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