Tag Archives: Rebecca Jones

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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San Elijo Life Interview with Rebecca Jones Candidate for San Marcos City Council

Rebecca Jones

Here is an interview with incumbent Rebecca Jones 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?
As the current Vice Mayor I’ve been honored to serve the citizens of San Marcos for 9 years, and I am proud of what I have accomplished during that time. While serving I have helped keep our budget balanced, kept our public safety at the highest level, and added 6 new parks (with an additional one under construction). I have also championed legislation to keep dangerous designer drugs away from our children and a tobacco license ordinance that will regulate businesses that sell tobacco products so they are not selling these products to our kids. I have been endorsed by both the San Marcos Firefighters Association and the San Diego Deputy Sheriff Association and was recently recognized by the Red Ribbon Commission at their annual luncheon receiving the Excellence in Prevention Advocacy Award.

Please describe your stance on future development in San Marcos
I support measured development and feel strongly about rights we all enjoy as property owners. In every decision I balance property rights and the overall good of the city. I take this job very seriously and believe that all infrastructure, needed to support that project, must be completed prior to development and that any development must be an asset to our community. I will continue to work with staff on keeping our traffic moving and will continue to invest in traffic enhancements and other important infrastructure.

How can you help solve school crowding issues in San Elijo Hills?
The role of the City Council is limited in this regard since we don’t build the schools or create the long term master plan. When a developer brings a project before us, to render a decision, the school district has already committed to whether they will be able to accommodate the projected increase in student population. That being said, I support continuing joint SMUSD and City Council public meetings that will continue to promote our working closely with each other as well as city staff meeting regularly with SMUSD staff so that we are always on the same page and have the same goals, educating our children in a city that we are all proud to call home.

How can the council help address commuter traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?
I have personally requested directed enforcement by our Sheriff Department and will continue to make sure that traffic speeds are adhered to in San Elijo Hills. The speeding I have witnessed, in SEH and other parts of the city, greatly concerns me. Each of us has a personal responsibility to drive safely, protecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers. I like the idea that San Elijo residents have implemented “PACE PLEDGE” where residents commit to drive the speed limit and reminding others with “PACE” stickers on their vehicles. I’m committed to continue working with staff and the community to explore traffic calming measures that will keep our pedestrians safe and slow cars down. There has been no solution yet to stop folks from passing through to get to the 78 freeway, but I am open to exploring ways to stop people from using San Elijo Road as a quick cut though, but acknowledge some commuter traffic will always have to be addressed.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Hills Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?
The entire council has been committed to making the Town Center become a reality and we finally have a schedule in place and the plans have been submitted to the City for approval. I know this has been such a frustrating journey and I am grateful that the developer was intentional in coming up with a plan that will be an asset to our community and a place that we are able to enjoy; so much detail has gone into this plan. If all the dates are met for the mutually agreed upon schedule, we should have grading started by late January and it should take around 12-18 month to build. This would be barring any inclement weather conditions but I am confident the community will be happy with the end result.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?
As I previously mentioned, since I have joined the council we have built 6 parks with another under construction as well as adding miles of trails. I requested we join the County of San Diego to become a “Live Well” city because I know how important health, having a safe place to live, and recreational opportunities available to our residents and visitors alike are to our quality of life. We are not called “San Parkos” by accident; it has been through intentional prioritizing through our planning efforts in considering how we add these vital parks and trails to our community. We kicked off our first Double Peak Challenge this year as a huge success that showcased our amazing open space, trails and parks. I’m committed to bringing other events to San Marcos to offer opportunities for us to stay in our community to enjoy local amenities without braving freeways and long commutes.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Marcos?
I will continue my efforts in keeping San Marcos fiscally sound and business friendly. This includes making it easier to open businesses in the city as well as expanding in our city; this is how we are able to help maintain and create jobs.

Public Safety will always be a top priority which is why I strongly support our fire personnel having the best training and equipment, so we are ready for all emergency situations. Replacing aging and outdated equipment is one of the ways we provide our first responders the tools they need to do their job to the best of their ability; that is why I recently voted to purchase two new fire vehicles and to update our regional communication infrastructure and equipment. These are just a few of the examples of my commitment to investment into public safety. Our quality of life is extremely important to all residents in our city; which is one of the reasons I feel that my being easy to reach is so important. Feedback from residents that I don’t see on a regular basis helps me serve our San Marcos better. Parks, critical infrastructure, a safe community, and thoughtful planning will continue to make San Marcos a place we all feel blessed to come home to.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election?
As always, I will make sure volunteers that have offered to take down my signs or signs that have my name on them will be removed within a few days after the election. I also commit, as I have in the past, to personally take down any signs that may have been overlooked. I believe that leaders should lead by example so keeping the signage neat and tidy is important to me; and as important as that is, it is just as important to remove them in a timely manner.
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Editors Note:

We have invited all 2016 City of San Marcos City Council Candidates to answer the same questions. 

San Marcos Community leaders and youth urge public to put drugged driving on radar

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San Marcos Vice Mayor Rebecca Jones, Dr. Roneet Lev of Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Marcos Sheriff’s Deputy Auggie Rosas and San Marcos Youth Advocacy Coalition members Melissa Arenas and Yareli Perez called Tuesday for the community to get involved in efforts to reduce the number of drugged drivers on local roads.

“High visibility enforcement efforts like “Avoid the 8 on 78” are an integral part of keeping our roadways safe from impaired drivers,” San Marcos Vice Mayor Rebecca Jones said at a press conference Tuesday which highlighted the need to be aware of impairment caused by drugs as well as alcohol.

“Drunk driving has been on the radar for decades, thanks to groups like MADD, enforcement efforts and prevention campaigns which have all led to a better awareness of the issue among the public. We need the community to take the keys away from suspected drug impaired drivers the same way they would for alcohol impaired drivers and to be proactive in getting the word out about drugged driving,” said Jones.

The call to action came Tuesday during a press conference at the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station on Santar Place.

Nationally, the prevalence of alcohol detected among drivers has declined by nearly 80 percent since 1973 according to a National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers and the proportion of drivers with measurable alcohol levels declined by about 30 percent from 2007 to 2014.

The survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also sampled drivers for drugs, about 20 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one drug in 2014, up from 16 percent in 2007. Some 13 percent of drivers had evidence of marijuana use in their systems, up from 9 percent in 2007. The drug showing the greatest increase from 2007 to 2013/2014 was marijuana (THC), a proportional increase of 47 percent.

In 2012 a California specific roadside survey was conducted in nine communities throughout the state including southern California. The percent of drivers testing positive for marijuana (7.4%) was almost identical to the percent testing positive for alcohol (7.3%) and about a quarter of marijuana-positive drivers also tested positive for another drug; about 13.3% marijuana-positive were also positive for alcohol.

The increase in persons testing positive for drugs on California roadways only paints half the hazardous picture. In 2011 there were 399 fatalities on the roads involving drugs up from 267 in 2001 a number which has increased by almost 40 percent, according to the California DUI Management Information System.
Yet, drugged driving — specifically when marijuana and prescription medicines are involved — often times is brushed aside, feeding myths that people drive safer and are somehow less likely to cause a crash.

“There is a misperception about the use of certain drugs and the ability to safely operate a vehicle, says Dr. Roneet Lev, who is also a member of the county’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force. “Marijuana potency over the years has increased and there are significant differences in how our bodies process the drug and react to it when eaten. Also, prescribed medications are seen as safe, since they are prescribed by an individual’s Doctor — even when warning labels state “do not operate heavy machinery”, both have the potential to impair our driving”.

The vice mayor’s message was clear: “Along with enforcement efforts we need the community to understand that multiple substances whether legal, illegal, over the counter and in combination with alcohol can affect an individual’s ability to drive safely”.

The message was reiterated by youth coalition member Arenas: “We want to raise awareness that driving is a huge responsibility and that deciding to drive while impaired is a dangerous decision that puts us all at risk.”
North Inland Community Prevention Program is operated by Mental Health Systems and funded in part by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Services.

The Marijuana Prevention Initiative is operated by Center for Community Research and funded in part by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Services.

Interview with Rebecca Jones candidate for San Marcos City Council

 

Rebecca Jones

Here is an interview with incumbent Rebecca Jones 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 have been honored to serve the residents of San Marcos for the past 5 ½ years. I have approved a balanced budget each year since joining the council and have brought a fresh customer service approach to City Hall. As a City leader, it is my job to make sure we run as efficiently as possible. As our customer, you deserve a clear process and a high quality of service.

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

Unfortunately, the city cannot address this issue alone. In August the city hosted our first ever joint City Council & San Marcos Unified School board meeting. We will continue to meet with leadership and staff to find ways to work as efficient as possible. We are also currently working together to locate a K-8 school off Twin Oaks Valley and Village Drive to alleviate this overcrowding. Though the agreement is complex, I am committed to make every effort to make this happen.

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

I have not been made aware of this particular situation. I pride myself on my availability and quick response to resident concerns. There are several possible remedies to cut through traffic. It all starts with our traffic engineer assessing the situation and then coming up with alternatives that we can implement. It is important to evaluate several alternatives as diverting traffic from one area will impact other areas. I would like to meet with community members as soon as possible so we can identify the problem and begin working on a solution.

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

This is a tricky situation. Though I want to see the town center built, vacant shops will harm the vibrancy of the community. I will work to make sure that if minor changes need to be made to create a prosperous business environment, the city of San Marcos will work with the developer to make this happen.

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

We are currently in the process of working to expand our park property around South Lake (located between Discovery Lake and Twin Oaks Valley Road). Though we don’t currently have the funds to develop this park today, making plans for our future is extremely important. I will also continue to make sure our unrivaled walking trails connect to one another so that all our citizens are able to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. I have some ideas in mind for a Signature Event that will be a cornerstone to showcase San Marcos as the wonderful community that it is.

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

First, keeping the city on the right fiscal track and bringing jobs to the city will continue to be priority. Second, public safety is a top priority. I successfully banned the possession or sale of the dangerous synthetic drugs such as “Spice” and have ensured our firefighters have the equipment they need to keep our community safe. Finally, community issues such as working with San Marcos Unified School District to alleviate traffic concerns, providing space for the K-8 school at Village and Twin Oaks Valley, and ensuring our city promptly addresses the needs of its residents will remain a priority. I will continue to work to improve your quality of life and the job done for the people of San Marcos.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election?

As I did during my last election, I will make sure all signs are promptly removed after the election, no more than a few days. Last election I was out taking down signs the morning after the election. I appreciate the amount of signs can be overwhelming and as soon as the election is over I will ensure they don’t become a nuisance.

 

33rd annual Boys and Girls Club Auction on Saturday April 21st. “Swing into Spring”

33rd annual Boys and Girls Club Auction will be held on Saturday April 21st. The theme is “Swing into Spring”.

Co-Chairs Kristal Jabara, along with Council Woman Rebecca Jones and Honorary Chair Council Member Hal Martin. The event will be catered by Stone Brewery Catering and features silent and live auctions. The event was sold out last year with over 400 people in attendance. The event raised more than $125, 000 last year for the club with great items such as suites for a baseball game at PetCo park, vacations, a private dinner at Stone Brewery, a private dinner at the San Elijo Fire station, and many other great items. It is a premier event in San Marcos and is a fun evening.

The Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos, keeps our kids safe and giving them fun activities to participate in is a benefit to the entire community!

www.boysgirlsclubsm.org

Who will you vote for San Marcos City Council?

Three candidates are running for two seats on the San Marcos City Council, where future development,redevelopment and the outcome of a growth-management initiative are the major issues.

Challenger Dean Nelson is facing incumbents Hal Martin and Rebecca Jones. Martin and Jones have separate campaigns but use the same Web site, martinandjonesforcitycouncil.com; Nelson’s is nelsonforcouncil.com.

Martin, 58, owns a wedding-photography business and is seeking a fourth term.

Jones, 41, who owns a furniture-marketing business with her husband, was appointed last year to the seat vacated by Jim Desmond, who was elected mayor in November 2006.

Nelson, 46, a city planning commissioner and general manager of the Ace Hardware store on Grand Avenue, ran for council in 2006. READ ENTIRE UT ARTICLE

Growth big issue facing 3 candidates for 2 council seats | The San Diego Union-Tribune

Growth big issue facing 3 candidates for 2 council seats

By Linda Lou

STAFF WRITER

October 2, 2008

SAN MARCOS – Three candidates are running for two seats on the San Marcos City Council, where future development, redevelopment and the outcome of a growth-management initiative are the major issues.

Challenger Dean Nelson is facing incumbents Hal Martin and Rebecca Jones. Martin and Jones have separate campaigns but use the same Web site, martinandjonesforcitycouncil.com; Nelson’s is nelsonforcouncil.com.

Martin, 58, owns a wedding-photography business and is seeking a fourth term.

Jones, 41, who owns a furniture-marketing business with her husband, was appointed last year to the seat vacated by Jim Desmond, who was elected mayor in November 2006.

Nelson, 46, a city planning commissioner and general manager of the Ace Hardware store on Grand Avenue, ran for council in 2006.

DETAILS

City of San Marcos

Operating budget: $60.5 million

Top revenue sources: Sales tax, income from city-owned buildings and land, and property taxes

Population: 82,700

Full-time employees: 234

Election: Two incumbents and one challenger running for two open seats

For years, the city’s budget has been healthy, but sales-tax revenue has been on the decline. San Marcos still plans to complete several parks in the next few years and several major road-improvement projects.

San Marcos has been moving ahead with plans to create a $1 billion downtown area, with housing above stores, offices and parks, along the San Marcos Creek. Much of it would be paid for by private developers.

Growth big issue facing 3 candidates for 2 council seats | The San Diego Union-Tribune.