||August 7th, 2008|
Escondido Union High School District trustees vote on $98M bonds this past Tuesday
Yet another bond issue is likely to have been approved this past Tuesday by trustees. If approved and put on the ballot for November 4th, the measure will seek necessary funding for campus construction and modernization.
While The Paper had not received word on trustee action as of press time, it was widely anticipated they would approve it. The bond issue would seek $98 million and provide work for each of the district’s traditional campuses, Escondido, Orange Glen and San Pasqual high schools. Additionally, the funds would provide for the construction of a magnet school in west Escondido.
Discussion and study has been going on for over 18 months. Results from a phone survey of 600 Escondido residents in March found that 63 percent of residents would approve a measure for the district. The measure would need support from 55 percent of voters to pass, and it would last until 2056.
If approved, the bond measure would essentially extend for 30 to 35 years the tax rate that voters agreed to pay under a $43 million bond that was adopted in 1996, officials said. The tax bill for both the 1996 bond and any new bonds passed under a November measure would mean that property owners would pay $18.50 per $100,000 of assessed value on their properties. For example, a homeowner whose property is assessed at $300,000 would pay about $55 a year for the bond measures. Money raised with the measure would pay for a series of new construction and remodeling projects at the three traditional campuses, as well as the new school, officials said.
Escondido Man Upset About Neighborhood Deterioration
In a letter sent to all city councilmembers and staff, as well as his neighbors, Dave Schmitt of Escondido, who lives in the Oak Hill District, complained about the quality of life deterioration within the Oak Hill area.
“I believe it is in part due to lack of code enforcement and city ordinances which protect the single family owners of properties. In addition, gang activity has risen in our area - as evidenced by increased tagging,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt went on, “The reason for this disintegration is multiple families living in single family homes. We have had multiple families living in two homes on Boyle right at Oak Hill for some months now. And now . . on our cul-de-sac there are at least four families living in a rented home - recently moved in after the owner removed his relatives from living in this house for non-payment of rent.”
“This larger home cul-de-sac (ie: 10,000 sq ft lots on average) has been a great place to live for over 20 years. All of the homes are kept up well. Now . . due to lack of enforcement of the rules, we are becoming a cul-de-sac of "hotels" or dormitories. This cannot happen.
Take a walk through Oak Hill some day - and write down everywhere you see graffitti - notice how many homes have dozens of cars in front of them - notice the unkept lawns and yards. This was not so a few years ago. Since the gang injunctions elsewhere in the city, we have seen marked increase of gang graffitti here in Oak Hill. And as landlords have been allowing multiple families to live in rented properties and the city has not enforced housing codes, there is an increase of homes looking this way.
We residents of Heritage Court and other cul-de-sacs in Oak Hill need the Mayor and City Council's help. It is time to enact strict codes and strict penalties. Get some guts and let's do this together. Don't be afraid of special interest groups with small membership - how about paying attention to the voters who put each of you into office? Maybe the gang injunction needs to include Oak Hill also.
All the neighbors I speak with are frustrated that the city has done nothing to protect us homeowners.
Help us take back our city. Help us retain the quality of life here in Escondido.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Sam Abed told The Paper, “we’ve received Mr. Schmitt’s letter and he is absolutely correct. People are fed up with others who trash neighborhoods. This council majority has assigned top priority to quality of life issues. In fact, we allocated $1 million in an initial investment in proactive code enforcement. We have caught almost 200 taggers. We have graffitti under control. I’ve forwarded Mr. Schmitt’s letter to our City Manager, Clay Phillips, to Jon Brindle, Director of Community Development, and to our Chief of Police, Jim Maher. Oak Hill will receive attention from our code enforcement people.
Escondido Jaycees Cancel This Year’s Christmas Parade
Due to a decrease in city funding and increased costs, the Escondido Jaycees have decided to skip this year’s Christmas Parade and focus on the 2009 Parade as well as building membership in its club.
The recent changes in City funding were a big factor in this decision. The City of Escondido cut their funding of the parade by 7½% down to $12,950. The City, which had also been providing the police support free of charge, informed the Escondido Jaycees that the police services would now cost $15,000. While the Jaycees understood the need for the City to trim their budget, this is a $15,000 change that they could not resolve quickly. Consideration has been given to making many changes, including different parade routes and funding opportunities.
Those interested in joining the Escondido Jaycees and/or helping with the parade should contact the Jaycees at email@example.com.
Raymond's Refuge Opens for Disabled Seniors
Thanks to long time Escondido resident, Jack Raymond, the disabled senior community now has shelter. Jack Raymond is a highly successful businessman and community leader who has recognized a number of problems and pitched in to do something about it. His latest philanthropic/community effort is making provisions for Raymond's Refuge, a home for eight older adults with disabilities.
Thanks to Raymond, Interfaith Community Services' can now offer its first home for seniors with disabilities following a dedication last week. To reach this goal, Raymond had set aside his own Social Security payments for the project. Raymond's Refuge, a four-unit apartment building in the 500 block of Aster Street in Escondido, was bought and refurbished with money that grew out of Raymond's Social Security checks.
Raymond, who heads a real estate investment firm, began collecting Social Security at age 63. After four years of investments, the fund had grown to more than $100,000. Greg Anglea, Interfaith's director of development, credited Raymond with instigating what became an $800,000 project.
"Jack gave first," Anglea said. "Jack gave most. And he got everything started. That's really what it takes ---- for someone to have the vision and have the interest and generosity to make it happen."
Raymond's investment was augmented by matching funds from the North County Times and the McCormick Tribune Foundation, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department, and the Linden Root Dickinson Foundation.
Raymond is also credited with creating The Escondido Charitable Foundation, a group that raises substantial funds to support Escondido projects and that is administered by a large group of Escondido leaders.
Escondido Chamber Is Planning Its 2009 Business Directory
The Escondido Chamber of Commerce has begun to plan its Official 2009 Business Directory of Escondido. The 2009 Book, a desktop reference guide for the entire Escondido business community, will be published in January.
The Directory enjoys a circulation of 9000. Of that total, 800 are mailed to current Chamber members and an additional 7000 are mailed to all Escondido businesses, regardless of Chamber membership. The city and the Chamber distribute the balance as new businesses come to town.
The Chamber is handling advertising sales for The 2009 Official Business Directory of Escondido. For details, call or email Andrea Milks at The Chamber: 745-2125 or: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Escondido Chamber of Commerce directory has become the most widely used reference tool while doing business in Escondido.
Escondido Chamber's "Challenge" Tournament Set for August 11 at The Vineyard Golf Course
The Escondido Chamber of Commerce will present its ninth annual "Chamber Challenge" Golf Tournament, on Monday, August 11th, at The Vineyard Golf Course of Escondido. There are still some openings for those who wish to form a foursome or join one, said Denette Stewart, of California Bank & Trust, the tournament's chair. All inclusive entry fee is $175 per player, and includes lunch, dinner, golf cart, on-course beverages, and raffle tickets.
California Bank & Trust is the tournament's Championship Sponsor. A portion of the event's proceeds will go to the Chamber Education Committee's MAP Program, to guarantee college admission to Cal State San Marcos to those Escondido School District high school students who successfully complete a four-year commitment to maintain a B or better academic average, attend school daily, and participate in community activities
For more information on hole or tee sponsorships or to sign up for the tournament, call Vanessa Lee at the Chamber: (760) 745-2125 or email: email@example.com.
Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club Welcomes New Member
Aaron Heath, a detective with the Escondido Police Department Gang Unit, has joined Escondido’s Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club. This makes three active duty police officers and one retired police officer within the Hidden Valley roster. Police Chief Jim Maher presented Heath and welcomed him into the Hidden Valley Kiwanis Club.
L-r, Lt. Chris Wynn, Chief Jim Maher, Detective Aaron Heath, Evelyn Madison and Lyle Davis