The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) announced at Tuesday’s board meeting that Superintendent Dr. Carmen García has resigned effective immediately. Assistant Superintendent Tiffany Campbell will step in as the acting superintendent of the district.García was not present at the board meeting, but the district posted a farewell message from the former superintendent on its website.In the letter, García thanks the board for the “amicable separation” and “for the opportunity to work together these past two years with phenomenal students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and the community at large.”García goes on to thank teachers, students, administrators, the district and the community as a whole for their service and dedication to the district. She concludes with a note to the SMUSD Community: “As our world continues to shift with the twists and turns brought forth by a global pandemic, our students rely upon the ongoing courageous conversations and support that will provide the best education for all SMUSD scholars. Thank you for your dedication in moving forward with this endeavor in order to create an equity-based system that supports all students, from all backgrounds with multidimensional needs, so that, one day, “all means all” rings true everywhere.”García was appointed by the board in Oct. of 2018. She came to San Marcos from San Diego Unified School District where she served as a lead principal at San Diego High School.
Category Archives: San Marcos News
Efforts and planning to encourage participation in the 2020 Census have been underway since last year.
As of 9/14/20 San Marcos has a 76.1% self response rate. In 2010 San Marcos finished with a 70% participation rate. Out of 18 cities in the County, San Marcos has the third highest participation rate, with Poway being number one and Carlsbad being number two. Among the same cities, San Marcos has the second highest increase in participation compared to the 2010 census, behind La Mesa.
You might ask why does it matter if you participate or not. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.
The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Thank you to 76.1% of households who have already participated. If you haven’t participated yet, please do so by 9/30/20. You can answer online at www.my2020census.gov.
Attracting, retaining and expanding businesses is at the forefront of the City of San Marcos’ economic development efforts. The City offers a variety of services to help businesses thrive.
Piercan, a worldwide leader in manufacturing niche polymer products, including specialty gloves (used by NASA, pharmaceutical companies, national laboratories, military, and beyond) experienced this concierge service first-hand. The City helped Piercan secure a $1.5 million California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) this summer. Announced by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the income tax credit is set up to help businesses that want to grow and stay in California.
With this assistance, Piercan will expand their San Marcos operations and hire 62 new employees. The company will be investing more than $7.5 million in wages, equipment and improvements within the next five years.
“The City was instrumental in obtaining this tax credit,” said Julio Cedillo, General Manager of Piercan USA, Inc. “I’m very grateful for their support and their guidance through this process, as well as defining new opportunities to help us grow as a company in a reasonable and responsible way.”
Piercan, an international company headquartered in France since 1948, has been operating in the U.S. since 1995. It started in Vista, then expanded to San Marcos, where it currently employs more than 60 full time workers. Thanks, in part, to this tax credit, accelerated growth is on the horizon.
Piercan’s San Marcos headquarters specializes in containment isolator and glovebox gloves as well as bladders that are used to form unique carbon fiber components for aerospace and recreational markets to create propellers for airplanes, forks for bicycles, wing spars for drones and bows for violins among other products.
“We’re planning to grow, we’re going to create more jobs here in San Marcos, and we’re going to bring indirect development to this area. We want to stay in San Marcos, and we will likely double our size and workforce within in the next five years,” Cedillo said.
The City of San Marcos has helped five San Marcos companies secure nearly $3 million in state income tax credits since 2017, allowing local businesses to expand and create new jobs. Winning these tax credits is highly competitive, so City staff help guide business owners through the process.
Only 22 companies across the state were awarded tax credits in this round of CCTC tax credits – and San Marcos was the only city in northern San Diego County to make the list.
Of the more than $73 million tax credits awarded, nearly $18.2 million of that will go to nine businesses (of which Piercan is included) that are adding high-quality manufacturing jobs to our state – a national leader in manufacturing. Early in the stay-at-home order, Governor Newsom deemed manufacturing to be an essential function of California’s economy.
“As California works to safely recover from the COVID-19 induced recession, this tax credit program continues to be a model for both accountability and transparency. What we see today is 22 companies not only choosing California, but choosing Californians,” said Chris Dombrowski, GO-Biz Acting Director, and Chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. “We are innovators at heart and so is our economy and we will continue to invest in companies that look to build the future here in California.”
To date, the City has helped Piercan USA, Inc. earn a $1.5 million tax credit that will create 62 jobs; Wholesale Shade earned a $500,000 tax credit to create 26 jobs; Cliniqa earned a $350,000 tax credit to create 24 jobs; Creative Electron earned a $446,700 tax credit to create 22 jobs; Oasis Breads earned a $200,000 tax credit to create six jobs and QC Power earned a $100,000 tax credit to create seven jobs.
These companies are all are part of San Marcos’ booming manufacturing industry, the City’s second-largest economic sector. Manufacturing provides 11 percent of local employment, which is about 4,300 jobs.
“We love helping connect local businesses with resources that will help them grow in San Marcos,” said Tess Sangster, Economic Development Director for the City of San Marcos. “This is a big win for the City and Piercan, as their expansion and creation of new jobs will boost our local economy and community.”
It just got a whole lot easier to apply for a business license or submit a business renewal with the launch of San Marcos’ new online business portal.
Business owners in San Marcos and companies who are doing business with the City of San Marcos can now easily apply and renew online on our business license web page:
The business license portal now allows for online payment processing. It speeds up the process, too. Business owners can submit applications, renew and print their license within 1-2 business days after payment and any required approvals instead of waiting to receive it in the mail, which was taking 2-3 weeks. Not only does the portal simplify the process, it allows for virtual vs. in-person interaction. The City has implemented a variety of no-touch environments as a result of COVID-19 and will continue to expand its offerings.
Please ensure the City has your correct email address on file before your license expires. If you have already received a paper renewal notice and would like to renew online, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request your security code.
For applications, options and details, visit the business license web page.
Additional virtual solutions:
· San Marcos City App: You can help us keep San Marcos safe and clean by downloading this app that is your gateway to City service requests. Whether you see graffiti, maintenance needs, traffic light outages or stormwater issues, the app is a simple way to report non-emergency concerns. The app makes it easy to identify the location of your concern and track the progress and resolution of your request.
· Online services: Visit the City’s COVID-19 response page for a full list of services available online, by phone or email. From building permits and inspections to parking citations and land development, residents can easily get in touch.
The City of San Marcos welcomes community input about housing priorities as we plan now to meet the housing needs of current and future residents.
A housing plan update is required every eight years by state law to ensure that we are planning ahead appropriately.
We invite you to explore our new Virtual Housing Plan Workshop about the City’s housing priorities and share your feedback. Here, you can easily participate in a virtual three-step process that replaces an in-person workshop. You can provide input between now and September 4.
At your own convenience, you can:
- Watch a brief video that explains what a Housing Element is and why we are updating ours.
- Review our ‘Housing in San Marcos Guide’ to understand how we’re addressing housing needs.
- Share your ideas about housing in an easy-to-use online survey format categorized into these three sections: Your existing housing choices, your housing priorities and where you think new housing should be located.
We need your help in order to make this focused planning effort a success. Your feedback is greatly appreciated to ensure that we address the housing priorities of our community. A new Housing Element must be adopted by April 2021. Other state requirements include our Climate Action Plan Update and resiliency planning within our Safety Element (coming soon). While the City of San Marcos’ General Plan Update has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Housing, Environmental and Safety Elements must be addressed as required by state law.
We’re listening – please give us your feedback at our Virtual Housing Plan Workshop through September 4. Together, we’ll envision the future of housing in San Marcos.
For more information:
RELEASE OF UPDATED CLIMATE ACTION PLAN and INITIAL STUDY/NEGATIVE DECLARATION
The City of San Marcos has updated its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to meet new State of California goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the community’s desires for a clean, sustainable environment. The new state requirements set stricter targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. The updated CAP and environmental materials are now posted on the City’s web site at https://www.san-marcos.net/departments/development-services/planning/climate-action-plan-update
It’s time for you to weight in.
Community members can review and comment on the Draft CAP and associated Initial Study/Negative Declaration through September 7, 2020
WHAT IS A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN?
A CAP is a long-range plan that outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The intent of this updated plan is to adopt strategies and measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Marcos to 42 percent below the City’s 2012 levels by 2030. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the updated CAP provides additional benefits including: reducing air pollution, improving traffic conditions, supporting local economic development and improving public health and quality of life. Partial funding for this update was received from SANDAG’s Roadmap Program.
Key CAP highlights include:
- The updated CAP builds on the City of San Marcos’ 2012 baseline greenhouse gas inventory.
- Based on emissions projections in the future, and to be consistent with the State’s current regulations, the City’s target reduction for the year 2030 is 42 percent below the 2012 levels.
- The updated CAP includes eight strategies and 22 measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The implementation timeframe for the updated CAP is 10 years.
- The City of San Marcos will monitor the progress of CAP implementation and will provide periodic public updates.
WANT TO PROVIDE COMMENTS?
Due to current public health orders related to COVID-19, the City is not able to host a public workshop on the updated CAP and Initial Study/Negative Declaration. Comments on the updated CAP and environmental document can be submitted by:
Mail: Saima Qureshy, Principal Planner
Development Services Department
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
The City will review all comments received on the updated plan and Initial Study/Negative Declaration and incorporate those into the final CAP. Staff will hold Planning Commission hearings in October 2020 and City Council hearings in November/December 2020 to formally adopt the CAP update.
Contact: Saima Qureshy, Principal Planner, City of San Marcos
Phone: (760) 744-1050, ext. 3222
San Marcos claims two state awards for excellence in communications
The City of San Marcos was recognized with two prestigious awards this month from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO).
Two projects received CAPIO’s top honor, an EPIC award, for the San Marcos Creek Project logo and the San Marcos Creek Project groundbreaking ceremony. The logo and groundbreaking ceremony were created by the City with support from JPW Communications.
“These awards are a testament to the importance we place on keeping our community informed and involved on key infrastructure projects,” said Tess Sangster, Economic Development Director for the City of San Marcos. “We are honored to receive recognition from CAPIO – the state of California’s top communications association.”
EPIC Award details for The San Marcos Creek Project Logo
The City of San Marcos has embarked on a three-year, $104 million construction project to raise the roadways and bridges over the San Marcos Creek. This effort will reduce seasonal flooding that has plagued the area and restore habitat, along with other infrastructure improvements. The project, 30 years in the making, is the largest in the City’s history. JPW Communications was hired to develop and execute a robust, multi-year communications plan to guide the project’s outreach from pre-construction to post-completion.
The project’s tagline, “Our Neighborhood. Our Creek,” was created to underscore the collective vision for the area and acknowledge the work that had been done by previous councils, commissions and volunteers. Additionally, the tagline speaks to a new level of access the community will have to experience and appreciate its creek, as well as introduce a new era of development possibilities for the surrounding area. The tagline was designed to scale as it grows to encompass a soon-to-be-realized future. The new logo introduces a bold and energetic mark that embodies the flowing creek, new bridges and inclusive features that will invite San Marcos residents to enjoy the creek in a new way. The logo, tagline, assets and collateral pieces were created to launch the project uniformly and carry the project seamlessly through to completion.
EPIC Award details for The San Marcos Creek Project Groundbreaking Ceremony
To commemorate the San Marcos Creek Project’s kick-off, the City of San Marcos hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 11, 2019, for both elected officials and the community. The goal was to welcome as many community members as possible. San Marcos wanted to inform its audiences about the project and build goodwill in advance of two years of disruptive construction. The event was a huge success, with 180 people in attendance. The event also garnered media attention including six articles, an in-studio interview with the mayor and a live TV broadcast.
“The San Marcos Creek Project is 30 years in the making, so it was crucial for us to create a comprehensive communications campaign for the community that would carry us through the life of this important project,” Sangster said. “The award-winning logo and groundbreaking ceremony have played an integral role in the project’s continued success.”
Visitors to San Marcos’ vibrant North City neighborhood will instantly notice the new downtown district’s cool vibe, modern architecture, bustling energy and ‘green’ footprint.
Artful succulent plantings and green infrastructure solutions hint at the numerous elements of sustainability incorporated into the district’s design above ground. And there’s plenty of innovation beneath the feet of foodies visiting the area’s vibrant eateries, families relaxing in the airy outdoor spaces and Cal State San Marcos students walking to class when school’s in session.
Yet with just 25 percent of the overall North City project currently developed, there’s even more excitement on the horizon. The completed project will include 1,500+ new housing units (both single-family and higher density residential units), new retailers, innovative office and commercial spaces, community events and a 20-acre Discovery Park in North City’s residential community west of Twin Oaks Valley Road.
At the foundation of it all is state-of-the-art green infrastructure. A high-tech stormwater management system is built-in under the sidewalks and medians. The City of San Marcos, in partnership with developer Sea Breeze Properties and Stevens Cresto Engineering, installed 80 trees and 1,200 innovative modular suspended pavement units called DeepRoot Silva Cells, (along with inlets and storm drains), which collect and treat urban runoff. Special grates and soils designed for biofiltration enable the capture and treatment of urban runoff and retain it to nourish the trees.
The new technology increases water conservation and reduces the amount of potable water that’s needed for irrigation. The San Diego region typically gets 10 inches of rainfall each year, yet April brought nearly half of the average yearly rainfall in just six days. Thanks to North City’s new innovative footprint, more than 80,000 gallons of stormwater were captured and treated through bioretention offered by Silva Cells, significantly improving the quality of stormwater runoff. The system helps keep San Marcos waterways clean by reducing the amount of runoff and pollution that flows into our creeks, streams and the ocean.
This kind of innovation and sustainable infrastructure are key benchmarks for the future as San Marcos continues to grow. Expect to see more mixed-use, green infrastructure development projects in the near future, including: North City West, Discovery Park and El Dorado Apartments.
Dear Resident of San Elijo Hills:
Please be advised the City of San Marcos has canceled the annual fireworks show and will be closing Double Peak Park at 5:00 PM on July 4th, 2020. We encourage residents to make other accommodations in order to watch any local fireworks. Residents can visit https://fox5sandiego.com/news/big-bay-boom/where-to-watch-fireworks-this-year-in-san-diego/ to locate alternative places to view fireworks, which include the City of Vista.
Please contact the City of San Marcos Parks Department at (760) 744-9000 ext. 3500 if you have any questions or concerns.
San Elijo Hills Community Association-HOA Management
**Since 2006 SanElijoLife.com provides community news, photos, videos, and a directory of resources for residents of San Elijo Hills. The site is independent of the developer and the HOA and is run by local homeowners.
COVID-19 certainly surprised us all. As public health mandates were implemented and businesses responded, it became clear that no industry was safe from COVID – even the ones we traditionally think of as “recession proof.” Instead, many organizations had to adapt quickly (very quickly) to ever evolving protocols because, pandemic or no pandemic, people needed them.
Educational institutions in San Marcos did just that.
San Marcos is a hub of education with eight institutions of higher learning, so when COVID-19 impacted campuses mid-semester, our educational leaders had to adjust quickly. California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and Palomar College, for example, both pivoted to online learning offerings in a just few days, which is no small feat considering the adjustments necessary to evolve experiential classes (laboratories, student teaching, art studios, internships, performances, community engagement, group projects, etc.) to an online setting.
“We were able to transition to distance learning in four days,” said CSUSM President Dr. Ellen Neufeldt. “So much credit needs to go to our faculty and staff for adapting so proficiently. Of course, some classes were easier than others, but I am really proud of how quickly we were able to respond to the realities of COVID-19 and maintain our level of student support.”
Similarly, Palomar College’s acting Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn remarked at how the challenge of transitioning to distance learning provided some collateral benefits that can be applied to future semesters. “We have seen several instances of improved practices, innovations and collaborations across the campus,” said Dr. Kahn. “We have also provided an incredible amount of professional development to faculty and staff over the last months which has also helped us prepare [for future semesters].”
Both institutions strongly emphasized their commitment to fostering continued student success efforts, even with new dynamics resulting from online courses, and they see a potential for online education to reach new students in the future.
“As faculty are learning more and getting excited about opportunities we believe there will be more online options in the schedule in the future,” continued Dr. Kahn. “By increasing these options, we will increase access to education, especially for our students who typically hold down one or more jobs in order to make a living in San Diego County.”
Dr. Neufeldt echoed the value of blending online with in-person pedagogy and noted the need for “innovation for all.” “We stand ready to serve and support our students find a sense of community during COVID,” said Dr. Neufeldt. “Our campus has been committed to serving the needs of our community since the beginning, and the adjustments we’ve made in response to COVID are inspiring us to innovate our way forward.”
As public health restrictions are rolled back, CSUSM and Palomar College are looking forward to striking the appropriate balance between online and in-person learning to the benefit of students and the greater San Marcos community.
“By opening up access to education through our online delivery, many residents will find they are able to attend college while continuing to work in their current fields, raise a family, and continue to meet their obligations while improving their marketability through advancing their education,” said Dr. Kahn.
Cal State San Marcos also appreciates that by exploring new methods for making courses accessible remotely, it can strengthen its ability to provide a multitude of learning modalities that could potentially reach non-traditional students who are not recent high school graduates.
Planning for the fall semester is well underway and both institutions are currently offering robust online summer sessions with full enrollment numbers.
As COVID relief efforts continue and businesses reopen, San Marcos’ higher education leaders offer a reminder that they are here to serve the business community. “We always invite businesses to be our partners, so we can best serve our students and the City of San Marcos,” said Dr. Neufeldt. “We’re here to support our community now and beyond COVID.”