! As of Saturday, May 2 all City of Escondido parks and open spaces are open in accordance with the County of San Diego Public Health Order. All parking lots are open at 50% capacity and active recreation areas such as basketball, disc golf, and tennis courts are open for limited use by members of a single household only. Play structures will remain closed at all parks per the County order.
Please make sure to follow all posted signage, wear a facial covering and follow physical distancing guidelines from anyone not in your household.

Online Services:
With City facilities closed to the public there are many ways to do business online with the City by using our Online Services Portal.
You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at

American Strong and United Campaign:
The Escondido Police and Fire Departments along with Park Rangers are participating in the America Strong & United campaign by wearing badge bands during the month of May. Non-uniformed personnel may also wear red white and blue ribbons to show support.

The America Strong and United badge bands and ribbons include three colors to symbolize the sacrifice of essential workers. Blue to represent police officers, healthcare professionals, park rangers and other safety and enforcement professionals: Red to represent firefighters, lifeguards, emergency medical personnel and others in the first responder life-safety fields. White to represent grocery and food service workers, social service providers and volunteers and other essential workers. Together, the red, white, and blue America Strong and United badge bands and ribbons represent all those who continue to serve their communities. We are proud to join in the recognition of the all the extraordinary service and sacrifice to our community by both first responders and essential workers during the pandemic.   

Washington Park Skate Spot and Parking Lot Expansion
This project consists of two components, a 7,000 square foot skate spot and new parking lot located on the corner of Washington Avenue and Rose Street.  Three skate spot design workshops were held over several months. These provided the community with the opportunity to engage with the consultant and take part in the planning and design of the space. All were very well attended, with approximately 50 participants at each. The result of these workshops was a beautifully designed skate spot that represents the culture and character of our community. The second component of this project is a new parking lot that will be located along Rose St. 30% plans were submitted in December 2019. After staff review, it was requested that the parking lot location, originally proposed for Washington Avenue, be redesigned and relocated off of Rose St. On May 1, revised 50% plans addressing staff’s concerns and comments were submitted for review.  Over the next two weeks, plans will be analyzed by the appropriate departments and comments will be sent back to the contractor. The entire project will be presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council in the coming months. We anticipate construction of this project going out to bid late Fall 2020. 

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April 30, 2020

Message from City Manager, Jeffrey Epp:
As we wrap up this week, you will note some updates on facial masks (below) as well as a lot of new and rapidly unfolding information on which of our public parks and open spaces are open and under what conditions.  Escondido has been blessed by hard-working and forward-thinking staff, and by responsible residents—we’ve been able to keep most of our parks open for passive uses throughout this pandemic, and we expect that will continue to be the case. As always, our website will contain the most current information, which we review and update every time there is any type of new County or State order.

Facial Coverings Now Required in Public:
Starting Friday, May 1, a new health order from County of San Diego goes into effect that states everyone must wear facial coverings anywhere in public when they come within 6 feet of someone not in their household. Masks do not need to be medical grade, they can be cloth, bandanas, etc. and it must cover your nose and mouth.

More information about the new County of San Diego Public Health Order can be found here:

We Are Stronger Together:
As we continue to navigate daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic, our local restaurants, breweries and wineries are open and here to serve you with takeout and delivery options.
Economic Development has a dedicated page on our website with business resources, an interactive map with open restaurants, and more.
More information about the City’s response to COVID19 can be found at: 

Parks and Parking Lots
Following San Diego County orders, parking lots at parks will be opened to 50 percent of capacity. Our neighborhood parks are still open for you to enjoy for passive use. Daley Ranch, Lake Dixon, and Lake Wohlford will also be opened this weekend for passive use. Please continue to practice social distancing and carry a face covering while enjoying our city parks.  

Escondido Employee Named California Laboratory Person of the Year
The California Water Environment Association has named of Escondido Water Quality Lab Associate Chemist, Oyuna Jenkins as their Laboratory Person of the Year. Jenkins plays a key role in the lab’s safety processes, which ensures a safe and reliable water supply for City customers. She runs metal analyses on drinking water, industrial waste, and much more. You can read more about her story and the Lab process here. Congratulations and great work, Oyuna!

Online Services:
With City facilities closed to the public there are many ways to do business online with the City by using our Online Services Portal.

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at 

. . . read more