Due to tough economic conditions in the city and state, the city manager has proposed numerous cuts to help balance the budget. I am working to minimize the consequences of these tough fiscal times, and I am doing everything in my power to maintain operating hours and staffing at all city facilities in Scripps Ranch.
Despite the bad budget news, there is some good news in the proposal: spending for public safety has increased by $24 million. That means our police department will be able to hire 132 new police officers. Both the police and fire departments will begin to work on years of deferred maintenance and strategic purchasing of vehicles and other equipment that is desperately needed. In addition, I was able to secure a commitment for an additional $100 million over the next five years for both departments.
- Reducing operating hours from 48 to 40 at recreation centers throughout the city, including Scripps Ranch;
- Closing all community service centers, including the Scripps Ranch Information Center;
- Shutting down nearly all libraries on Sundays. In addition, it is possible that two libraries in each council district will be closed entirely. There are four libraries in Council District 5--Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Mira Mesa, and Carmel Mountain Ranch. The budget proposal does not specify which two locations in our district may close.
- Using $840,000 in the Miramar Ranch North developer interest account for the general fund. This is money that the community has set aside for various projects, including the possible development of a YMCA on Scripps Poway Parkway, improvements to athletic fields, and road improvements in front of Marshall Middle School.
The idea of using this money for general fund expenditures is, in my opinion, completely unethical. I am working hard to ensure this money stays out of the general fund and remains in the community to complete projects already in the works. However, last year the city manger attempted to raid this fund and four other council members supported this attempt. We won on a 5-4 vote. I anticipate several other council members will support taking this money this year.
I understand the importance of keeping our rec center, Information Center, and library open at times that are convenient for families. I know how many of you use the rec center to play basketball, the Information Center to pay your water bill, and the library for studying or research. I am firmly opposed to closing the Information Center and library.
Keep in mind that this is a proposal. The City Council is holding hearings so the public can comment on the proposal. The council is scheduled to adopt the budget on Tuesday, June 21 and June 28. For more details on the proposal, go to the city's website [www.sandiego.gov].
One of the many city services that is in jeopardy in the budget discussions is the Community Service Center program, which locally is at the Scripps Ranch Information Center. The Information Center has been taking care of many city services since September 2000. It also provides well-equipped meeting rooms for many groups, and is serving as the Local Assistance Center for residents affected by the Cedar fire.
Some of the services the Information Center provides are: payment of water bills and parking citations; passport applications; employment applications; voter registration; and, community problem reporting. The center manager, Clay Bingham, and public information specialist, Blanca Chacon, are well-informed and dependable.
Recent statistics show the center serves nearly 1,500 people per month, and collects about $75,000. Also, the city owns the building, therefore, there is no rent. In addition to Scripps Ranch, our Information Center serves Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos, and Sabre Springs.
Let the City Council know how important our Information Center is to our community and many others. Our council member, Brian Maienschein, is in support of keeping the Community Service Center program alive. However, we need to contact the mayor, other council members, and city manager. Go to [www.sandigo.gov] for contact information. Let your voice be heard!
The Scripps Ranch Landscape Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) budget for fiscal year 2005 is summarized for your information. This past year, your MAD has performed yeoman service in Clean-Up Days, removal of dead trees, and clearing damages from the fire. Our contractors have a devotion to Scripps Ranch and to their jobs--many have worked for us for 10 years, and their service is greatly appreciated.
- Blue Skies Landscape Service: $411,989
- One Tripp Tree Service: $210,000 (1, see below)
- Waste Management, Porta Jon, Lakeview Park: $4,689
- City Services: $368
- Incidental Costs: $16,262
- Management Costs: $80,096 (2)
- Water/Sewer/Electrical: $57,500 (3)
- Special Assessment: $777,109
- Interest Earnings: $7,824
- City Contributions:
- Environmental Growth Fund: $12,756
- Gas Tax Fund: $2,921
- General Fund: $169,531 (4)
- Increase by $43,000 for tree removal;
- We have asked for an audit of this amount;
- Decrease of $10,000;
- City General Fund for parks maintenance same as last year; and,
- Required 10% reserve plus Accumulated Operating Reserve.
Starting the week of June 7, our trash, recycling, and yard waste will be picked up on Tuesdays for all Scripps Ranch residents. The Environmental Services Department (ESD) is implementing new routes to be more efficient and save money. In the first year, the rerouting will save $600,000. The recycling and yard waste will still be picked up every other week. If you have any questions regarding these changes, please call ESD's Customer Service at 694-7000.
We have received several reports of individuals on mini-motorcycles and motorized scooters speeding on our residential streets. We notified the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), and our Community Police Officer Steve Higuera provided these guidelines.
- Cannot go faster than 15 m.p.h., and cannot be driven on streets with speed limits greater than 25 m.p.h.;
- Shall be equipped with a night head lamp;
- Can only be ridden on the right side of a road or in the bike lane;
- Must wear a bicycle helmet;
- Must be at least 16 years old to operate;
- Cannot have passengers; and,
- Cannot be driven on sidewalks.
If you see young people breaking the law and it is a continuing problem in your neighborhood, please call Officer Higuera at 538-8174. Parents, please be sure your children know the law. It is for their own safety and the safety of others.
You're probably aware of the work being done on Scripps Lake Drive and adjacent streets--Scripps Ranch Boulevard, Red Cedar Drive, etc. Some of the work is to install the necessary conduits and substructures to underground existing overhead electric wires on Scripps Lake Drive, behind Miramar Ranch Elementary School, and private properties.
The completion of the trenching and installation of the conduit and substructures is expected to be done around the end of June. This portion of the work has the most impact to streets and traffic. The next phase requires no tearing up of streets and has minimal traffic impact.
After that, work will be done to convert some existing overhead services to commercial panels on Scripps Lake Drive. When all of this work is complete, the final phase will be to remove the overhead wires and poles.
The Rancho Family YMCA is in the process of conducting a Community Needs Assessment survey. The purpose of the survey is to determine, through interviews with key community leaders, the critical problems and issues in our community. Goals for the Rancho Family YMCA will be set using comments from the interviews as guidelines.
The local YMCA's service area includes Rancho Penasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Carmel Mountain, and Poway. However, there is a concentration of survey efforts in Scripps Ranch. This is because the city and the YMCA are working on an agreement to use the 4-acre parcel located at the west end of the Vons shopping center off Scripps Poway Parkway as a future branch of the Rancho Family YMCA.
Get ready for twice as much fun at the Symphony in the Park concerts this summer. We have doubled up our bands for each concert from June through September, and you will be introduced to some terrific new groups playing a variety of music. We are fortunate to have the input of our favorite drummer and neighbor, Tom Boyd of The Heroes, who put us in touch with new bands this year.
Taking the stage for our first concert on Sunday, June 6, at 5:30 pm in Hoyt Park is Jerry Gontang singing Jimmy Buffett classics. Jerry is in demand all over the county keeping Parrot Heads happy between Buffett tours.
This concert is a tribute to our business friends who help make the concert series possible. Join us in giving them a huge thanks! See you on Sunday, June 6, at 5:30 pm in Hoyt Park. Direct questions to our chairs: Joyce Wulkowicz at 566-4206 or Scott Pritchard at 578-2436.
Was a Stanford grad...proud enough of his alma mater that he had a red block "S" at the bottom of his pool...but so unassuming that it was his wife who had it placed there, without his knowledge, while they were on vacation?
An incredible father to two amazing daughters...a man who drove their carpools, coached their basketball teams, and danced with them in The Nutcracker...not as his duty, but as his joy, for they were his heart and soul?
That I was privileged to have known him, proud to have been his friend, and blessed beyond words, as were so many, that he was part of my life...a part which can never be replaced, but which will never be forgotten.
On Friday, June 4, from 2 to 7 pm the San Diego Blood Bank, with the help of Scripps Ranch Family Dentistry, holds its quarterly blood drive at the Ranch. It will be held at 10299 Scripps Trail, The Ranch at Scripps Trail. Each donor will receive a $25 credit toward a new patient visit at Scripps Ranch Family Dentistry and a San Diego Blood Donor T-shirt. Call Rose at 578-0277 to reserve a time.
Summer is here once again, and with it comes the desire to sleep with open windows. If you have a barking dog, please don't set him or her out at 6:30 am. Some of us work long hours, and having the peace and quiet shattered every morning by your dog diminishes the quality of life in our beautiful community. Thank you.
Scripps Ranch resident Jan Janecki is proud to be the first "Bark Busters" trainer and dog behavior therapist in San Diego County. With her new business, Jan introduces the community to the world's largest in-home dog training concept, famous for its two-hour, nonphysical approach.
Jan provides customized, holistic, and nonphysical obedience training to companion animals, treating behavior issues ranging from nuisance barking and overexuberance to aggression and biting. Jan works with families in their homes for the most effective and enduring training.
A former marketing manager in the banking industry, Jan has more than 20 years of business experience. Jan also volunteered at the SRCA table at the Local Assistance Center and at the insurance meetings in the fire aftermath.
Jan's interest in dog training began years ago when she rescued two dogs that displayed behavioral problems from local animal shelters. For more information, call Jan at 414-1344 or visit [www.barkbusters.com].