Our thanks to all of you who have been so nice and expressed your concern and prayers for Gaye Dingeman’s recovery. The wonderful covered dishes were all delicious and helped us at a critical time. It is part of the community spirit of helping. We are very encouraged and grateful that the medical reports are all "good." You have touched our hearts. We look forward to a long and happy life together.
On December 3 Katherine Nakamura was sworn in as our San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board of Trustees member. She took Sue Braun’s place. John DeBeck was sworn in for a fourth term as well.
As I have represented Scripps Ranch on education matters for many years, this time was a real pleasure. There was no controversy, just pledges to work in harmony from all. Many good words were said about "coming together," "doing the right things," and "holding education and the children first." Now, the board needs to put these words into practice.
Ron Ottinger, president of the board, reminded all attending and the board of the sobering fact that the district faces some very difficult financial times ahead. There is an expected drastic cut in state-allocated funds that will affect already mandated actions now without funding. There is also a new contract to be negotiated with teachers and the teachers union.
The SDUSD budget will be severely impacted by the state budget cuts–the amount of $40+ million in cuts has been mentioned. This will undoubtedly affect classroom size, number of teachers and teachers’ aides hired or retained, wages, and supplies and equipment. It will certainly mean a need to increase what the parents have provided in the past in the way of support and assistance. We in Scripps Ranch have done this so well. We wish the new board success in meeting these formidable problems.
The Proposition MM construction for the new middle school is not affected by these cuts, as this is a different source of funds. However, it is expected that plans for the "size" of the new middle school may be affected. I have a complete notebook on the design criteria if you would like to borrow it. Call me at 566-6083.
We have received and published notice of the city’s "contemplated or planned" action to repair and slurry coat many streets, as well as repair sidewalks. Please be advised that the city will face the same real budget cuts that the school district faces from lack of state funds.
This means that "nonessentials"–for example, street repairs–are the first to be cut, as they can be postponed. Please keep calling in your requests to me as to what needs to be repaired. I suspect that we, and the other listed areas of the city, will get some, but not all of the "planned" repairs starting in the spring. The SRCA will monitor this issue closely and keep the community informed if there are to be any changes.
The grading for Rancho Encantada has started on Pomerado Road. They are creating the foundation for Stonebridge Parkway, the main road through the development that intersects with Pomerado. I went to the site and reviewed all the plans for the intersection with the engineer and McMillin representative.
There will be a signal at the intersection of Stonebridge Parkway and Pomerado Road. And, it has been widened so that traffic can enter from and onto Pomerado. The plans call for the installation of additional medians of the same type we now have, as well as retaining many of the safety barriers.
The Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) will continue to have reports on the construction, so plan to attend a meeting as the project will be under construction for years. Then, we get to look forward to more traffic on Pomerado.
Our hats go off to all the volunteers who were recognized at the 24th Annual SRCA Recognition Night. Councilmember Brian Maienschein presented the Citizen of the Year award to Bob Ilko and declared December 12 as Bob Ilko Day in San Diego.
Dorothy Mildice did her usual outstanding job of collecting, editing, and printing all the fabulous items. Our collective thanks to her and her husband for their "labor of love." It is so important to say "thank you" to all the splendid people who, by their hard work, help make our community so special.
SRCA President Marc Sorensen did his usual sterling job as Master of Ceremonies, moving it along yet with consideration for all. This is one of my favorite evenings of the year. It was made even more special by recognition of my wife, Gaye, for all she has done for the Ranch. I am still amazed, delighted, and overwhelmed by the scope of volunteer activities of so many residents year after year.
An important feature of Recognition Night is recognizing the city staff who make a difference in our lives by providing services and answering requests. We appreciate their work on our behalf. We especially thank Supervisor Pam Slater for preparing some of the awards, and for Charlene Zettel for coming to present awards as well. See the photos and write up starting on page 7 in the Newsletter. Then, call me to volunteer.
- I will spend more time with my family and enjoy the feeling;
- I will select an area of community service and do my part to make a better world;
- I will help the less fortunate;
- I will stop and smell the roses and enjoy living in San Diego more; and,
- I will remember that a smile costs nothing, but is worth so much when freely given.