Category Archives: San Marcos News

Desmond cleared of alleged campaign finance violations – The Coast News Group

Mayor Jim Desmond has been cleared of wrongdoing after an independent investigation found no “probable cause” to validate claims he violated campaign finance laws concerning his bid for the District 5 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.The complaint was filed on May 29 by Realtor Ana Rosvall, among others, who claimed Desmond violated the city’s municipal code (2.16.010), which prohibits votes within 12 months of receiving a donation or receiving donations within 12 months of a vote. Rosavall’s complaint alleged Desmond accepted campaign donations from several sources prior to votes on development projects in the city.“Unfortunately, it was a last-minute campaign hit,” Desmond said. “An independent Elections Council was able to determine very quickly that there was no wrongdoing and I’ve been cleared of all allegations. So, we’re going to continue full speed ahead with the campaign.”Desmond, a republican, is running against Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern, also a republican, and Democrats Jacqueline Arsivaud and Michelle Gomez. Many consider Desmond the frontrunner for the June 5 primary. On June 2, Desmond continued his campaign by reaching out to voters.“We are phone calling, we’ve got several people walking precincts,” Desmond said. “We’re making sure people are going to get out and vote.”A letter to Desmond from investigators dated June 1 confirmed he did not violate any ordinances. The independent Elections Council verified what Desmond and his campaign believed since the complaint was filed. John Hoy, Desmond’s campaign consultant, said on May 31 the municipal code in question does not apply to elections outside the city. The code, he added, only applies to candidates running for election in a city race, and not any other jurisdiction.Also, Hoy said Desmond’s attorney, who is also his campaign director, did not send a formal letter to the Elections Council or have any contact with investigators.“Our position is it just simple doesn’t apply to him,” he said on May 29. “That’s a City of San Marcos ordinance drafted to regulate elections in San Marcos. He’s running in the county of San Diego for supervisor under the rules of the County of San Diego. This ordinance is just not applicable in this situation.”A letter from the law firm, states the alleged violations in question are not covered in the municipal code, are barred by the statute of limitations or will be by next Tuesday (June 5) and no sufficient facts to “demonstrate probable cause.” In addition, the letter states the amount of campaign contributions apply only to municipal elections, which has been the position of Desmond and Hoy since May 29.The complaint alleged Farouk Kubba of Vista San Marcos LLC donated $800 to Desmond’s campaign on June 6, 2017, and Desmond voted for the controversial San Marcos Highlands project on Nov. 15, 2017. In addition, $650 was donated to Desmond by David Hammer and Eric Armstrong, who worked on the Brookfield project.“I’m pretty disappointed,” Rosvall said of the investigation. “I feel that these laws should be applied to all elections. It seems like no matter what you do, they’re one step ahead of you.”

Source: Desmond cleared of alleged campaign finance violations – The Coast News Group

San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat | KPBS

San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat Thursday, May 31, 2018 By Leo Castañeda / inewsource Six days before the June 5 election, the city of San Marcos appointed an outside attorney on Wednesday to investigate a complaint alleging Mayor Jim Desmond violated city campaign finance laws as part of his run for the county Board of Supervisors.

Realtor Ana Rosvall filed the complaint on Tuesday with the city clerk and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. She alleges Desmond received contributions too close to when six donors had development projects voted on by the City Council. San Marcos requires a 12-month gap between campaign contributions and council votes. A spokesman for Desmond, a Republican running for Supervisor Bill Horn’s open seat, said he doesn’t believe San Marcos’ campaign finance rules apply to a county race. “The rules that govern our campaign are the county of San Diego rules,” spokesman John Hoy said. “We’re quite certain that we adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the law as they apply to the county supervisor race.” Also running for Horn’s seat are Oceanside Mayor Jerry Kern, a Republican, and two Democrats, Jacqueline Arsivaud and Michelle Gomez. Rosvall said she’s been involved in campaigns to stop housing developments that required zoning changes in San Marcos and unincorporated San Diego County. She’s a Democrat and said she filed the complaint against Desmond because she and others are concerned he is overly influenced by developers. Rosvall said she is happy the city is investigating her complaint. “It’s so amazing that someone is taking us seriously and listening to us, and that it’s a process that’s working the way it’s supposed to,” she said. Campaign finance rules in San Marcos say City Council members can’t vote on an issue that financially affects someone who gave them a campaign contribution of $100 or more during the previous 12 months. Council members also can’t receive contributions of $100 or more in the 12 months after casting a vote that affects that donor. The mayor is part of the council. San Marcos City Attorney Helen Holmes Peak told inewsource Shawn Hagerty, an attorney with Best Best & Krieger, has been hired to investigate Rosvall’s complaint. Hagerty specializes in municipal and water law and is Santee’s city attorney, according to his law firm’s website. The donors listed in the complaint include San Marcos Highlands developer Farouk Kubba. The council approved his project to build 169 single-family homes in November 2016. Kubba contributed $800 to Desmond’s supervisor campaign seven months later in June 2017. Three others working on the project also contributed a total of $1,350 to Desmond’s campaign. Two other donors who had worked on the Brookfield Residential project to build 220 condominiums in San Marcos contributed a total of $650 to Desmond’s campaign. The City Council approved the project in January.

Source: San Marcos Mayor Hit With Campaign Finance Complaint In Bid For County Supervisor Seat | KPBS

Double Peak School-City takes active approach in managing traffic safety near new school

The city takes an active approach to managing traffic safety near new school

Since the opening of Double Peak School, the City of San Marcos has taken an active approach to managing traffic safety in the area surrounding the school.

Since the opening of Double Peak School, the City of San Marcos has taken an active approach to managing traffic safety in the area surrounding the school.

“Public safety and traffic management continues to be a top priority for the City of San Marcos—especially near our schools,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

Traffic engineers are constantly evaluating conditions along S. Twin Oaks Valley Road and have proactively implemented various traffic warning and calming measures to reduce travel speeds and the possibility of speed-related collisions.

“Knowing Double Peak School is in a challenging location when it comes to traffic management, the city has made every effort to work with the San Marcos Unified School District and enhance overall safety by using several traffic calming strategies,” said the city’s Principal Traffic Engineer Nic Abboud.

Traffic calming strategies have included the reduction of the posted speed limit from 50 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour along the northbound approach to Double Peak School.

A new traffic signal control at the school’s driveway has been installed, together with the placement of a high-visibility crosswalk. Advanced warning signs and “prepare to stop” signage have also been placed at several locations in advance of the new traffic signal, school pedestrian crossing, and steep roadway grade.

The school zone limits for 25 miles-per hour speed have been extended.  The city has installed flashing school warning signs to alert motorists of the slower speed zones.

To further encourage motorists to slow down, speed reduction bars have been placed across the lanes at decreasing intervals along the downhill approach to the school.

Motorists were also introduced to radar speed feedback signs that display a driver’s speed to help improve speed limit compliance. Traffic signal timing has also been improved to discourage red light running.

As traffic safety is driven by driver education, traffic engineering, and traffic enforcement, the city has worked in partnership with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to boost its speed enforcement in the area, especially during peak times.

In addition to these efforts, the city has prepared a “safe routes to school” plan that identifies the safest routes for students to follow when heading to or from the school campus. This plan has been provided to the school for implementation and parents are encouraged to share the recommended travel paths with their children.

But the city has not stopped there.

Hearing increased community concern over traffic speeds around the school and during times when children are using sidewalks, the City will retain a specialized consulting firm to evaluate innovative opportunities to address pedestrian mobility and safety issues.

Additional measures may include enhanced adoption and promotion of a “safe route to school” plan, alternative location(s) for sidewalks, implementation of additional travel speed reduction measures, and the feasibility of installing barriers or other means of protection and/or separation of pedestrians from vehicles.

While San Marcos works to evaluate these innovative opportunities, plans are already underway to install additional signage that will benefit both motorists and pedestrians. The new signs will use chevron-style arrows and raised pavement markers to alert motorist that a curve is ahead.

By partnering with the community and school district to educate parents, students and drivers along with enhanced engineering and enforcement, the city will continue working to ensure feedback provided about traffic safety issues in the area will be considered in the adoption of any new recommended solutions.

To learn more about traffic management in the city, visit www.san-marcos.net/TrafficManagement or contact the city’s traffic engineering division at (760) 744-1050. Residents can also receive email notifications about upcoming traffic alerts, city news and other programs by signing up at www.san-marcos.net/alert.

Next big holiday is Fourth of July…Help Support

Next big holiday is Fourth of July. We could sure use your help with a donation in any amount! https://www.gofundme.com/SM2018Fireworks

The City of San Marcos is home to one of the most spirited Fourth of July celebrations in North County San Diego.

Wednesday, July 4th
Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos
Gates open: 6 pm Show begins: @9pm

The event features live music, kids’ activities and food, culminating with a spectacular fireworks celebration that is enjoyed at NO CHARGE to residents or their guests.

The fireworks show is entirely dependent on private donations.

All donors who contribute $30 + are listed in the event program distributed at Bradley Park during the event.

Donors contributing $250+ are listed in the program and newspaper ad when received by June 27, 2018. If you would like your company name listed please make the donation as your company or indicate how you’d like to be listed when you make your contribution.

Be sure to include your mailing address with your donation so we can mail you a small commemorative token of our appreciation!

San Marcos helps businesses secure more than $500K in tax credits

The savings will help create dozens of jobs in the city

The City of San Marcos helped two San Marcos businesses secure more than $500,000 in state income tax credits, allowing them to collectively create nearly 30 local jobs.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awarded a $446,700 California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) to x-ray machine company Creative Electron and a $100,000 CCTC to Quick Charge Power, which makes charging equipment for electrical vehicles.

These companies are exempt from paying state income taxes in the amount awarded—an incentive to help them grow their operations with its savings, Creative Electron will hire 22 employees over the next four years and Quick Charge Power plans to hire another seven.

“The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis.

Last year, the City helped secure $850,000 in CCTC awards for two other San Marcos companies, which are in the process of adding another 50 jobs. This means that in the past two years, the City has helped secure nearly $1.4M for local businesses, which in turn is creating 79 local jobs.

“I think this underscores the fact that San Marcos is a community worth investing in—even when considered at a regional or state level,” said San Marcos Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “We contribute a $7.9 billion annual GDP to the regional economy, largely thanks to leading companies like Creative Electron and Quick Charge Power.”

And with these CCTC awards in place, San Marcos is poised to have an even greater impact on the regional economy, according to local experts at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC).

“This is a win for all of North County,” said Jennifer Schoeneck, Economic Development Manager for San Diego Regional EDC. She tracks the economy along Interstate 78 that snakes through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, commonly known as the ‘78 Corridor.’ “The two San Marcos companies that won tax credits will be hiring more employees, which creates a positive economic impact not only for the city, but also elevates the entire 78 Corridor.”

With only 63 companies making the list during this most recent round, earning a CCTC is highly competitive—and in fact, San Marcos was the only North County city on the list. Both companies largely credit their success to guidance from City staff and the San Diego Regional EDC.

“They helped guarantee a smooth application process and were always available for questions,” said Bill Cardoso, CEO of Creative Electron. “I am thankful for that assistance because this is an excellent opportunity to continue growing here in San Marcos.”

“In all my interactions, staff has been very efficient, professional and helpful,” said Quick Charge CEO and Founder Tony Williams. “They’ve made it clear they are here to engage and support businesses. They get an A plus in my book.”

“When we foster a thriving local economy, our entire community benefits,” Sangster added. “It drives the high quality of life we all enjoy here in San Marcos.”

And for any other business owners who may be eyeing a CCTC, Williams says go for it.

“Don’t let the size of your business keep you from applying. If you’re growing, then you should do it. Especially considering that city staff is there to help you through the process.”

Sangster encourages business owners to reach out for more information—especially because there will be more CCTC awards available later this year, pending an approved state budget.

“Economic development is a relatively new priority for us, so business owners may not realize this is a service we can provide—but we are trying to get the word out,” she explained. “There are many resources out there for business owners, and we are eager to help them discover those.”

If you would like more information about the CCTC program or the City’s economic development division, please contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

Rip Current Brewing Racks-Up Awards at Two International Beer Competitions

Rip Current Brewing Racks-Up Awards at Two International Beer Competitions

The brewery’s German-style bock beer was recognized on the global stage

Rip Current Brewing (Rip Current) recently won several awards during the World Beer Cup and the San Diego International Beer Festival and for its German-style bock and pilsner beers.

Rip Current’s Breakline Bock won a bronze medal May 3 at the World Beer Cup, a prestigious competition with more than 8,000 entries from 2,515 breweries. Breakline Bock is a German-style dark lager featuring a rich, dark malt flavor—yet, it finishes semi-dry, so it can be consumed by the liter-glass at festivals. This style is one of the most difficult to brew, making it especially significant to achieve a world-class example.

Winning entries were blindly judged by a panel of beer experts from 33 countries. Because the competition was worldwide, this means judges considered Breakline Bock to be among the best in the world.

“We are excited to announce our victory in the renowned World Beer Cup, which is our first, but are confident will not be our last,” said Rip Current Co-founder and Brewmaster Paul Sangster, adding that the brewery was one of only six Independent breweries in San Diego County to earn a medal. “We are proud and humbled to have won a medal in this fiercely competitive category—especially considering how many quality German-style bock beers were entered, including many from Germany.”

Just a couple days earlier, Rip Current’s Breakline Bock also won a silver award at the San Diego International Beer Festival—which included over 1,500 entries from 260 breweries.

During that competition, Rip Current also claimed a gold award for its Delaminator Doppelbock, a doppel (double) sized, higher alcohol-by-volume (ABV) beer that is a more dark-malt-forward version of a traditional bock. Lastly, Rip Current won another silver award for its Choppy Surf Czech-style Pilsner, a bohemian pilsner lager with a complex graham cracker-like backbone supporting an herbal hop aroma and flavor.

 

This is the third year in a row that Rip Current has amassed one of the highest medal counts of any brewery at the San Diego International Beer Festival.

“This year we had another very strong showing at the San Diego International Beer Festival, which really speaks to the fact that our team at Rip Current is continuing to make world class beers of many diverse styles,” said Sangster of the brewery, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary. “We invite everyone to help us celebrate at one of our tasting rooms with some of our award-winning beers.”

All of Rip Current’s award-winning beers are available this week at their tasting room in San Marcos at 1325 Grand Avenue, suite #100, and in North Park at 4101 30th Street.

More about Rip Current

Born from the dream of two homebrewing craft beer-lovers, Rip Current launched in December 2012. It is proud to be an independently owned, operated, and self-distributed craft beer manufacturer that is emerging as a local industry leader.

Rip Current was named Very Small Brewing Company and Brewer of the Year at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival. It has won many awards at the most prestigious regional, national and international beer competitions.

For more information about Rip Current, please visit http://ripcurrentbrewing.com/

Bike to Work Day in San Marcos

The City of San Marcos and Bike Vault are teaming up to host a Bike to Work Day pit stop on Thursday, May 17 from 6 to 9 am at the San Marcos Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Drive.

Join thousands of people throughout the San Diego region as we GO by BIKE on Bike to Work Day. With thousands of miles of bikeways in the region, biking gets you where you need to go.

With more than 100 pit stop locations throughout San Diego County, all riders are encouraged to register for Bike to Work Day to receive a FREE t-shirt* and snacks. Riders who visit the San Marcos pit stop location will be entered in a raffle and have a photo opportunity. *You must register online to be eligible for a free t-shirt.

To get prepared for Bike to Work Day,  resources are available on the iCommute website, including the San Diego Regional Bike Map, riding, and safety tips, bike lockers, and information about taking your bike on transit.

For more information on Bike to Work Day 2018, visit the Bike Month web page, call 511 and say “iCommute,” or email iCommute@sandag.org. Make sure to follow @iCommuteSD on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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Editor note-San Elijo Hills IS cycling. On a given day you can see USA National Team Junior Cyclists riding through town or 1976 Olympian John Howard riding our amazing roads trails and hills. Give them a wide pass and smile. #sanelijothankful

San Marcos joins regional fire agencies in regional Wildland Fire Preparedness Drill

The San Marcos Fire Department joined numerous fire agencies across the region, in coordination with the Pala Band of Mission Indians, in an annual San Diego County Wildland Fire Preparedness Exercise that took place from Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27. Numerous emergency service agencies from throughout San Diego County will come together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

SMFD participates in San Diego County
 Wildland Fire Drill
 The San Marcos Fire Department’s mobile emergency operation center served as a command center during the regional drill.
Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill
 Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill.

“This exercise provides a unique opportunity for the region’s fire resources to come together and train as one team,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

Regional firefighting forces joined together for training on inclusive of emergency communications, firefighter survival, structure defense, and hose deployments under simulated emergency conditions.

The area’s firefighting aircraft also participated in this three day training event. These water- dropping aircraft joined ground forces in coordinated fire attacks under simulated fire conditions.

“Fire season is year round and this drill helps us improve regional fire response and identify opportunities to improve,” VanWey said.

With approximately 750 firefighters participating in the training exercises over three days, this training event is a key element in maintaining firefighter preparedness as the region moves into the hot, dry summer months that bring the traditional fire season.

For the ninth year in a row, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has provided funding for the event. The utility company is again sending line crews and utility equipment to participate in one of the training scenarios to educate first-responders on what to do if they come across downed power lines while battling a wildland fire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” continued VanWey. “Residents are also an important part of keeping the community safe, especially during a disaster.”

Now is the time to review family emergency plans, prepare a supply kit, and inventory home items such as important documents and medications so that you would want to take with you so you are ready to go if told to do so by a public safety official.

Homeowners are asked to create and maintain at least 150 feet of defensible space – but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day.

Residents should register all cell phones with AlertSanDiego to receive emergency notifications. This is especially important if landlines are no longer in the home. Residents can also download the SDEmergency App.

During an emergency, residents should stay updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website; following the city on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with the handle @sanmarcoscity; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or visit ReadySanDiego.org. For red flag warning updates or to learn how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk, visit CALFIRE’s website.

Referendum to halt housing development fails – The Coast News Group

A petition drive failed to gather enough signatures to force City Council to overturn its approval of a 220-home development.The group Friends of Discovery needed to collect 4,017 registered voters’ signatures to force a referendum on the project by Brookfield Residential Properties, which would re-zone about 23 acres near the southwest corner of Twin Oaks Valley Road and Village Drive — just south of Cal State San Marcos — from commercial to residential to pave the way for the new homes.Friends of Discovery had more than 66 volunteers circulating petitions. A group spokeswoman said the group isn’t opposed to growth, they just want it to be well planned.They submitted 4,880 signatures, but the Registrar of Voters invalidated 1,006 of them, leaving the group with 3,874 valid signatures, short of the number needed to force a referendum.Groups only have 30 days after projects are approved to contest them, so the failure of the signature drive means the Brookfield project can move forward, city officials said.

READ MORE VIA Source: Referendum to halt housing development fails – The Coast News Group

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