Category Archives: Politics

San Marcos residents can find their polling place for the March 3 election with new online map

The City of San Marcos has created a handy online map to help residents locate their polling place for the March 3 presidential primary election.

You can open the map here. Then, search for your address in the search bar or click the ballot icon on the map to find your polling location.

More information about the map is available on the City’s website: https://www.san-marcos.net/Home/Components/News/News/5089/24

Residents can register to vote online here.

For election questions and additional information, residents are advised to contact the San Diego County Registrar of Voters at rovmail@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 565-5800. 

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Press Release-Vallecitos Water District Customers Launch New Website: Political Favoritism to Developers Cost Ratepayers $42 Million

Press Release

Friendship of Vallecitos Customers
San Marcos businesses and residents ‐ We pay for water, not politics

Vallecitos Water District Customers Launch New Website: Political Favoritism to Developers Cost Ratepayers $42 Million

They are the Friendship of Vallecitos Customers and want to grow to thousands of members and send a message to Vallecitos Water District (VWD) elected officials. “San Marcos businesses and residents – we pay for water, not politics.” That’s the tag line seen on the home page of their newly released website.

At a VWD Board meeting in 2013, elected officials were deliberating on allowing more time for developers to pay fees. “The District’s interest has to do with providing basic services, sewer, and water, at the best price. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with helping out developers,” said Former Board Member Jim Poltl. In response, then newly elected Board Member Hal Martin retorted, “I look at the bigger picture – economic stimulus. Smaller governmental agencies … make that happen.”

Since then, the VWD Board gave several breaks to developers that cost ratepayers more than $42 million, according to Former VWD CFO Tom Scaglione. “From July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018, Vallecitos ratepayers paid $42.2 million, more than 15% of their water and sewer bill, to amass cash reserves, fund developer deficits, and continue to finance developer obligations with ratepayers’ cash rather than issue bonds. Vallecitos accumulated more ratepayer money than any other water district in San Diego County, and is the only district in the County with a deficit in developer funds.”

While building activity in San Marcos soared in 2013, money paid into VWD by developers plummeted to record deficits.

According to Scaglione, since 2013, water and sewer rates have increased 5.9% on average annually, while developer fees have increased just 2.6% on average annually for inflation.

“It all started in 2012 with a sewer density impact fee that I voted in favor of for developers to pay their impacts,” said Former Board Member Tim Shell. “We all [Board Members] voted for it, and we all had targets on

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our backs ‐ management too. The developer‐backed politicians that unseated us were not from the water industry. I knew this would happen.”

One of the most egregious breaks is the current delay in implementing long‐awaited adjustments to developer fees. When the Board suspended and refunded the sewer density impact fee in 2015, they minimized the impacts by saying a study that is needed to raise developer fees and includes the sewer density impact, would be done that same year. Vallecitos has scheduled a Public Hearing to consider adjustments to developer fees for August 7 at 5 pm – four years late. According to the website, the delay alone saved developers $11 million.

The website, friendshipvallecitoswater.org, details the breaks given to developers, the impacts to ratepayers, and how the situation can be remedied.

“All the numbers on the website are from audited financial statements, board reports, meeting minutes, and budgets,” said Scaglione. “They’re all numbers generated by Vallecitos. You just need to know how to read the financials.”

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The Friendship of Vallecitos Customers (FVC), a group of Vallecitos Water District (VWD) customers, potential

political candidates, past board members, and community leaders, formed to have a unified voice to influence the

VWD Board of Directors (the Board) to maintain a ratepayer focus. Since the 2012 elections, the development

community has had majority control of the Board. Developer influence and financial mismanagement have

resulted in ratepayers paying $42.2 million towards developer obligations. Ratepayers have not had either the will

or ability to financially contribute and therefore win favor, to the extent that developers have financially

contributed to the Board. Visit friedshipvallecitoswater.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unofficial Election Night Final Results for City of San Marcos Election

 

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

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

When to expect 2018 election results

When to expect 2018 election results

According to San Diego County, election results are expected to take longer than usual

Post Date:11/06/2018 9:00 AM

On election night, we all want to know who won and which propositions and measures passed – and as soon as possible! According to the County of San Diego, the Nov. 6 Gubernatorial General Election results are expected to take longer than usual to come in. Here’s why.

  • San Diego County voters will get a two-card ballot with contests listed both on the front and back. Voters will need more time to fill them out and the Registrar of Voters will need more time to process them.
  • More mail ballots than ever before were issued by the Registrar’s office, over 1.2 million, and many voters do not turn them in until Election Day.
  • A record high number of registered voters: San Diego County has more than 1.7 million registered voters.
  • More polling places will be open: 1,542, up from 1,444 in the June 5 Primary Election.

In short, we have two cards for every ballot, more candidates, more measures, more voters, more polling places, more mail ballots and more ballot cards in general.

The number of provisional ballots cast has grown in recent elections. These take additional processing time. Registrar workers must make sure your votes count for the contests you were entitled to vote on and that they don’t count the ones you weren’t.

Mail ballots are more convenient, but if you drop them off at the polls on Election Day, the Registrar of Voters can’t start counting them until Thursday at the earliest because the signatures need to be verified first. The Registrar expects 250,000 to 300,000 mail ballots will be dropped off at the polls or picked up at the U.S. Postal Service on Nov. 6.

“This is not really a new phenomenon,” said Vu. “We’re just likely to have a higher volume of outstanding ballots.”

So what can you expect?

The polls close at 8 p.m. Within minutes, the results should come through for the ballots that were mailed in, submitted at drop-off points before Election Day or during early voting at the Registrar’s office.

After that, some precinct results may trickle in, but only a very light number. Close to 11 p.m. you can expect the bulk of the precinct numbers. Then, results should come in periodically as trucks with ballot boxes continue to roll in. All the precinct ballots might not arrive until after 1 a.m. and the final unofficial election night results may not be done until after 4 a.m.

After all the precinct ballots are counted on election night, Vu expects only about 55 to 60 percent of the vote to be in the count. Tight races will still be up in the air.

“It’s not over on election night, and it hasn’t been for a long, long time,” said Vu. “Close contests are not decided until all the ballots are in the count.”

While you can guess how some races will turn out due to the early numbers, the results for the tight races must wait until election workers process, review and inspect every ballot: precinct, provisional, mail-in and damaged.

“Between mail ballots and provisional ballots, a close race always comes to the very end,” said Vu. “We must do our due diligence to make sure everything is right.”

Some races may not be decided for several weeks. However, the results must be certified 30 days after Election Day on Dec. 6.

For more information, visit sdvote.com or call (858) 565-5800.

‘Dark money’ pushing thumb on council races – The Coast News Group

Thousands of dollars of so-called “dark money” is emerging as a major factor in city council races in a pair of North County cities. In Encinitas and San Marcos, two cities where stakes are high in their respective council races, political action committees have pumped thousands into candidates.

SAN MARCOS-The Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC has received thousands from developers and the Building Industry Association of San Diego and has spent a corresponding amount on candidates throughout the county, almost exclusively on Republican or conservative candidates.

One of the races where the Deputy Sheriffs Association and Building Industry Association’s influence has been most heavily felt is San Marcos, where the PAC has spent thousands in mailers and campaign signs in favor of Rebecca Jones for mayor and council candidates Mike Sannella and Craig Garcia.

Many of the same individual contributors who have contributed to the Building Industry Association’s PAC and the Deputy Sheriffs committee have also contributed to an Irvine-based PAC called the California Taxpayers Coalition, which according to records has spent $10,500 in printing and mailing costs against one of Sannella’s opponents, Randy Walton.

San Marcos Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Rebecca Jones returned a $250 campaign contribution from a developer behind a 14.4-acre development proposal. Courtesy photo/Facebook

One of the largest contributors to the Taxpayers Coalition is Diversified Projects, Inc., which has contributed $12,5000 to the committee. The Laguna Beach-based company was behind the controversial San Marcos Highlands project. Walton has aligned himself with Chris Orlando, current councilman and mayoral candidate, the lone council member to vote against the Highlands project.

One of the other major contributors is Lance Waite, who is developer behind the Sunshine Gardens project, a 193-unit multi-family project on 14.4-acres near San Marcos’ southeastern city limits that is currently being processed by the city.

Waite contributed $5,000 to each the Taxpayers Coalition and the Deputy Sheriffs PAC. Jones returned a $250 contribution Waite made to her campaign this year. 

San Marcos bars developers from contributing to campaigns within 12 months of a council vote.

Walton, a registered Democrat, said the race has gotten ugly as a result of the mailers paid for, and said developers are actively trying to deceive voters by funneling money into committees that appear to be advocating for taxpayers or law enforcement.

“It’s an outright effort to deceive voters, by putting out mailers saying that something is ‘law enforcement’s choice,’ when in reality, it’s thousands of dollars from developers and the building industry,” Walton said. “Most voters don’t know to look at the campaign finance forms and see who is behind some of these committees.

“And on the other side, there isn’t a group of citizens forming PACs, so there is no countervailing weight and it’s kind of an unfair advantage to the candidates who benefit from them,” Walton said.

“San Marcos has very strict limits on contributions to candidates of just $250,” Jones said in an email to The Coast News. “At that level, it would be difficult for anyone to influence an elected official in our city. As for independent expenditures, they are just that — independent. I have no ability to control their activities and am legally prohibited from doing so.”

The third candidates in the mayor’s and Dist. 2 races, Bradley Zink and Eric Flodine, respectively, have not been the target of any independent expenditures, nor have any been raised on their behalf.

Kousser said that the pattern of developers who otherwise would not be able to contribute to the campaigns due to the city laws contributing even more money through the PACs raises ethical concerns from the donor, not the recipient.

“I would say that the pattern and timing of the donations shows a clear circumvention of the goal of the campaign finance limits,” Kousser said. “But there’s no proof that the candidate is influenced by these contributions. So while it’s not an ethical violation on behalf of the candidate, it looks like a donor is clearly trying to have the same effect on the election and make the same contribution through a different route.”

READ MORE VIA Source: ‘Dark money’ pushing thumb on council races – The Coast News Group

2018 San Marcos Campaign Statements

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

San Marcos carrying water for developers | San Diego Reader

Tom Scaglione was assistant general manager and CFO at San Marcos’ Vallecitos Water District. He retired in May and now teaches at Palomar College in their water/wastewater technology program. He’s become a critic on a huge rip off to district ratepayers. Tom Scaglione: “San Marcos is run by develop.

Tom Scaglione was assistant general manager and CFO at San Marcos’ Vallecitos Water District. He retired in May and now teaches at Palomar College in their water/wastewater technology program. He’s become a critic on a huge rip off to district ratepayers.

In 2012, the board of directors of the district tried to increase the sewer impact fees charged to developers wanting to build in the district, which covers San Marcos, plus small parts of Carlsbad, Vista, and unincorporated areas including Lake San Marcos.

“The developers didn’t want to pay it,” said Scaglione. “They took over the board in the 2012 election, ousting longtime members. It’s now a four-to-one majority for the developers. At their very first meeting, they started making accommodations to developers.”

“In 2012, Vallecitos had a $3 million deficit in the developer infrastructure fund,” said Scaglione.

On October 24, as part of the local multi-college campus symposium, Political Economy Days, he presented his scathing report at Palomar College on the State of Water Rates for ratepayers in the Vallecitos District. He reported that since 2012, customer’s rates went up 5.7 percent annually. The developer fund went up only 2.9 percent.

In the most recently adopted district budget,

$84.4 million in ratepayer’s funds will be accelerated to $96 million over the next five years. The developer fund will have a deficit of $44 million. Scaglione points out the district is using ratepayer funds to pay for new infrastructure caused by new development. The 21,000 district customers will pay an additional $552.38 each.

Scaglione says Vallecitos directors Mike Sannella and Hal Martin are in the developer’s pockets. “The development industry is spending $50,000 to get Sannella elected to the city council in the upcoming Nov 6 election.

The only ratepayer-focused person left on the board is Betty Evans,” said Scaglione.

In a telephone interview October 27, I asked what could ratepayers do to change the direction of ratepayer vs. developers? “San Marcos is run by developers,” he responded, pointing out that the Vallecitos Water District has the largest undeveloped boundary in the county.

While Scaglione’s report had several ideas for changing course in the district, he acknowledged there is no political will in the city to do that. “The developers come in here with a bunch of money and create a deception, and the ratepayers don’t stand a chance.”

READ MORE via Source: San Marcos carrying water for developers | San Diego Reader

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