Category Archives: City of San Marcos

San Elijo Life Email Interview with Eric Flodine Candidate for San Marcos City Council District 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Community. Education. Experience.

Community

I am a San Elijo Hills resident.  My family has lived in SEH for nearly 12 years.  My wife began her teaching career at SEES.  My children both attended SEES K-5, and now I have an 8th grader at SEMS and an 11th grader at SMHS.  We have donated our time and resources to the SEES PTO, SEES Country Fair, Hops in The Hills, SEMS PTO, Double Peak Challenge, local HOA board, and more.  We shop here, we eat here, we hike the trails here, even our dentist is here.  My father moved to SEH a couple years ago.  That means there are 3 generations of my family that live in SEH.  We love being residents of SEH and San Marcos and feel truly blessed at the friends and neighbors we have made over the years.  So, we understand firsthand the perspectives that our neighbors have.  

Education 

Education is very important in our home.  I earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly SLO and Master of City Planning from Cal Poly Pomona.  I earned a Leadership Certificate from CSU San Marcos.  My wife is an amazing elementary teacher in San Marcos with a Master’s Degree and a bilingual teaching credential.

Experience

For my civic experience, I have served on the City’s Planning Commission for 7 years, including 4 years as Chairman.  Prior to that I served 2 years on the City’s General Plan Advisory Committee.  So, for 9 consecutive years I have served the City, and have a solid understanding of our City’s process.  My professional experience includes over 21 years as a Community Planner.  Planning for the future of communities is what I do every day.  I understand the levers to push and pull to achieve desired results.  I look forward to engaging with local residents and businesses at the beginning of a project application, not at the end.  As a Planner, I am PROACTIVE, and this is what the City Council needs in discussions on future decisions.  

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

As a 12 year resident of SEH, I have lived here since before San Elijo Road / Twin Oaks Valley Road connected towards Highway 78.  This connection was important for access to the rest of San Marcos, and for fire evacuation, but it also opened up the heart of our community to pass through traffic looking for a “short cut” from the constant logjam of Highway 78.  The majority of our constant traffic issues are from cut through trips.  To reduce this, we must pressure Caltrans and the regional agency (SANDAG) to complete the improvements of Highway 78 from Hwy 15 to Hwy 5.  This will happen with collaboration with the adjacent cities, and with state influence by our state elected officials.  I have the experience to push this through.

Every city has traffic jams around school zones during morning and afternoon times.  We need to ensure safe routes to school to promote more students walking/biking/scootering to school.  One idea I have heard from residents is to coordinate with the Senior Volunteer Program of the Sheriff’s Department to be present at intervals/crossroads along major routes to provide safety for the kids.  I know I would feel more comfortable allowing my SEMS student to walk if there were going to be friendly officers along the way.  Another idea that was shared with me has been through coordinated vanpools and/or neighborhood carpool sign ups.  (I personally take 2-3 kids to SEMS every day).  Busing should also be reconsidered in partnersjip with the School District.  [I would love to hear other suggestions that we can analyze together.]

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

There are not many vacant private properties remaining around SEH for future projects.  I will be sure that future housing and commercial developments around SEH must provide public benefits for the existing community.  We have a wonderful community that future residents will utilize the amenities of, so in return, a future community must also provide benefits to existing residents and businesses.  This will expand the amenities for the entire region, which is a positive for our community image and quality of life.

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

This topic is one of the main reasons I am running for City Council now.  I heard loud and clear the frustrations from parents on school crowding (remember I have been a parent of SEES, SEMS, SMHS kids for over 11 years).  The coordination between the School District and the City must be PROACTIVE; unfortunately, this has not been the case.  There has been so much finger pointing over the last couple years (which really heated up during this campaign season).  With my education and local experience, I can tell you the reality of the situation.  The School District has had the information needed to project student generation throughout the City, and with this information could estimate the number of new schools, expanded schools, or portables needed to accommodate the City’s growing student population. Cities around San Marcos have shrinking student populations; we have a growing student population.  The City General Plan estimates the amount of future homes and businesses throughout the City.  The School District can use this information for its school needs assessment.  The student population grew noticeably before the approval of recent projects that have become campaign fodder.  This means the student increases have largely come from existing homes (i.e. growing families).  However, fully understanding that General Plan Amendments are sometimes proposed, and that this impacts school planning, I do have a recommendation for the City Council to consider, and will champion this if elected.  If an applicant proposes an increase in the number of homes currently allowed by the General Plan, or proposes a change from non-residential (i.e. commercial, office, etc.) to residential, then that project must pay 100% of the required school fees before 50% of the homes are built.  This would result in the school district receiving millions of dollars in advance of the homes being built, and the new students attending the local schools.  The school district should then use these funds to provide new schools or expanded schools as they determine best.

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

As I mentioned earlier, my family has donated our time and resources to the SEES PTO, SEES Country Fair, Hops in The Hills, Double Peak Challenge, local HOA board, and more.  We shop here, we eat here, we hike the trails here.  I am also a member of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and San Marcos Promise.  Being involved in our community, our City quality of life is important to me.  I will continue to be involved, and will collaborate with, and support the City Park and Recreation Department, Friends of San Marcos Park and Recreation, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, School events, and the other local organizations that put on these amazing community events.  These create a strong community where neighbors care for neighbors and shop locally supporting local businesses.

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

  1. Traffic Reduction.  This includes: 
    1. Collaborate with Regional Transportation and Transit Agencies for Traffic Congestion Reductions;  b) Ensure New Developments Reduce Traffic Impacts on Adjacent Neighborhoods; c) Increase Bikeways and Pedestrian Routes Connectivity and Safety throughout the City
    1. Youth Enrichment.  This includes:
      1. Proactively Collaborate with SMUSD, Palomar College, CSUSM and Private Universities on Future Growth; b) Ensure Safe Routes to School for Students and Parents; c) Support Youth-Focused Organizations throughout the City
    1. San Marcos Advanced Fire Evacuation Systems (SAFES). 

When our neighborhood evacuated in 2007 and 2014 due to oncoming wildfires, this was a scary experience for my children and your families also if you lived here then. The brave men and women of the fire department and sheriff department, saved our communities from danger. We are eternally grateful for these heroes.   Unfortunately, what thousands of concerned neighbors experienced was extreme chaos when it was time to jump in cars and evacuate our homes. These personal experiences drove me to want to work with our public safety and city staff to significantly improve evacuation systems and procedures for when the next large fire occurs. This is why evacuation planning is part of my C.I.T.Y. platform.  When elected to City Council, I will advocate for San Marcos Advanced Fire Evacuation Systems (SAFES). In short, the people of San Marcos should be clear about evacuation routes in advance of the firestorm. SAFES would include maps, defined routes, road closure info, custom app, and more, all understood before the need is there. Additional routes are also needed in specific areas of the City, and I will focus on this also.   Speaking with public safety officials and city staff, I believe there is a way to plan better for a coordinated effort on evacuations, and communicate effectively with our City residents. We are fortunate to have trained experts among us that I will work with and be sure they have the resources to implement the SAFES program.   I look forward to coordinating with City residents, City Staff, Sheriff Department and Fire Department to continue to make San Marcos a safe place to live.

Thank you for taking the time to read these brief responses to complex questions.  Please visit my website for my personal contact information www.Flodine2018.us  if you would like to discuss anything further.

Let’s work together proactively for the bright future of San Marcos.

Please VOTE for ERIC FLODINE for SAN MARCOS CITY COUNCIL.

San Elijo Life email Interview with Randy Walton Candidate for San Marcos City Council District 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

I have a proven track record and have been deeply engaged in issues that impact residents of San Elijo Hills for almost 15 years, and lived in the community for nine of those years.

For the last decade, I have been a member of the governing board of San Marcos Unified School District and have helped steer that district through a period of recession and dramatic growth. When I first ran in 2008, my stated reason for running was to rebuild or modernize San Marcos High School, which was in desperate need of upgrade. Once elected, I pushed hard for a bond (Prop K), and then helped lead the campaign. I was deeply involved in the planning and construction and take great pride in what we accomplished in a short period of time. 

In my time on the board, academic scores have skyrocketed, we have built, rebuilt, or modernized five schools in total (including Double Peak), and we converted nearly every campus to solar power. In addition, 11 schools have been named California Distinguished Schools, two schools became California Gold Ribbon Schools, and SMUSD is now considered one of the finest school districts in the region, which was not the case when San Elijo Hills was being built in the early 2000s.

In addition to my time on the school board, I have been an advocate for our ridgelines and trails, and helped draft the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, a local law that seeks to protect our ridgelines from destruction by development.

Longtime San Elijo residents might remember when the San Marcos City Council approved a 120,000 square foot Wal Mart in 2004 at the intersection of Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Melrose. A few of us San Elijo Hills residents (with some help from some other impacted neighborhoods) took up the fight to overturn the city council’s decision. It took a year of battle (I was sued by Wal Mart in the process), but ultimately the voters were allowed to decide the issue and resoundingly rejected the store. Looking back, I can’t imagine what Rancho Santa Fe and Melrose would be like if there was a huge Wal Mart there.

I have also been involved in other projects that I think have improved the lives of San Elijo Hills residents, or at least the children. I am a founder of the San Marcos Promise, which helps SMUSD students find their post-high school path, and for years was very involved in San Marcos Youth Baseball as board member and coach. Today, I am the coach of the surf team at San Marcos High.

San Elijo Hills has grown to be a really beautiful community, and I wish Curt Noland, who oversaw its early development, was alive to see what it has become. 

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

Traffic is a regional problem that requires a regional solution. As the “hub” of North County, San Marcos has thousands of cars pass through it every day to get somewhere else, and like pretty much everywhere else in California, the infrastructure in North County (and specifically San Marcos), to handle automobiles is way behind the growth of housing and business. 

There is obviously no easy answer to the question of cut through traffic through San Elijo Hills. The location of CSUSM and the lack of north-south roadway alternatives will always entice drivers to use San Elijo Rd. and Twin Oaks Valley Rd., and some of the cut through traffic is beneficial to the businesses in the Town Center.  

But the city shouldn’t be powerless to address it.  As a city, we should make our voice heard on projects that are likely to increase traffic through our city and through San Elijo Hills. In the last two years, approximately 3,000 homes have been approved or built in San Marcos and the surrounding sphere of influence and only Chris Orlando has pushed back on these projects due to the negative impacts they will likely have on traffic and our general quality of life. 

As for school traffic, it is an issue we have studied in the district, and an issue that is raised at schools across the district. The reimplementation of home-school transportation is something the district would love to do, but currently doesn’t have the funding.  To reinstate home-school transportation district-wide, it is estimated that the startup costs would be approximately $8.2 million, with an annual cost of about $4.5 million. It requires about 20 additional buses and 45 routes and would require an adjustment of school start times. If public funds are going to be used for busing, the law would likely require that it be provided district-wide, not just for certain schools. If there is a private pay option, which could help defray some of the ongoing costs, the law requires subsidies for low income families. School busing transportation is highly regulated by the state, and costly, and something the school district simply can’t afford to do for the foreseeable future. 

Could the city do it on its own? Possibly. But it would require the political will and citywide support and a realistic revenue stream. It is certainly worth exploring, but ultimately school busing is all about the funding, and any candidate who promises the return of school busing (during a political campaign) without a concrete funding source is playing politics and not advancing realistic policies. 

While school busing would help with traffic at certain times of the day, most of the traffic burden in San Elijo is caused by regional growth without the supportive infrastructure. Any future reductions in traffic will be the result of infrastructure improvements, which must be demanded, technological advances, and controlling the pace of growth. 

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

The population of San Marcos has nearly doubled to 100,000 in less than 20 years, and the conventional belief is that San Marcos will outpace all North County cities in growth for the foreseeable future.  When you consider traffic and school capacity problems today, and the houses approved but not yet built, there is a real cause for concern. 

I think it’s time to pump the brakes on the large tract housing., which is something the developer community doesn’t like to hear. That is probably why it has invested $27,000.00 into an independent expenditure negative campaign against me (and why it so strongly supports my opponents). 

As a city, we need to be smarter about how we grow.  In 2010, the city was asked by regional housing authorities (like all cities are asked) to produce housing for people at various income levels. For people of upper incomes, the city was asked to build 1613 larger, detached home by the end of the decade. How many has the city approved or constructed? 3189. It has built 200% of what it was asked, and this doesn’t include the Newland Sierra project at the north end of Twin Oaks Valley that was just approved for 2,135 homes (a majority of which will be built within the San Marcos Unified School District boundary).  In the same request, the city was asked to build 734 homes for people of moderate incomes. How many have we approved or built? 63. Less than 10%. There is no question that we have grown in an unbalanced way and have been over-producing the very housing that is more likely to crowd our roads, carve into our hillsides, and fill our schools.

If elected, I will likely be supportive of housing projects that advance smart growth principles. That is, housing that is transit-oriented and closer to the city’s core along the 78, designed for walkability, with smaller units that are more likely to be affordable for young professionals, college students, and families starting out. The North City project around the college is an excellent example of that.

Will San Marcos continue to grow? Yes, but we need to take the long view. The city’s current general plan states the total number of housing units when San Marcos will be at “build out,” and I don’t think we need to rush to get there. We certainly shouldn’t sacrifice our quality of life in the name of growth.

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

In the last 15 years, San Marcos Unified School District has built five new schools, and rebuilt or modernized five others, dramatically increasing the district’s capacity.  Considering how difficult it is to fund school construction, this is a remarkable achievement. Yet it is still not enough to keep up with the growth.

As a current school board member, I am deeply familiar with school capacity issues, the school construction process, and the complexities involved. On the city council, I would be uniquely qualified to engage in the issues and am ready to make that happen. Simply stated, the district needs to build more schools, and the city and the district should be united in this cause as it has tremendous impact on our collective quality of life.

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

We are so lucky to live where we do and to have the quality of life that we presently enjoy. There are few places in the world that have our beautiful weather, hiking trails, open spaces, nearby beaches, excellent schools, and a burgeoning business community. It’s hard to imagine a place with more life-enriching assets than this place we all call home, which is why my wife, Kristen, and I moved here 20 years ago to raise our family.

The first goal in improving our quality of life is to protect what we have. There is a (well-funded) pro-growth crowd out there demanding rapid growth, and demanding it now, using a state-wide call for more housing to justify large development projects in the region and here in San Marcos. Those who resist are called NIMBY or worse, yet those who stand to profit the most from these projects often don’t live here, don’t travel our roads daily, and don’t have children in our schools. This is why I have taken no money from any developer interests in this campaign and am the only candidate in the race for District 2 to do so.

To me, our trails, parks, and native open spaces are enormously important. I raised my sons hiking the trails around San Marcos and San Elijo and playing sports in our beautiful parks. Those parks, and our native open spaces are integral to our high quality of life, and as a member of the city council, I will make preserving them and expanding them one of my highest priorities.

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

First, working with the school district to address the school capacity issues. This issue is likely to worsen in the next few years, so time is of the essence. 

Second, always making sure our fire department has what it needs to prevent and fight brush fires, update and improve evacuation plans, and educate the residents of best fire safety practices.

Third, with the growth of CSUSM, the approval of housing along Twin Oaks Valley Rd., and the unlikelihood that there will ever be an alternative north-south roadway, we need to study the current impacts on San Elijo Rd. and use that study in our evaluation of future projects that might impact San Elijo Hills.  

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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. 

San Elijo Life Interview with Mike Sannella Candidate for San Marcos City Council District 2

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

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

We live in a special community. I have lived in San Marcos for 22 years. I am a husband, a father, and I have more than 20 years of private sector risk management and business management experience. My community and elected experience includes having served on our City’s Planning Commission, the San Marcos Economic Development Corporation and currently I serve as an elected leader on the Vallecitos Water District Board. Vallecitos is in great shape with a diversified water portfolio, a cutting edge waste water recycling program, a balanced budget year after year, strong fiscal reserves, and is award-winning for our efforts in public outreach and transparency in government. I’m proud of what we have accomplished at Vallecitos and I look forward to building on those successes at City Hall.

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

Cut through and school traffic are the two primary pain points in San Elijo Hills. San Elijo Road is public so reducing cut though traffic is extremely challenging. Improving school traffic is much easier. I recently introduced a plan called SMARTS (San Marcos Area Resident Transportation Solution) that will start off as a student busing program. SMARTS will be partially funded by existing congestion management fees and will provide student transportation that is safer for our kids, better for our environment, will reduce traffic congestion, and will add convenience for parents. Look for SMARTS to be implemented before school starts in 2020.

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

If elected, I will take a balanced approach to new development throughout the City. The key factor for planning for development is to ensure that supporting road infrastructure is included and funded by development and that other agencies are able to accommodate the growth. I will collaborate with the school and water districts to understand their needs and challenges before proceeding with new development. I will balance this with an understanding that there’s a housing shortage crisis in our region, that our local economy depends on development, and infrastructure is largely funded by new development. To find this balance, I will apply smart growth principles that focus on new development that is more walkable and near transit options.

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

My wife, Amy, is an Assistant Principal in San Marcos Unified and my daughter, Brook, attends San Elijo Middle. I’m as invested in the success of our schools as anyone. I will collaborate with the school district to understand their challenges and needs prior to approving new developments and I will proactively pursue opportunities to help the school district identify and obtain sites for future schools.

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

Parks and trails support a healthy lifestyle and enhance our quality of life. I mountain bike our trails and appreciate having access to them. I will be an advocate for maintaining the parks and trails we already have and I will require new development to contribute to those systems.

I envision the Creek District as an area primarily focused on entertainment and recreation. An area for music, food, and maybe even sports venues.  And, more parks and trails mixed in with some retail and residential components. I envision a truly walkable downtown focused on fun family activities, food, arts, and nature.

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

Implementing SMARTS (San Marcos Area Resident Transportation Solution) will be a top priority of mine and this solution will significantly benefit those who live in San Elijo Hills by reducing traffic around our schools, adding convenience for parents, and providing a resource to quickly evacuate our children from school in an emergency such as a wildfire. Secondly, I am supportive of updating our stoplight sequencing technology to improve traffic flow through the San Elijo Town Center. And third, public safety is a high priority for me, I have been endorsed by our Sheriff’s Deputies and I will ensure all of San Marcos has the best public safety resources to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.

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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. 

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

San Marcos in crosshairs of Growthzilla | San Diego Reader

 

To North Country residents living near Merriam Mountains, it feels like Dr. Frankenstein is bringing that monster back to life. A monster called urban sprawl the community chased out of their backcountry in 2010. “If you look closely, you can still see old Native American marks across the land, along with old rock carvings from passersby in the early 1900s.” STOP NEWLAND SIERRA Back then, the mammoth housing development was called Merriam Mountains. It’s now called Newland Sierra, but the opposition’s p

READ MORE VIA Source: San Marcos in crosshairs of Growthzilla | San Diego Reader

Summer concert series returns to San Marcos


Summer concert series returns to San Marcos

Beginning Saturday, July 21, the City of San Marcos will present its 17th annual “Summer Concerts in the Gardens” series at the Wood House, 1148 Rock Springs Road.

A variety of bands will provide music appropriate for all ages during the summer months. All concerts will begin at 7:30 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring low back beach chairs or blankets for picnic seating; parking is free. In addition to traditional desserts and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase, a different food truck will also be selling food at each concert.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at the San Marcos Community Center. Prices are $6 presale, $8 at the door. Children under 12 years are free. Season passes are now available for $15.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.san-marcos.net/specialevents or call San Marcos Parks and Recreation at (760) 744-9000.

2018 Summer Concerts in the Garden Schedule

July 21: The Detroit Underground

August 25: Toni Suraci and the Highwayman Band

September 15: Sully and the “Blue Eyed Soul Band”

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.

New captain takes command of San Marcos Sheriff’s Station

Captain Dave Brown

Earlier this year, city officials announced that Dave Brown will take over as captain of the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station. Captain Brown has been with the sheriff’s department for 28 years He began his career as an intern with the probation department in his senior year at San Diego State University.

“Captain Brown is a well-respected member of the sheriff’s department and we are fortunate to have this capable lawman assigned to our City,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

During his tenure with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Captain Brown has been assigned to various areas including homicide, special assistant to the Sheriff and special investigations-criminal Intelligence. He has experience working throughout San Diego County at the Vista, Imperial Beach and Ramona patrol stations as well as the jail in Vista and court assignments in downtown San Diego and Vista.

Awarded the Medal of Lifesaving as a patrol deputy, Captain Brown has received several awards and was featured in documentaries and books for his role in leading the investigation into the murders of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

He is also a recent graduate from the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.

Captain Brown’s transfer to the San Marcos station comes after the former captain of the station, Mike McClain, was assigned to the department’s central investigations division (homicide.)

“We have welcomed Captain Brown to San Marcos and look forward to partnering with him and all the dedicated employees at the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station,” said Griffin.

Captain Brown lives with his wife and he has two adult children. His daughter is in her fourth year at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) in the School of Nursing and his son is a graduate of CSUSM and is now an English teacher in Vietnam.

City of San Marcos’s property investments generate $10M annually

City of San Marcos’s property investments generate $10M annually

It’s the third biggest revenue stream after property tax and sales tax

Post Date: 12/13/2017 10:30 AM
City of San Marcos property
Creekside Marketplace sign
Aerial view of Creekside Marketplace

If you’ve ever spent time at San Marcos City Hall, you may have noticed there are plenty of busy employees—but not everyone is working for the city.

A good chunk of office space is leased to private companies, which occupy about one third of the building. This is one of the many ways San Marcos has invested in property to generate revenue and pay for services without raising taxes.

The practice is certainly not common in government, but it has proven to be tremendously successful—generating more than $10 million of income annually, making it the city’s third largest revenue stream after property tax and sales tax. It accounts for nearly 13 percent of General Fund revenue, which helps pay for things like parks, fire stations and street maintenance.

“We do things a little differently in San Marcos, we think that’s a good thing. Our city has always prided itself on innovation,” said Mavis Anguiano, Manager of the Real Property Services (RPS) division.

The RPS division oversees the city’s extensive real estate portfolio, which includes offices, four residential properties, a standalone restaurant, the Creekside Marketplace retail center and more than a million square-feet of land holdings.  

“It’s always good strategy to diversify your investments, and the city has taken a page from that business playbook,” Anguiano explained.

And in fact, in 1994 the city deliberately started thinking more like a business. That year voters approved the city charter—a document that guides operations—which explicitly says staff should “engage in any enterprise deemed necessary to produce revenues for the general fund.”

Unlike other nearby cities, San Marcos does not have big sales-tax generators, like car dealerships, regional malls or amusement parks to rely on for revenue generation. The city’s share of property tax is the lowest in the County. Therefore, San Marcos has found a way to supplement by investing in property.

“Our outside-the-box approach, coupled with fiscally conservative leadership, also means we’re in a better position to weather whatever the economy throws at us,” said Economic DevelopmentManager Tess Radmill.

Of the $10 million revenue generated each year, about one-third comes from the Creekside Marketplace shopping center located off Grand Avenue, which is managed by an outside firm. The other two-thirds comes from the RPS division’s work, which includes monitoring laws, maintaining properties, negotiating and managing leases and collecting rent.

All of that boosts the city’s economic development services, Radmill says.

“Because we function like a business, to a degree, we’re able to better understand and serve our business community,” Radmill said. “And, like other business owners, we are invested in San Marcos. We share their vision for a thriving community, and this is one of the many innovative ways we’re committed to helping make that a reality.”

For more information about the city’s RPS division, visit www.san-marcos.net/rps. For more information about about the city’s economic development division, please visit www.san-marcos.net/openforbusiness.

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