Category Archives: San Elijo Hills News

“Love Your Heart” this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th

Free blood pressure screenings offered in San Marcos

On Thursday, Feb. 14 between 10 am and 2 pm, residents will be able to have their blood pressure checked at two San Marcos sites including the San Marcos Senior Activity Center, 111 Richmar Avenue, and the San Marcos Library, 2 Civic Center Drive.  Representatives from San Marcos Fire Department will be on hand to assist with the blood pressure readings while providing heart disease education and awareness.

According to San Diego County Health officials, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in San Diego County. Getting a blood pressure check is a simple step to take for improved heart health.

The City’s participation in the “Love Your Heart” campaign supports the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative, which strives to improve the health, safety, and economic well-being of every resident in the region.

For more information about free blood pressure screenings in San Marcos, please contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

To learn more about the “Love Your Heart” campaign, please visit www.livewellsd.org.

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Commentary Why San Diego can’t afford to build in high-risk fire areas – The San Diego Union-Tribune

We are facing a moment of truth in San Diego County. The recent fires in Paradise, Thousand Oaks and Malibu are a stark reminder that California is increasingly a fire-prone state and that some parts of San Diego County are at extreme risk. Because of this high fire risk, the county’s general plan discourages high-density development in the canyons and chaparral-covered hillsides of the unincorporated county. The county spent 13 years and more than $18 million creating this plan which directs where housing

READ MORE VIA Source: Why San Diego can’t afford to build in high-risk fire areas – The San Diego Union-Tribune 

Theberge is chair of the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council and the director of Grow the San Diego Way

San Marcos’ 14th mayor, Rebecca Jones, took the oath of office tonight

San Marcos’ 14th mayor, Rebecca Jones, took the oath of office tonight during the San Marcos City Council meeting.

Mayor Jones was first elected to her first full term on the San Marcos City Council in November 2008. She had been serving on the City Council since January 2007 after being appointed to a vacated Council seat. She was re-elected in 2012, and again in 2016. 

“As North County’s education hub and safest city, San Marcos is a rising star,” said Mayor Jones. “With tremendous success, comes new challenges—I’m all about the solutions and ready to work collaboratively so that generations to come will be afforded the same opportunities to thrive right here in San Marcos.”

In addition to the Mayor, Council Members María Nuñez and Randy Walton were sworn in as the City’s first district elected representatives by districts 1 and 2, respectively, to mark the start of their four-year terms. The San Marcos City Council voluntarily adopted district-based voting in September 2016. 

Outgoing Mayor Jim Desmond was formally recognized for 14 years of service on the San Marcos City Council. Outgoing Council Members Chris Orlando, with 12 years of service to the San Marcos City Council, and Kristal Jabara, with eight years of service, were also formally recognized.

Mayor Jones previously held an at-large council seat, which is now vacant. The at-large vacancy will be filled by appointment or special election as directed by the city council.

For more information about the San Marcos City Council, visit www.san-marcos.net/your-government/city-council.

Petition – No new Powerline Poles in San Elijo Hills

San Marcos and San Elijo Hills here is a petition for no new Powerline Poles in our community.

Currently, the best place for information regarding SDG&E’s proposal is the website:

http://www.sanmarcospowerlines.com

The website with all of the files and documents SDG&E has filed for permission to build this new transmission line can be found at the CPUC website:

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/environme…/info/esa/tl6975/index.html

December 2018 San Elijo Hills Community Association HOA Updates:

December 2018 San Elijo Hills Community Association HOA Updates:

2nd Annual Menorah Lighting-This Sunday!

Come to celebrate our 2nd Annual Menorah Lighting! Bring your menorahs and head down to the town square park on December 2nd on the first day of Hanukkah! The event will run from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm with the candle lighting beginning at 5 pm. There will be kid’s activities, face painting, latkes, donuts, music and more! Bring a plain sweater or shirt to participate in our ugly sweater decorating contest…Hanukah style! If you have any questions, please contact your community director, Liz McCardle, at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting

LET IT SNOW! This year’s annual tree lighting is becoming a WINTER WONDERLAND! Please join us for this long-standing tradition in the Town Square Park on Friday, December 7th. Festivities will run from 6:00 PM-8:30 PM with the tree lighting at 7:00 PM. This magical night will include some of these fun activities!

* Santa and Mrs. Clause will be here for pictures so make sure you are on his “nice” list! Don’t forget to bring your camera!
* A Colorful Universe will have an ornament painting station for only $5.00 per ornament. Stop by to create a one-of-a-kind decoration for your home! They also make great gifts for family.
* Holiday elves will join us to show off their artistic skills with balloons.
* Cookies, cider, and hot chocolate will be served to warm your belly!
* Delicious food trucks will be serving up a variety of specialties available for purchase.
* The SEMS choir will perform Holiday inspired music throughout the night!

We hope that you and your family are able to make it out to this wondrous event! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

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**Since 2006 SanElijoLife.com provides community news, photos, videos, and a directory of resources for residents of San Elijo Hills. The site is independent of the developer and the HOA and is run by local homeowners.

San Marcos supplying region with future-ready workforce

When you were a child, what did you want to be? Whatever it was, it’s probably still a viable career. But that’s not necessarily true for children today.

Robots could replace nearly a third of the nation’s workforce by 2030, according to research by McKinsey Global Institute. And the World Economic Forum predicts 65 percent of elementary students will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet.

As North County’s education hub, San Marcos plays a major role in supplying the region with a workforce that’s ready to adapt to these changing tides.

“San Marcos serves the most higher education students all of northern San Diego County, making this community a crucial talent pipeline” explained Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “And that workforce will be ready for the future thanks to our educational leaders.”

Case in point: The San Marcos Promise (TSMP), which provides scholarships and resources to students in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD), is sharpening its focus on 21st-century work skills.

“Tomorrow’s workforce will need higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and collaboration,” explained Lisa Stout, TSMP Programs Coordinator. That jives with McKinsey research that predicts demand for those skills will grow 19 percent through 2030.

“The path to modern success won’t look the same for everyone, nor should it,” Stout added. “Many future professions won’t call for a traditional four-year degree.”

Palomar College tracks job trends, and as a result, has added future-focused programs in drone technology and cybersecurity.

“Advanced manufacturing is another big opportunity on the horizon, but these aren’t the factory jobs of the past,” said Nichol Roe, Palomar College’s Associate Dean of Workforce Development and Extended Studies. “They are highly technical, and involve 3D printing, automation and software solutions.”

“As technology advances, learning new skills on the job will be imperative,” added Jill Litschewski, Director of the Office of Internships and Service Learning at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). “However, it will be equally important for students to also improvise solutions.”

CSUSM’s Senior Experience Program lets students do that by collaborating with business owners to tackle real-world projects. Often the work has a 21st-century focus. For example, some students recently helped test drone technology that could change how we fight wildfires.

“Programs like this underscore how much we need our businesses to be a part of workforce development,” Sangster said. “The City is committed to supporting these efforts because when we all invest in workforce development, it benefits our community’s overall economic health.

To learn more about the City’s economic development division, or about how you can help local students,  contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

California is in no recession and has been spending billions more on K-12 education each year. But school districts across the state and across San Diego County are facing looming budget crises that have materialized already for some and will materialize as soon as next year for others.

READ MORE VIA Source: Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

‘Dark money’ pushing thumb on council races – The Coast News Group

Thousands of dollars of so-called “dark money” is emerging as a major factor in city council races in a pair of North County cities. In Encinitas and San Marcos, two cities where stakes are high in their respective council races, political action committees have pumped thousands into candidates.

SAN MARCOS-The Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC has received thousands from developers and the Building Industry Association of San Diego and has spent a corresponding amount on candidates throughout the county, almost exclusively on Republican or conservative candidates.

One of the races where the Deputy Sheriffs Association and Building Industry Association’s influence has been most heavily felt is San Marcos, where the PAC has spent thousands in mailers and campaign signs in favor of Rebecca Jones for mayor and council candidates Mike Sannella and Craig Garcia.

Many of the same individual contributors who have contributed to the Building Industry Association’s PAC and the Deputy Sheriffs committee have also contributed to an Irvine-based PAC called the California Taxpayers Coalition, which according to records has spent $10,500 in printing and mailing costs against one of Sannella’s opponents, Randy Walton.

San Marcos Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Rebecca Jones returned a $250 campaign contribution from a developer behind a 14.4-acre development proposal. Courtesy photo/Facebook

One of the largest contributors to the Taxpayers Coalition is Diversified Projects, Inc., which has contributed $12,5000 to the committee. The Laguna Beach-based company was behind the controversial San Marcos Highlands project. Walton has aligned himself with Chris Orlando, current councilman and mayoral candidate, the lone council member to vote against the Highlands project.

One of the other major contributors is Lance Waite, who is developer behind the Sunshine Gardens project, a 193-unit multi-family project on 14.4-acres near San Marcos’ southeastern city limits that is currently being processed by the city.

Waite contributed $5,000 to each the Taxpayers Coalition and the Deputy Sheriffs PAC. Jones returned a $250 contribution Waite made to her campaign this year. 

San Marcos bars developers from contributing to campaigns within 12 months of a council vote.

Walton, a registered Democrat, said the race has gotten ugly as a result of the mailers paid for, and said developers are actively trying to deceive voters by funneling money into committees that appear to be advocating for taxpayers or law enforcement.

“It’s an outright effort to deceive voters, by putting out mailers saying that something is ‘law enforcement’s choice,’ when in reality, it’s thousands of dollars from developers and the building industry,” Walton said. “Most voters don’t know to look at the campaign finance forms and see who is behind some of these committees.

“And on the other side, there isn’t a group of citizens forming PACs, so there is no countervailing weight and it’s kind of an unfair advantage to the candidates who benefit from them,” Walton said.

“San Marcos has very strict limits on contributions to candidates of just $250,” Jones said in an email to The Coast News. “At that level, it would be difficult for anyone to influence an elected official in our city. As for independent expenditures, they are just that — independent. I have no ability to control their activities and am legally prohibited from doing so.”

The third candidates in the mayor’s and Dist. 2 races, Bradley Zink and Eric Flodine, respectively, have not been the target of any independent expenditures, nor have any been raised on their behalf.

Kousser said that the pattern of developers who otherwise would not be able to contribute to the campaigns due to the city laws contributing even more money through the PACs raises ethical concerns from the donor, not the recipient.

“I would say that the pattern and timing of the donations shows a clear circumvention of the goal of the campaign finance limits,” Kousser said. “But there’s no proof that the candidate is influenced by these contributions. So while it’s not an ethical violation on behalf of the candidate, it looks like a donor is clearly trying to have the same effect on the election and make the same contribution through a different route.”

READ MORE VIA Source: ‘Dark money’ pushing thumb on council races – The Coast News Group

San Marcos bond refi cuts Mello-Roos taxes in San Elijo neighborhoods – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The city of San Marcos refinanced municipal bonds in June to save some San Elijo property owners $120 to $450 per year in Mello-Roos taxes.“We are trying to be prudent, and whenever we can, with any of our (community facilities districts,) make sure we are getting the best interest rate and moving forward for our taxpayers,” said Finance Director Laura Rocha. Mello-Roos districts are authorized by a 1982 California law which allowed local governments to finance infrastructure improvements and services through special districts. Facilities covered by those bonds include roads, sidewalks, water and sewer lines, police and fire stations. Those special taxes are usually included annually in property tax bills issued by the county. Benefiting from favorable bond markets this year, the San Marcos Public Financing Authority reduced interest rates on $20.6 million in bonds for a number of San Elijo neighborhoods, slashing net interest from 4.82 percent to 3.55 percent, officials said. That produced total savings of about $3.9 million to 882 property owners in the San Elijo communities of Saverne, Azure, Cambria, Woodley’s Glen, Crest View, Waterford, Village Square and Westridge. Savings to individual property owners vary, based on the square footage of their homes, with condominiums typically paying a lower tax rate than single-family homes, said Fiscal Services/Debt Manager Roque Chiriboga. The 31-year Mello-Roos bonds covered the cost of sidewalks, lighting and other infrastructure for the communities, and will mature in 2035. The refinancing reduces annual payments, but will not extend the term of the bond, officials said.The new bond issue, which closed June 6, marks the final step in a series of refinancing efforts to bring down rates in the city’s Mello-Roos districts, Chiriboga said.“Our previous refinances started in 2012, when we initially started seeing the market come down,” he said.As districts became eligible for refinancing, the city issued new bonds at lower rates. It completed three bond refinancing efforts in 2012, one in 2014, and the final one this summer, he said. Those efforts cut bond rates for 5,533 property owners by a total of $23,543,126, officials said.“We try to be very diligent in making sure we are capturing any savings throughout the term of the bond,” Rocha said.

Source: San Marcos bond refi cuts Mello-Roos taxes in San Elijo neighborhoods – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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