Interview with Samuel Eckard candidate for San Marcos City Council

Samuel Eckard

Here is an interview with Samuel Eckard who is running for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council the answer the same set of email questions.

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

I will protect San Elijo Hills from being drawn into the Congestion Management District. I would make sure that any fees like CFD’s stay with San Elijo Hills, instead of being diverted to the Creekside development. I am not sure if you are aware, but the water that is being used for landscaping for the most part comes from the Vallicitos Water District. The city adds and extra 5% on top of that for themselves. Also, the commercial development in your area was largely scaled back. In order for your community to be sustainable, you need more businesses in place in order to utilize the revenue the sales tax provides.

How can you help solve school crowding issues in San Elijo Hills?

The school district and the city didn’t require sufficient funding for roads and schools. Honestly, as a council member, I would have no direct control over what the school district does. But I can make sure that the roads, the lighting, and any new development will be properly maintained, and that any future schools will be properly funded. Most of the bond money San Elijo Hills pays is going into the Creekside development just like the CFD’s. That is actually illegal. I will expose that and put a stop to it.

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

One way would be to prevent San Marcos Blvd from being changed from a traffic corridor to a traffic queuing system. The additional light that will be installed after Discovery will also cause congestion, and prompt more cut through traffic. Also, San Marcos High School should have a parking structure, and the parking lot should have two lanes inside circling the parking lot to make it more efficient. There could also be an additional Entry/Exit on the adjacent side of the parking lot to prevent bottle-necking  With San Marcos High Schools current parking requirements, there will be significant spill over parking which will have a negative impact on your community as well as Lake San Marcos. These issues have been brought up before the Planning Commission and the city council, and they will not be addressed if Jones gets reelected and if Jenkins gets elected as well. And yes, Jenkins is on the school board. What message does that send.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

As I have stated earlier, there should be adequate commercial development in San Elijo Hills that serves your community. I would be willing to extend loans to the developers as long as they will pay for their fair share of the infrastructure as required by prop R. By the way, the city has been blatantly violating prop R; especially in the Creekside development. The city is using transnet funds to build the bridges and streets. The developer isn’t paying for any of it. What are the consequences of the city breaking the law….Nothing! There should also be no cost overruns and absolutely no risk to your community. I will not allow the developers to take a zero interest zero payment loan.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

The new ordinances make events much more costly. I would significantly reduce the costs of Conditional Use Permits and Directors permits to stimulate the local economy. When the CUP’s and DP’s are excessively high, the way that San Marcos’ have become, it becomes more like a secondary tax that the businesses have to pass on to the consumers as higher prices. The city needs to be a lot more business friendly and a lot less developer friendly. San Marcos is the least business friendly city in the country. I want to change that. We currently have a lot of great parks and trails; however, we are running out of water. If we used drought resistant plants in our parks, we would be in slightly better shape, but not by much. Parks use well water which San Elijo also pays for. Your community is grossly overcharged for this water. The fair rate for water your community should be charged is 2% of what your actually paying. Also, the city is adding 5% on top of that charge for themselves. All this money should be going to your community, but it is illegally being diverted to the Creekside development.

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

Financial sustainability the cities unfunded pension liability is at 7.5%. This is a constant rate; however, the amount continues to rise each year. 2013-7,555,000 2014-9,520,000 2015-9,905,000 2016-9,745,000 2017-2021 – 56,615,000 that’s 14,000,000 per year 2022-2026 -72,475,707 that’s 18,000,000 per year 2027-2030 – 92,035,000 that’s 23,000,000 per year. These values are just what they have no choice to show. There are other liabilities that they withhold like post retirement benefits. Until we know how much liabilities we have, we can’t fix it. Not to mention, They are legally required to provide all the liabilities. There is no plan in place to pay for these escalating pension liabilities. We will end up filing bankruptcy like Stockton and San Bernardino.

Congestion – With the proposed complete street on San Marcos Blvd, will be out of control. The city spent 600,000 on a light synchronizing program that improved congestion by 8%. The complete street would undo that. The reason is simple-money. By creating congestion, the city raises carbon levels making it possible to levy carbon taxes-instant revenue. The original plan for San Marcos Blvd was to expand it to 6 lanes. That plan was quietly shelved. I will not allow San Marcos Blvd to become a complete street.

Roads – The city cannot continue its approach of deferred maintenance on roads. The current budget on roads is 1,125,000. The correct amount to properly maintain the roads is 2,800,000. The only roads being properly maintained are the ones that benefit the developers. Further, any roads or bridges built using transnet funds are required to be maintained for 5 years. That means fewer roads around the city will be properly maintained. The amount of accumulated depreciation is 130,000,000. Due to how long the neglect has been going on, we have to calculate replacement costs. This puts the true costs at 250,000,000. The city doesn’t have a plan to pay for that either.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election?

 As I don’t have any signs, I will not need to remove them. At least you know one candidate who practices fiscal responsibility.


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