Category Archives: City of San Marcos

San Marcos wins state award for helping businesses expand

The California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) recently honored the City of San Marcos with an Award of Excellence—its highest prize—for helping local businesses grow over the past two years.

San Marcos has helped four San Marcos companies secure nearly $1.4 million in state income tax credits since 2017, allowing them to collectively create 79 local jobs.

“We’re proud to have helped these businesses connect with the resources they need to grow in San Marcos,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “These companies will undoubtedly boost our local economy, which is a really big win for our whole community.”

CalEd awards San Marcos for economic development effortsThe Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awards these credits, which are applied to reduce a company’s state income taxes. Those savings are then invested back into the company.

Winning these credits is highly competitive, so city staff guided business owners each step of the way. This included calling on the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC) for added expertise in the area.

“Helping these business owners put their best foot forward was a team effort,” Sangster said, pointing out that the City appropriately won the award in the Economic Development Collaboration category. “By bringing San Diego Regional EDC to the table, we were ultimately able to win against stiff competition.”

In fact, only 63 companies across the state were awarded tax credits in the last round—and San Marcos was the only city in northern San Diego County to make the list.

To date, the City has helped: Wholesale Shade earn a $500,000 tax credit that will create 26 jobs; Cliniqa earn a $350,000 tax credit that will create 24 jobs; Creative Electron earn a $446,700 tax credit will create 22 jobs; and Quick Charge Power earn a $100,000 tax credit that will create seven jobs.

These companies are all are part of San Marcos’ booming manufacturing industry, the City’s second-largest economic sector. Data recently compiled by the San Diego Regional EDC shows that manufacturing accounts for nearly 7 percent of local gross domestic product (GDP), or about $550 million annually. It also provides 11 percent of local employment, which is about 4,300 jobs.

Sangster—who formally accepted the award on Thursday, March 28 during CALED’s annual conference in Anaheim—said she hopes to help even more businesses apply for tax credits.

“The City is eager to support its business community, and this is one of the many ways we’re happy to continue doing that,” she said.

For more information about CALED, please visit caled.org. For more information about the City’s economic development division, visit www.san-marcos.net/openforbusiness or contact Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

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“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.

San Marcos City Council to interview 24 finalists on Jan. 15 for vacant seat

The city has until Feb. 9 to appoint a new council member or call for a special election

On Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 6 pm, the City of San Marcos will hold a special public meeting at City Hall, 1 Civic Center Drive, to interview 24 candidates to fill a vacant seat. The vacancy was created after Council Member Rebecca Jones was elected Mayor during the November 2018 election.

The term of the vacant, at-large council seat is from the date of appointment to December 2020.

The qualified applicants must be at least 18 years of age, reside within the San Marcos city limits and be registered to vote in the City of San Marcos at the time the application is received.

Each candidate will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions from the council. At the end of the interview process, the council will discuss the candidates’ qualifications and make a decision.

Should the council be unable to make a decision, the discussion will continue to the regularly scheduled public meeting on Tuesday, Jan.  22. The city has until Saturday, Feb. 9 to appoint a new council member or call for a special election.

If the council selects a candidate for an appointment Tuesday, the new council member will be sworn in during that meeting.

San Marcos City Council meetings are aired live and will be rebroadcast on San Marcos TV on Cox Communications Channel 19, Time Warner Cable Channel 24, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 or on demand at www.san-marcos.net/councilmeeting.

San Marcos starts new era with swearing-in ceremony – The Coast News Group

The City Council must now determine how it will fill the two-year vacancy created with Jones’ election to the mayor’s seat. Since she was elected at large in 2016, the council can select her replacement from anywhere in the city. They will determine whether to appoint or call a special election for her replacement at the next council meeting.

Source: San Marcos starts new era with swearing-in ceremony – The Coast News Group

Vegetation clearing to begin in the San Marcos Creek are to pave way for future construction

Vegetation clearing to begin in the San Marcos Creek are to pave way for future construction

The City of San Marcos will be clearing areas around the San Marcos Creek south of San Marcos Boulevard from the end of December 2018 through February 2019 in preparation for the upcoming construction of the San Marcos Creek District Bridge Project.

The City of San Marcos will be clearing areas around the San Marcos Creek south of San Marcos Boulevard this month in preparation for the upcoming construction of the San Marcos Creek Bridge Project. The vegetation removal will take place from the end of December through February from 7 am to 4 pm on weekdays. Location of this work is from San Marcos Boulevard south to Discovery Street and State Route 78 (SR 78) west to Discovery Street near San Marcos Lake.

No lane, sidewalk or driveway closures are anticipated for this work, but motorists are urged to use caution when driving through the work zone and be aware of trucks entering and exiting. Residents and businesses in the area may experience noise from mowers and chainsaws during work hours. The City is making every effort to minimize environmental impacts in the area by using hand tools to clear vegetation without disturbing the ground.

Although construction of the bridges is expected to begin in Fall 2019, the clearing and grubbing are taking place in advance of the spring bird nesting season, which will also help prevent potential construction delays. The contractor will begin mobilizing equipment in the days leading up to the start of work.

Construction on two new bridges expected to begin fall 2019

Expected to break ground in fall 2019, the San Marcos Creek District Bridge Project will add the needed infrastructure to relieve long-standing flooding issues and improve traffic circulation while also revitalizing and conserving the San Marcos Creek.

The project will include two new bridges that span Bent Avenue and Via Vera Cruz, a promenade trail connecting the two bridges, as well as bike, pedestrian and signal improvements on Discovery Avenue at Bent Avenue and Via Vera Cruz. Funding includes federal, state and local sources and the city is expected to advertise for construction in spring 2019.

To learn more about the San Marcos Creek Bridge Project, visit www.san-marcos.net/creekbridges or call the City of San Marcos at (760) 744-1050.

San Marcos, CA: California fires and red flag warnings remind us to be prepared

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for San Marcos and San Diego County through Wednesday, Nov. 14. Red flag warnings are designed to alert fire departments of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity.

According to CALFIRE, the type of weather patterns forecasted for the area include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or any combination of the above.

During heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE and San Marcos Fire Department will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires.

“Wildfires burning in Ventura, Los Angeles and Butte counties are a clear reminder that we are in a dangerous fire season, and that one could flare up any moment, especially with the forecasted Santa Ana winds heading to San Diego County,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

To prepare, San Marcos Fire Department and the County of San Diego are recommending residents take a “Ready, Set, Go!” approach for peak fire season.

Homeowners are asked to get “ready” by creating or maintaining at least one hundred and fifty 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 can also get “ready” by making an emergency plan, gathering emergency supplies and making sure smoke detectors are in working condition.

If a fire breaks out, San Marcos residents can get “set” to evacuate by staying updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website, following San Marcos @sanmarcoscity on FacebookTwitter and Instagram; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

Finally, if told to do so by a public safety official or you feel unsafe, be ready to “go” by taking the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

“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,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

It is important that residents stay connected before, during and after emergencies.

In addition to city information channels, residents can register cell phones with San Diego County’s free AlertSanDiego notification system by visiting www.readysandiego.org to sign up. Once registered, residents will receive calls or texts with local emergency information.

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.

Unofficial Election Night Final Results for City of San Marcos Election

 

City of San Marcos Election Results are in. Rebecca Jones elected Mayor and Randy Walton elected to District 2 City Council Seat.

County of San Diego
Date:11/07/18
Time:10:47:27
Gubernatorial General Election
November 6, 2018
Unofficial Election Night Final
(Outstanding Ballots to be Processed: 490,000)

2018 San Marcos Campaign Statements

2018 San Marcos Election Campaign Statements
Residents of San Marcos can study and read about campaign donations from individuals and PACs in past and current elections and 2020 election.

San Elijo Life email Interview with Rebecca Jones Candidate for Mayor of San Marcos

Here is an email interview with Rebecca Jones who is running for Mayor of San Marcos. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council in District 2 and Mayor to answer the same set of email question.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you? 

I first moved to San Marcos in 1987, I’ve raised my kids in San Marcos, I’m so blessed to call this my home. I was a community activist prior to joining the council in January of 2007. I didn’t agree with the city council at the time over a few land use decisions that I felt would have changed the character of the community. I was encouraged by two councilmembers at that time, one Democrat and one Republican, that my love for the city would make me a great leader. They both still encourage me today. 

I’m running for Mayor because I love this city! I will work diligently to provide traffic solutions, Community safety, and thoughtful growth. I regularly serve in many capacities as a volunteer. I recently had a San Elijo resident tell me that he is supporting me because “I’m the People’s Mayor”, I roll up my sleeves regularly because I care and serve. I feel strongly that as a leader you should lead by example. I feel it is especially important to teach our kids to serve others and give back to their community. My philosophy is don’t just say what you want to do, actually do it.  I want our children to grow and come back to our city.  In order for our city to have longevity I believe that Traffic solutions, safety, education, and thoughtful growth with affordable housing are imperative.

I have served the youth of the community, for over 15 years, through the Boys & Girls Club and am a current Advisory Board Member. I am also a member of the San Marcos Promise Board. I am supportive of the San Diego County Sheriff Department’s RESPECT Program, a gang intervention program for “at risk” youth. Before joining the San Marcos City Council, I petitioned the City to provide Megan’s Law information to residents (prior to this info being available to the public online) and worked to develop an ordinance to strengthen Jessica’s Law.  When dangerous synthetic drugs were emerging, I was the councilmember that created, with city staff, an ordinance that prohibited these drugs.  Along with that effort, I pushed for tougher enforcement of the laws, preventing the sale of smoking materials to minors.  I crafted an ordinance to stop these sales and in 2016 was awarded the Excellence in Prevention Advocacy Award by the Red Ribbon Commission. These are some of the reasons that the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association have endorsed me to be the next Mayor of San Marcos. 

Our San Marcos Firefighters are top notch, I am very supportive of their efforts, making sure they are provided with the best training and equipment available.   Under my leadership we have built the San Elijo Hills Fire Station, invested in several new firetrucks and ambulances, and enacted “boundary drop”. This is a collaborative effort with surrounding districts that ensures the best service using the closest emergency vehicles and personnel to respond to any emergency. This is important to San Elijo since Carlsbad has a station just outside the entrance to San Elijo Hills.  The “boundry drop” enables either station to respond to San Elijo emergencies, which is like having two stations in the community. I served on the North County Fire Dispatch Joint Powers Authority for 6 years including as chair. 

I have been an advocate for small businesses in San Marcos.  I routinely meet with small businesses to better understand the constraints they face when growing or opening a business in the city.  When the Bellows was having issues with red tape I stepped in to help bring about a resolution enabling them to open on time.   Our small businesses need community support to thrive, and when they thrive so does our city; that is why I will always work tirelessly to support local business. I worked with the development partners of the San Elijo Town Center to bring in small businesses and I believe it is important to frequent locally owned businesses. I’m excited to say that a supporter of mine will soon be opening Sourdough & Co. in the town center!  I enjoy meeting residents at locally owned coffee shops or restaurants to help support our small business community.  I am the only council member that has voted against the congestion management tax on new businesses that are moving into a location that previously had a business, or for businesses that are moving within our city limits.  

This allows new business to come to San Marcos and established businesses to stay here. I always have voted to require developers to pay this congestion tax for new development. 

Collaboration is key to success, which is why having the support of 2 of my colleagues for Mayor is so important. I also have the support of many Mayors countywide in order for us to receive State and Federal Dollars; San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond and our SANDAG representative must work collaboratively with others on boards like SANDAG to bring improvements to the 78.

How can the council/mayor help address cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

I have spent over a year working to find ways to ease traffic congestion. We cannot just build new lanes through San Elijo, there isn’t the room.  As surrounding communities continue to grow and workforce housing is pushed further north to Riverside, we will always continue to struggle with this challenge, it’s been an issue since I first moved here in the late 80’s. What I have learned is that while our technology is supposed to synchronize, it is antiquated technology and the newer technology is 3 steps above what we currently have. The latest technology is artificial intelligence (smart lights) and doesn’t require processing through normal sequences like traditional lights.  I’m so excited to see how these dynamic sequencing lights will work in San Elijo!  There are many studies and examples of this successful program locally and nationally. Carlsbad and Chula Vista have just voted to bring this technology citywide. This technology talks to each other across city boundaries. I am also working with Council Candidate for District 2 on a concept, called SMARTS, that will also bring traffic relief through school buses. This program will be partially funded by congestion management funds.  I recently met with current Mayoral candidate Brad Zink and put politics aside to discuss collaborative opportunities to get the SMARTS school bus program funded.

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills?

 I believe that all development must pay for its portion impacts – this includes schools, traffic mitigation, as well as park fees. Earlier this year I asked the council to pause the Creek District Specific Plan because the amount of housing seems too dense based on infrastructure needs and the loss of redevelopment. This pause is not a pause on the bridges at Via Vera Cruz and Bent or the widening of Discovery, those projects will move forward. This was a difficult decision for me personally, as I was on the last task force in 2005, and then approved the plan as a city councilmember. This project is also incorporated into our general plan and though it is not adjacent to San Elijo, it will bring more homes to our city. This general plan, that I mention, is a plan both my opponent and I approved in 2012, which includes nearly 11,000 more homes. 

The past 2017-18 legislative session the State has passed approximately 17 new bills that regulate housing and development, many of these bills bring penalties if we ignore State law to deny projects that comply with our 2012 general plan. The Housing Accountability Act (SB167, AB678 and AB1515) states that a city cannot deny a project or reduce the density of a project (for both affordable and market rate housing) if it complies with the general plan, without a preponderance of evidence. One of the criteria it must meet to be denied is an adverse impact on health/safety. In essence, the State wants housing built and if we attempt to ignore state law we will be taken to court with litigation fees and fined $10,000+ per unit just to be forced to approve the project anyway. 

I’m transparent, I will follow the law and not incur unnecessary fees and litigation costs only to ultimately be forced to approve a project.  I am working hard to balance the wishes of our residents and these mandated state laws.   I have the courage to stand up to developers to pay for extra infrastructure.  I have been and will continue to be transparent about our General Plan and Laws that affect local control.

How can you work with San Marcos Unified School District to solve school crowding?

I have met monthly with one school board member for the past year discussing strategies of how to better work together. I will no longer dwell on past shortcomings with further finger pointing, I want to move forward together with solutions collaboratively. San Marcos Unified has done an excellent job of educating our children, this is a fact. When the city council and school board met in 2017, SMUSD told us they needed 12 new schools, which seemed excessive (they now are telling us they will need 3).  It became obvious the school district needed assistance, so I immediately contacted real estate agents, community members and former City Manager Rick Gittings to work on locating new school sites or current sites that could be built quickly. This group worked together and provided the district with a list of over a dozen sites district wide in 2017. To date the city has sold one piece of land, on Twin Oaks Valley, for a school.  I know that under my leadership we will be able to work more closely with the district and experts in the field to come up with more solutions. The BIA is currently suing the District over what they deem excessive fees and in September I wrote a letter to the BIA asking them to give the district an extension of the time required, in the suit, to continue negotiations with SMUSD in an effort to find a resolution on school fees (they agreed). My understanding is that there is a disconnect in information sharing, and believe that collaborative efforts will bring resolution.  I am a leader who works with others to accomplish what we all want- a great place to call home, educate our children, and create a life that is exceptional.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos-(events, parks, trails)?

I brought forward the county initiative to support us becoming a Live Well San Diego city.  Live Well San Diego is the County of San Diego’s vision for a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving. It aligns the efforts of individuals, organizations and government to help all 3.3 million San Diego County residents live well. I take this to heart in every decision, since joining the council we have built or rebuilt 12 parks and have grown our trail network to over 60 miles. I am working with partners on several entertainment ideas that I believe will significantly improve our quality of life. This is one of the areas that I see we can collaborate with San Marcos Unified, CSUSM, and Palomar College to bring music entertainment to the community. I love hearing ideas from our community on how San Marcos can be improved and figuring out how to turn these ideas into action. When a member of the community came to me with the idea about the National Fitness Campaign Fitness Court I was thrilled to see how many residents from San Elijo Hills could use this and what an asset it would be. I love being healthy and this fits right into my Live Well San Diego initiative. I can’t wait to see this actually built. I’d like to see this same concept built throughout the city with San Elijo leading the way. 

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

My top focus is the quality of life for our community. This will require traffic solutions that will include implementing my SMARTs program and the dynamic sequencing lights.  I’m a leader that does my homework, coupled with the tenacity to follow through with implementation.  I’m excited to bring this technology to San Marcos and specifically San Elijo Hills to improve our quality of life.   

I will continue to make sure we are safe and remain the safest city in North San Diego County. I’ve served on the board and as Chair of the SANDAG Public Safety Committee. This experience along with my support of the RESPECT project, and my Prevention Policies are some of the reasons why the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association supports me as the next Mayor of San Marcos. When our Captain approached us in June asking the council to approve another school resource officer I quickly agreed because the safety of our kids is a priority. I’m proud to have always supported the city’s funding the SRO program, when the district unable.  I will always support this program at the level that our expert, the Sheriff’s Captain, asks us to because our kids should feel safe at school. I will continue supporting our Fire Department and the Boundary Drop program which translates into a higher level of service for San Elijo Hills. 

 I will continue working to bring entertainment venues to San Marcos and will focus on the Rancho Tesoro Park because I know the field space for our kids is limited. My daughter played soccer for many years in San Elijo so I know first-hand how many of our youth depend on sports to keep them healthy and fit and how limited our field space is with such incredible participation. I also want to make sure the National Fitness Campaign Fitness Court is built. I will work hard to make sure we continue to provide park space so we can keep our nickname “San Parkos”.

As Mayor, I will continue to have transparent discussions and will continue to bring solutions to the table that include implementation of plans. I have the experience and support of other local elected officials to secure funding for regional improvements like the 78. This election is our first district election with district’s One and Two being voted on this year and Three and Four in 2020.   The role of Mayor is vital in bringing district representatives and community members to the table to make decisions that benefit the entire city. For any one member of the council to get their agenda passed, it takes collaboration and support from other members of the city council. I have the experience and record of doing just this, I have two members of the council and many city commissioners supporting me because they believe in my leadership and know that I care about our community.  I am always ready to serve.  I’m accessible and have always included my personal contact information on my campaign materials. I’m grateful for your vote and I am looking forward to serving you for the next 4 years as your Mayor.

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Editors Note: We have invited all 2018 District 2 – City of San Marcos City Council and Mayor Candidates to answer the same questions. Please search our site to read interviews.

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