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Monte Vista High School Ground Breaking for Event Center Pg 9 - 10

MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019 Vol. 1 No. 9

The East County Community Times

East County’s Only Photojournalism Publication

Santee Hero’s Luncheon Buddy Rabaya Santee Citizen of the year Get Your Community Fix! www.ecctimes.com


NEWS In the

PAGE TWO • MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

State Senator Brian Jones Visits Local Patients with Kidney Disease at Dialysis Center

ESCONDIDO, March 22 – DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), a leading provider of kidney care services in the United States, hosted Escondido State Senator Brian Jones at the DaVita Escondido Dialysis Center on March 22 for a meet-and-greet with patients and caregivers to talk about health care and support needs for those suffering from end stage renal disease (ESRD). Patients on dialysis are one of the sickest and most vulnerable patient populations in the health care system, often suffering from other chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Their complex care needs can make it difficult for patients to manage their health and various care plans. “I appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with patients and the DaVita care team to deepen my understanding of the challenges patients face,” said Escondido State Senator Brian Jones. “It’s critically important that patients have regular access to dialysis treatments. Without this treatment three times a week for three or four hours at a time, they will die. That’s why I’m committed to protecting access to dialysis.” We were thrilled that State Senator Brian Jones visited our clinic and learned more about the excellent care we provide to our patients and the positive and enriching work environment for our teammates,” said Matt Luke, regional operations director for DaVita. “Our commitment to our patients and to providing high-quality care in a nurturing environment is our top priority.” There are more than 70,000 dialysis patients in California. DaVita provides dialysis treatments and patient care to nearly 35,000 of those patients at more than 310 centers across the state, employing nearly 7,500 Californians. Kidneys are the body’s filtration system, removing waste and extra fluid while balancing chemicals that are necessary to kidney function. Individuals with kidney disease lose the ability to effectively remove waste from the body. If chronic kidney disease (CKD) progresses to ESRD, a kidney transplant or some form of dialysis is vital for survival. Today, there are over 26 million American adults who are living with CKD, which, untreated, can ultimately progress to kidney failure. Currently, more than 600,000 Americans suffer from ESRD and need a kidney transplant or some form of dialysis to sustain life. DaVita Escondido Dialysis Center serves San Diego County. For more information, call 760- 7434401 or visit the center at 203 E 2nd Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025. About DaVita Kidney Care DaVita Kidney Care is a division of DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500® company, that through its operating divisions provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and abroad. A leading provider of dialysis services in the United States, DaVita Kidney Care treats patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita Kidney Care strives to improve patients’ quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of December 31, 2018, DaVita Kidney Care operated or provided administrative services at 2,664 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 203,000 patients. The company also operated 241 outpatient dialysis centers located in 9 countries outside the United States. DaVita Kidney Care supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by

Santee State of the City Address Santee – March 27 – Mayor John Minto gave the State of the City Address at the March 27th Santee City Council meeting. Elected public officials in the audience were recognized. Santee City Council members and Santee City staff members were introduced including CEO/City Manager Marlene Best. Progress of the strategic plan were included in the report. Projects completed include: repair of corrugated pipes within the city; purchasing new safety gear and new fire vehicles for the Santee Fire Department. Projects currently in progress include: Senior and Teen Center; Highway 52 Coalition; River trail thru Santee, Create a Brand for the City of Santee; and a Hotel feasibility study. Santee Envision Committee has been formed to aid with economic development. Projects include: Mast Park transformation with a new dog park, projection completion in late 2019; Studio Movie Grill & Theatre to be located in Town Center; relocation of San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk Office (ARCC) to Santee, building in progress. Passport services are now available in thee Santee City Clerk’s office. Law enforcement (Sheriff’s Department) has reduced the number of crimes committed in the city in the last 3 years. They have also held multiple events for the community including: Community Coffees with Sheriff Captain Breslen; homeless outreach; Senior volunteer program; community events; and school outreach program. The Santee Fire Department is a full-service department including their own paramedics. They held an Open House for the Community with over 60,000 attendees. They also participated at Santee community events. Development Service projects included: completion of Mast Park storm water project; Mission Gorge median; and Storm drain trash diversion project. The Community Services Department is responsible for a large number of community special events; recreational programs; public services; Santee Seniors program; Santee Teen Center; and held the first pickleball tournament. According to Mayor Minto, “The City of Santee’s future is bright.” Full text is on Page 12

Check Presented for 2019 Santee Community Special Events Santee – Wednesday, March 27 – The City of Santee received a check from Jeff O’Connor representing Home Fed Development Corp./Fanita Ranch at the March 27 City Council meeting in the amount of $21,000 to be used for 2019 community special events.

Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com. Lea Park-Kim Communications Director | Senator Brian Jones

Destination El Cajon Warbird Expo at Gillespie Field is Back! Don’t miss all the classic aircraft, classic cars and more! • Date: Saturday, April 13 • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Location: Gillespie Field, west ramp, on N. Marshall Avenue Warbirds, classic aircraft, classic and historic vehicles, WWII memorabilia and collectibles, from books, toys and more! A fun-filled day for the entire family! Take a ride in a WWII aircraft! Admission is $5 for adults, 12-17 $3, kids under 12 are free. This event is hosted by the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, visit www.ag1caf.org. El Cajon Rotary Rock & Roll Fundraiser: Rotary Club of El Cajon invites you to their annual fundraiser titled “Rock n’ Roll!” • Date: Saturday, April 13 • Time: 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. • Location: El Cajon Elks Lodge, 1400 E. Washington Avenue Enjoy a delicious dinner and live music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, a live and silent auction. Tickets are $60 per person, $20 for children under 12. Every dollar raised supports programs in the community and Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio. For reservations and more information, visit www.elcajonrotary.org or call (619) 977-6497. By Popular Demand - Morning Glory Brunch is Back! Join St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for the return of the Morning Glory Brunch!

On The Cover Santee - March 29 – The Santee Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Santee Heroes Luncheon at Carlton Oaks Golf Course. Community Award Recipients included: Buddy Rabaya, Santee Chamber Person of the Year.

Cover: Jay Renard Cover design: Jay Renard / The East Community Times


Times Business

SERVICE DIRECTORY PAGE THREE • MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

Your Voice in the Community San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce

Office: 619.440.6161 Fax: 619.460.6164 info

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10315 Mission Gorge Road • Santee • 92071

www.SanteeChamber.com Phone: 619.449.6572 Fax: 619.562.7906

RONN HALL INSURANCE AND NOTARY SERVICES Office 619-562-8585 Cell 619-670-1200 RonnHall@RonnHall.com

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East County Albondigas El Cajon – Wednesday, March 27, was the San Diego East County Albondigas group meeting. The event was held at On the Border Restaurant in El Cajon. About 50 people attended the event. The attendees enjoyed a buffet Mexican lunch and networking with each other. The non-partisan group consisted of local elected officials, candidates for office, and local businesses. The next Albondigas meeting is June 5 at On the Border, El Cajon. Photos by Jay Renard/Community Times


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

PAGE FIVE

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THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

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2019 Santee Heroes Luncheon Santee - March 29 – The Santee Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Santee Heroes Luncheon at Carlton Oaks Golf Course. Community Award Recipients included: Buddy Rabaya, Santee Chamber Person of the Year; Doug Wilson, Rotarian of the Year, SanteeLakeside Rotary Club; Staff Sergeant Damion S. Cardell, Military Appreciation Award, Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MAS Miramar; Deputy Janae Krull, Deputy of the Year, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Santee Station; Matt Brown, Fire Fighter of the Year, Santee Fire Station; and Gillian Ryan, Educator of the Year, Santee School District, PRIDE Academy. Event Sponsors included: TDT Construction, Sycuan Casino and Resort, Walmart, and Waste Management. Photos by Jay Renard/Community Times


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THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019


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THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

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NINE

Monte Vista High School Celebrated Groundbreaking of Future Event Center Spring Valley – Wednesday, March 27 – Monte Vista High School celebrated the groundbreaking of its future event center. It will be replacing the current “Little Theater” which is a converted lecture room. The project is slated for completion in summer, 2020. Principal Joel Troop was the main speaker. The band and cheerleaders were there to welcome the attendees. The new space will provide a state-of-the art and energy-efficient multi-use facility to support sophisticated student performances as well as school and community meetings, and special events. The facility will include a comprehensive Student Support Services Center, designed to serve as a one-stop shop for student services on campus. It will promote student engagement and interaction with campus staff. Photos by Jay Renard/Community Times


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

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THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

Rancho San Diego

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Warbird Expo SATURDAY APRIL 13TH, 2019 GATES OPEN 8:00AM – 2:00PM

GILLESPIE FIELD WEST RAMP ON NORTH MARSHALL AVE. ____

TAKE A RIDE IN WWII AIRCRAFT ____

Spring Eggstravaganza Sunday, April 14, 2019

SEE CLASSIC & HISTORIC VEHICLES ____

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

PURCHASE WWII COLLECTABLES

Santee Lakes, North Lake 5 9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee, CA 92071

____

A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THESE AIRCRAFT UP CLOSE Come see classic aircraft, classic cars & MORE!! Warbirds, classic aircraft, classic cars and WWII memorabilia all come together for a fun-filled day for the entire family!! See these great machines up close!! Speak with other aircraft and car enthusiasts. Our WWII Memorabilia section will offer a unique opportunity to purchase artifacts and collectables. Books, Photos, Uniforms, Toys, Uniforms & Insignias, Aircraft Parts and MORE!! Tickets for a ride in real WWII aircraft can be purchased online or at the event.

Admission: Adults - $5, Youth 10-17 - $3, Kids under 10 - FREE

AIR GROUP ONE COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE 1920 North Marshall Avenue El Cajon, CA 92020 (619) 259-5541 www.ag1caf.org

• •

Activities 1-8 tickets Tickets $1 each

• •

Parking $10 Free shuttle on site

• •

Pets prohibited Cash Only/ATM on site

Spring Eggstravaganza is a partnership event between Santee Lakes and the City of Santee Parks & Recreation


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

Champion Comedy Night Santee - Saturday, March 30 - Champion Gymnastics and Cheer (CGC), along with Diana Senica of One-Eyed ‘Possum Productions, hosted their first-ever Comedy Night fundraiser at CGC. The evening began with Emcee Josh Lawson and his storytelling life adventures comedy. The following act was surprise guest comedian, Brian April, who shared his unique form of comedy that included the fantastic voices of The Simpsons, Animaniacs, Hulk Hogan, Morgan Freeman, and others. The evening ended with hysterical headliner comedian, Patrick DeGuire, who has been seen on Comedy Central. Photos by Jay Renard/Community Times

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THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

Santee Mayor John Minto Delivers the State of the City Address Welcome: Mr. Vice Mayor, members of City Council, honored guests and fellow Citizens: It is a great honor to be speaking with you this evening. Thank you for attending tonight’s City Council Meeting and my second State of the City Address. Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to introduce our Santee City Council members. I would like each of you to stand as I call your name. Please remain standing until all of you have been recognized.  Vice Mayor Stephen Houlahan  Council Member Ronn Hall  Council Member Rob McNelis  Council Member Laura Koval Ladies and Gentlemen, these are my colleagues in city leadership, and I’d like to ask you to join me now in recognizing their efforts and thanking them for their service. Thank you all, and please be seated.

I’d like to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve as mayor of this great city. It’s really a great honor, and a remarkable experience -- one in which I am blessed to be able to share your concerns and challenges and work together with so many talented people to address them. I am also blessed to share the goals, hopes, and aspirations of our citizens, and to collaborate with you to achieve them. Last March, I discussed in my State of the City address a strategic plan developed by the council and staff to address issues in ten areas of improvement for our City. It is my opinion that our team went above and beyond the call in 2018. It is with pride and duty tonight to report to you on the progress we have made in addressing those goals over the past twelve months.   Strategic Goals: Here are the goals agreed upon in March of 2017 and carried out in 2018. The following items were identified: 1) Senior and Teen Center (underway) 2) Improve Mast Boulevard and SR 52 (highway 52 coalition) 3) Reduce the PERS and other unfunded liabilities (underway) 4) Repair or Replace Corrugated Metal Pipes (completed) 5) Public safety center (underway) 6) Implement a new permitting system (underway) 7) Replace outdated firefighter breathing apparatus (completed) 8) Finish the River Trail through Santee (underway) 9) Develop a brand for the city (underway) 10) Establish an entertainment district (underway). 11) Conduct a hotel feasibility study (completed) 12) Replace the City’s Fire-Brush Rig (completed) Highly performing teams are the reason we can accomplish so much. City Manager, Economic Development, Information Technology, City Attorney, Fire Department, City Clerk, Human Resources, Community Services, and the Finance Department.   City Manager: Our City Manager, Marlene Best serves as the chief executive of our city government. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the city and provides leadership, support, and guidance to each of the city’s department directors and their staff. Marlene is the point of contact for most projects taking place within the city whether it is the theater project or the Karl Strauss brewery. Economic development and information technology were high on the list for Marlene in 2018. Marlene is constantly with various property owners and potential businesses on location opportunities in Santee. As a way to expand the work, Marlene created a new committee for economic development; we call it the Envision Committee. The committee is comprised of Marlene and me and team members from different city departments. The concept has the committee visiting businesses in Santee with a goal of determining if we can help them grow their business or work with regulations that are negatively impacted their business. This program is successful and fun. Our team is putting together videos with infomormation for the businesses. Here is an example. Other 2018 accomplishments included: • District elections • The transition from County Animal Control services to services provided by the San Diego Humane Society • Managed the process for a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) feasibility study in coordination with the Cities of La Mesa and Chula Vista • Work with the City Attorney and other departments on the update of the Municipal Code • Negotiated the Theater parcel sale. • Assisted with a Manufacturer’s Expo sponsored by the East County Economic Development Council • Completed the Hotel Feasibility study by HVS to encourage the development of new hospitality services in Santee • Updated and managed GIS program software improvements • Coordinated technology improvements for updates to the EOC • Facilitated technology enhancements with the Development Services and Finance Departments for improving the online processing of building permits • Coordinated with Mayor and Council, other departments and community groups to begin the necessary support for the Highway 52 Coalition. Marlene, I don’t know how you do it. Thank you for what you do.   Sheriff’s Department: The primary purpose any Law Enforcement Agency is to uphold the laws of the jurisdiction, provide regular and traffic patrols, and investigate local crimes. The City of Santee contracts with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for those services. A

MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

Sheriff’s Captain leads law Enforcement in Santee. • Captain Dan Brislin established a goal in 2018 to reduce the over all crime rate in the city of Santee. As an example, the Average Crime Rate in 2016: 20.1, 2017: 18.1 • 2018: 17.2. Dan and his team met with citizens through the Coffee with the Community and Crime Preventions events. Other types of outreach included: Adopt a School • Patrol Deputies regularly visited Elementary and Middle schools. • Homeless outreach is through a variety of organizations, including the psychological emergency response team. • Senior Volunteer Programs. – YANA, extra patrols • Crime analysis – Crime trend monitoring, offender watch, crime reduction strategies: • Data mining through the Automated Regional Information Justice Center. • The crime rate is based on crimes per 1,000 citizens, annualized outreach. City Attorney: The city does not elect or employ a full-time City Attorney. However, the City Attorney is appointed by the City Council. We have contracted with the Law offices of Best, Best, and Krieger for about 22-years and in 2003, the Council appointed a young attorney named Sean Hagerty to represent us. Today, Sean is a partner in the firm. Congratulations. Sean serves as chief legal adviser to the elected City Council, the City Manager, city departments, and all appointed boards and commissions. He attends all meetings of the City Council, and other boards and commissions as necessary and provides them with legal advice. Sean has taken on significant quality of life issues about blighted or dilapidated properties posing public health and safety hazards. All of the cases were completed in 2018 were with a minimum of cost to the city, and in one case, Sean recovered over $28,000.00 in legal fees from the property owner. In his spare time, Sean negotiated the theater project agreement, helped establish the Highway 52 Coalition, updated the Municipal Code, helped to implement the first by-district election, reviewed two initiatives, Subarea Plan, Climate Action Plan, and support to our development team on the Fanita Ranch Project. Sean did all this while representing other jurisdictions. We are lucky to have you. Thank you. You have done well.   Santee Fire Department: Chief Richard Smith led the Fire Department through 2018 and retired in December. The Division Chief, Jon Garlow has now taken the helm of the Fire Department. Welcome Chief Garlow. Jon will lead a full-service department, providing fire suppression, paramedic ambulance service, search and rescue, fire prevention inspections and permits, public fire education programs, emergency preparedness planning and other services based on community needs. In 2018, Firefighters taught CPR, held a Citizen’s Emergency Response Team Academy and graduated 19 members. They participated at the show and tell programs at schools and other public events, installed smoke detectors, hosted station dinners and community breakfasts, installed an Automated Electrocardio Defibrillator (AED) and held an open house in which about 2000 community members attended. Altogether, nearly 64,000 people from our community and others saw our firefighters in action. I have been there for many of the events the firefighters have participated in, and I can say they have performed professionally and have been well received. Thank you, Chief Garlow. I appreciate the work your entire staff does every day.   City Clerk’s Office: The City Clerk, Annette Ortiz is responsible for preparing City Council agendas, staff reports and minutes. An important function is maintaining the legislative history of City Council actions; provide safekeeping and storage of the City’s official records and archives; respond to public records requests and legislative research for city departments and the public. Annette started working for Santee in 2017 and hit the ground running. Her top-notch staff, Sara Real and James Jeffries jumped in to help make the transition as painless as possible. How did that work out for you? Good job. Annette and I worked on policies and regulations that were outdated. We identified legislative policy stretching back to the days of the city’s incorporation. Therefore, we spent 2018 updating policy and even bringing a new look to the City Council Agenda. The most significant changes came in the form of by-District Elections and processing two initiatives submitted by the community. These initiatives will appear on the 2020 ballot. The team processed: • 20 City Council Meetings • 46 contracts • 396 Public Records Request o Which represents a 41% increase over 2017 • 134 Resolutions and 4 Ordinances • Recorded 40 Documents • Processed 14,893 pieces of outgoing mail • Archived 77 boxes of records • Destroyed 103 Records o According to the records retention schedule Through all of this work, Annette added amenities to her office. Seeing no other businesses in Santee providing a comprehensive passport service, Annette launched a U.S. Passport program from her office. The program is well received on several fronts. First, there are no lines, there is ample parking and most importantly, excellent customer service. The program started in August and in the first five months, generated $8,000.00. How cool is that? Annette. Great Job. I thank you and your team for all your hard work.   Human Resources: The Human Resources Director, Jessie Bishop plans and directs the management and administration of the City’s personnel system. Jessie is responsible for the management, planning, and supervision of all human resources functions in each of the following disciplines:


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

• Benefits and Administration • Classification and Compensation • Training and Organizational Development • Recruitment and Selection • Employee Relations • Policy Administration and Human Resources Information Systems. Jessie performed sixteen Recruitments and made thirty-four appoints, which covered Regular and Temporary positions from Student Interns to Fire Chief. She also monitored employee evaluations, training records, benefits, retirements, and other terminations. Many of the benefits include medical and dental plans. Jessie’s hard work paid off in the form of a $36,000.00 refund on broker commissions. She also negotiated a 6% decrease in the 2019 medical rates resulting in a saving of over $136,000.00. Jessie handled 26 claims, six settlements or mediations which saved the city another $400,000.00. Council certainly likes hearing that. With all this going on, Jessie has managed to be a bit more innovative. That is a code word for “More Work.” Jessie: • Piloted a citywide classification and compensation review, which identified employees performing work outside of their classifications. Therefore, two secretarial positions were upgraded to Administrative Secretaries. • Implemented PERS changes to Employer Paid Member Contributions, resulting in future City savings • Founded a City and County Risk Management Association (CCRMA) to share best practices. • Implemented a new system to design and print city employee identification cards and over 150 have been issued. Jessie. I am so thankful for what you have done. Please accept a warm, heartfelt thank you to you and your staff.   Development Services: The Director of Development Services, Melanie Kush manages a variety of functions related to growth and infrastructure. She plans, directs and integrates broad, comprehensive planning and community development programs and services; Melanie is tasked with analyzing complex planning issues and problems. If that is not enough, she evaluates alternative solutions and develops sound conclusions, courses of action and presents proposals and recommendations. Melanie’s department: • Issued 1,739 building permits. • Approved three residential projects with a total of 228 new residences. • Approved over 101,000 square feet of new retail/office space. • Finalized permits on over 100 new residences. • Completed nine Capital Improvement Plan projects. • Worked on the City-wide replacement of corrugated metal pipe storm drains and applied $258,000 of money we had received from FEMA towards accelerating this project. • Completed work on the Mission Gorge Median. • Presented an ordinance to allow Microbreweries in the General Commercial zone. Which council adopted. • Held three workshops on the City’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission to achieve State targets. • Adopted new regulations on the long-term parking of large trucks and recreational vehicles on City streets. • In our continuing efforts to seek out new funding sources, the City has applied for and received grant funds of $767,000 for three projects: o Prospect Ave and Mesa Rd intersection improvements; o Active Transportation Plan development; o Traffic signal reflectivity upgrades. Development Services managed the following capital improvement projects: • Applied the additional $258,000 in FEMA funding to expanding the CMP replacement program in the City • Heatherdale Storm Drain Repairs • Riverwalk Drive Pedestrian Crossing Improvement by Rio Seco School • Magnolia Bridge Foundation Repairs • Pilot Storm Water Infiltration Project on the channel near New Frontier MHP • City Hall wood replacement project • TCCP HVAC replacement • TCCP recycled water line replacement • Street Crack Sealing and Paving Projects • The future CMP replacement and repair program • Mission Gorge Road Median Project • Mast Park Improvement Project • City Hall Accessibility Improvements • Storm Drain Trash Diversion Project Melanie and her team have also worked on sustainability issues regarding climate action and Community Choice Aggregation; Public Safety matters explicitly relating to locations experiencing the most frequent traffic collisions, installing modified traffic signals allowing more frequent protected left turns and aggressively abating residences that have become a public nuisance or hazard. Melanie, I know we could go on and on about the variety of projects you and your team work on every day, however, we wouldn’t get through the night. Suffice it to say, I recognize that without you and your team this city might just come to a standstill. Thank you very much for your service and the service of your staff.   Community Services: The Community Services Director, Bill Maertz leads a department, unlike any other department in Santee. He and his staff fulfill a wide range of duties to enhance the city’s quality of life. Their burden is to foster a sense of community and keep city facilities in good shape. This department houses the Parks and Recreation Division, which produces special events and manages recreational programs. Community Services also manages digital communications, which includes the city website and social media. Public Service staffers are instinctive when it comes to maintaining our public facilities, including parks, City Hall, storm drains and more. Just last week, I was talking with a man who lives in another city. I couldn’t help

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beaming with pride as he spoke of the beautiful parks we have in Santee. He said he couldn’t understand why other cities did not do more events in his own and other communities. In fact, he comes to Santee for most of his community entertainment needs. Here are a few reasons why: Bill oversaw a community center feasibility study that focused on building a new facility for teens and seniors. He supervised the expenditures of a grant from Proposition 1, which is known as the San Diego River Conservancy. The grant funded the Walker Preserve Restoration and Monitoring in the amount of $256,665.60. But wait, there’s more. Bill also led the design team for the renovation of Mast Park. Here Bill obtained grants from: • Proposition 1 - San Diego River Conservancy - Urban Rivers Grant; $1,919,900 • Proposition 1C Housing-Related Parks Grant from the CA Department of Housing and Redevelopment; $321,431.00 • Neighborhood Reinvestment Program from County Supervisor Diane Jacob’s office $186,271 • This is a total of $2,427,602 That was just the administrative side of Community Services. Let’s hear about the others: Public Services: • Placed 2000 new street lights throughout Santee • Used 24,000 lbs of asphalt to fill potholes • Responded to 136 reports of Graffiti that covered 30,298 sq. Ft. • Cleared 1678 Cubic Yards of Debris from Storm Water Channels and River Bottoms • Responded to 118 instances of illegal dumping throughout the City (Furniture, Appliance, Mattresses, Construction Waste, and Etc.,) • Picked up 136 Dead Animals • 400,000 Dog Waste Bags were used (Bill. Can explain how you know this?) Recreation: • There was a 40% increase in participation with the Santee Seniors 55+ programs • Santee became a member of the County Live Well Partner program. • Over 1200 youth and adults participated in recreational classes and camps. • Senior yearly trips included the San Diego Safari Park, Del Mar race track, and Getty Museum in Los Angeles. • A record number of seniors attended the annual holiday luncheon with a 50% increase in partygoers including yours truly, the Mayor. • The Santee Teen Center moved to Big Rock Park in the summer, and new activities include gardening, basketball court use and access to Cowles Mountain trails. • The Teen center established new partnerships with San Diego Youth Services, Project Wildlife, and the County of San Diego Safe Destination Nights, which offers free activities for teens at Santee summer concerts and monthly at City hall and the teen center. • Teen Center operations continue to be supported by SPARC (Santee Parks and Recreation Committee) annual donation for services of $10,000. • Park and Recreation amenities enhanced with the lining of Pickleball courts at Big Rock Park and Santana High School, The first Pickleball tournament was hosted in 2018. SPARC (Santee Parks and Recreation Committee) $500 donation for nets. Special Events: • 28 special events were hosted this year where over 60,000 community members attended • November saw the first Annual Santee Celebrates San Diego Beer Week. Don’t be fooled by the name, Beer Week. It lasted ten days. • There was an increase in Media attendance including KUSI, KSON, CW San Diego channel 8, and the Union-Tribune. • Hosted the USATF 50km Race Walk Championships in conjunction with the Santee Active Lifestyle Expo. • Partnerships with Santee Lakes, Trolley Square, MTS, and Camp Bow Wow. • Major Sponsors – Waste Management, Barona, SDGE, Home Fed. • Santee Salutes drew approximately 15,000 attendees for a free day-long concert and fireworks display. • The City hosted the 9th annual Santee Bluegrass Festival fundraiser in which over 1,700 people attended. The event raised over $40,000 to support people, parks, and programs. It is the most successful fundraiser in Santee. Bill, I can’t thank you and your staff enough for providing our community and the friends of our community with the best programs and services anywhere. Thank you.   Department of Finance: Our Finance Director, Tim McDermott manages financial matters affecting all city departments, including revenues, expenditures, investments, accounting, and bond debt. That includes overseeing the city’s payroll and purchasing. Tim is also responsible for long-range financial planning and debt administration. Tim, I think it is a good thing all the departments that I have covered so far are doing their share to bring you money. Would you agree? How about if we take a look at how your department fared last year. We balanced a total Operating Budget of $46.8 million. The Public Safety budget comprised $29.0 million of the total. The City also ended the last fiscal year (FY 2017-18) with a General Fund reserve balance of 25% of annual General Fund expenditures (reserve policy = 20%). How did we do it? • Sales tax revenue totaled $12.9 million over the past year. • Less than a 1.0% increase from the prior year. o All of the numbers you see here for the most recent four quarters up to and including the 3rd quarter of 2018 (as compared to the prior four quarters). o The mid-year budget update is going to reflect an increase in our sales tax revenue estimate, which has not been determined yet. Primarily as a result of the late receipt of a portion of the 1st and 2nd quarter 2018 sales tax revenues that were not received until the 3rd quarter of 2018. The reason is simple, the State had issues with


MAR 29 - APR 4, 2019

THE EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY TIMES • YOUR COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY

their allocation, stemming from new software. • The total assessed valuation of all property in Santee is now $6.3 billion. This is a 7.0% increase from the prior year or even better yet, the 5th highest % increase in the County. • Tim established a trust to set aside resources to reduce the City’s approximately $4 million Other Post-Employment Benefits (“OPEB” or retiree health costs) unfunded liability with initial contributions of $900,000. The City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the 14th consecutive year. We expect the June 30, 2018 report will be similarly recognized. All audits over the past year have resulted in “clean” audit opinions with no audit findings. Tim, I know it is not easy managing a public bank account. However, you always seem to make it work out. Thank you for your hard work and thank you for such a great staff. Does anyone want to hear about the Highway 52 Coalition? What is the Highway 52 Coalition?

East County Colleges Looking to Fill Food Pantry Cupboards EL CAJON – Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have long been filling the minds of students with knowledge. Now they are looking to help fill their stomachs as well, and are seeking the public’s help. Studies, including a survey of the two colleges, have shown that food insecurity among college students is a significant problem, so the campuses are both setting up food pantries to help needy students. Cuyamaca College’s Harvest Pantry and Grossmont College’s Gizmo Kitchen kicks are currently available for students. Both pantries are located in health services offices in each college’s student center. (Bldg. 60-130 at Grossmont College; I-134 at Cuyamaca College.) “These food pantries are critically needed at our colleges,” said Chancellor Cindy Miles. “We assist students in other ways through scholarships and emergency grants for unexpected expenses, but until now, we haven’t had the resources to help with basic sustenance. Students who are hungry can’t focus on their studies.” The two East County colleges are stocking their pantries with the help of the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, the philanthropic arm of the college district, student government and the San Diego Food Bank, but are also seeking donations of non-perishable food and drinks, including snacks, bottled water and fruit juices. “We have had students referred to us by teachers and other departments in the past, but we had minimal resources -- granola bars/water -- available here at Health Services,” said Cuyamaca College Health Services supervisor Lori Senini. Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges were among 70 community colleges from 24 states that took part in a large-scale survey conducted in 2016 by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and the Association of Community College Trustees. That survey found that of the 700 students at the East County colleges who responded, more than 60 percent reported a low or very low level of food security in the past 30 days. The colleges’ numbers exceeded the regional and national figures of 58 percent and 56 percent, respectively. Another recent study by San Diego State University found that half of the local community college students who were surveyed faced some level of food insecurity over the past 30 days. Such reports have brought food insecurity to the attention of educational leaders and community colleges across the country are taking steps to address the food crisis. In Fall 2017, Cuyamaca College started a pantry by the EOPS/CARE offices that was maintained through donations from college staff. EOPS and CARE are both state-funded student assistance programs located at all 114 California community colleges. The college also decided to take a collaborative approach to address food insecurities among students and established the campus-wide food pantry. The collaboration between the various student services departments – financial aid, EOPS/ CARE, Student Affairs, the Health and Wellness Center, CalWorks, Veterans Services and others – has also improved student access to information and services related to food and housing challenges. Senini said the collaboration will continue with the campus-wide Harvest Pantry keeping shelves stocked for EOPS/CARE students. Currently, the pantry is stocked to handle 50-100 students per week, an amount she said should be sustainable with regular visits to the San Diego Food Bank, donations, and contributions to the food pantry, as well as to the college’s supply of free toiletries and clothing for students in need. Harvest Pantry is available to any student on a once-weekly basis who is enrolled at Cuyamaca College. The college welcomes donations of non-perishable canned foods and snacks; breakfast cereals and oatmeal; rice, pasta, potatoes and lentils; and fruit juices, bottled waters and packets of hot chocolate. Gizmo’s Kitchen: Grossmont College is offering a “grab and go” student food pantry providing prepackaged items suitable for an on-campus lunch or meal. Free food and toiletries will be available to any currently enrolled students on a onceweekly basis. Student Engagement Coordinator Susan Berry said the Office of Student Affairs is working with faculty to get classrooms involved in food drives. Berry said outside vendors are also contributing, including Woodstock Pizza with coupons for free pizzas and a share of its sales at athletic events. “We have a variety of plans in place to ensure the sustainability of the food pantry,” Berry said. “Eventually we will also be doing monthly fresh foods and a community breakfast free of charge to help our students in need.” The college welcomes grocery store gift cards or monetary donations to the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges for the Grossmont Food Pantry. Donations of food on Gizmo’s Kitchen’s approved shopping list may be dropped off

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The Highway 52 Coalition is a bi-partisan, multi-interest, economic and communityminded effort focused on educating local, state and federal lawmakers and officials around funding needed to improve the SR-52. Our diverse public and private sector coalition includes regional and local interests connected to the SR-52 and focus collaboration around goals and opportunities for the San Diego region. Goal: 1. Construct a westbound travel lane from Mast Boulevard to I-15; relocate the bike lane from the north side to the south side of SR-52; add an eastbound auxiliary lane from I-15 to Santo Road, and create an additional eastbound travel lane by restriping to provide three travel lanes from Mast Boulevard to SR-125. 2. Install one travel lane in each direction between Mast Boulevard and SR 125 by widening the San Diego bridges. 3. Complete the ultimate improvements as reflected in the SANDAG regional 2015 plan to include two reversible managed lanes from SR-125 to I-805 and two additional travel lanes (one in each direction) from Mast Boulevard to SR-125, plus auxiliary lanes and freeway connectors. There may be other sub-phases depending on funding opportunities and changes in the regional plan over time. The problem with the SANDAG regional 2015 plan is that it has everything starting in 2035 and 2050. No one in our region believes this planning is reasonable. So here is what has happened over the past few months. Video of the complete State o the City Address is avsilable at:

www.ecctimes.com at the Associated Students of Grossmont College office (Bldg. 60-116) during business hours. Due to space limitations, donations are requested of only items on the shopping list. They include non-perishable items such as packets or pop-top cans of tuna and chicken, microwavable soup with easy-open tops, beef/turkey/pork jerky; individual cups or snack-sized trail mix; apple sauce, dried fruits and fruit cups; microwavable packets or cups of rice, pasta, ravioli, and macaroni and cheese; snack sizes of chips, cookies, granola bars and microwave popcorn. Cases of bottled water, hot chocolate and tea packets, instant coffee, and drink enhancer packets such as Gatorade and Crystal Lite will also be accepted. Toiletries, plastic silverware, and other items on the shopping list are also welcome. Contact Student Engagement Coordinator Susan Berry for more information. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District serves about 30,000 students each semester, about 20,000 at Grossmont College and almost 10,000 at Cuyamaca College. For more information about the colleges, go to www.gcccd.edu Della Elliott, Marketing and Communications Office Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Community Hero Honoree Bishop Cornelius Bowser SAN DIEGO – April 6 - Bishop Cornelius Bowser of El Cajon is a Community Hero Honoree for his work on Gun Violence. He is a gun violence prevention activist and co-founder of community Assistance Support team (CAST) whose mission is to stop gang-related violence. Bowser co-founded CAST after a City Heights neighborhood experienced a double homicide in 2012 Community Heroes was established to honor ordinary individuals who give selflessly to benefit their community and have actively made it a better place. Nominations for heroes from the public reflect current topics ranging from health to poverty, from inequity to the environment. Four heroes are chosen annually and are selected for their service and selflessness, showing a commitment to effectively collaborate with those around them and who also reflect the diversity of our region. Bowser will receive this award at the 31st Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 6, at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Human Dignity” honoring individuals and organizations dedicated to peacemaking in their own neighborhoods and around the world. The inspiring event shines a bright light on the importance of civility, peacemaking and social justice in a world filled with conflict. The event is presented by the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC). Tickets are $350 per person. Addition information and to purchase tickets, go to www.ncronline.com

Assemblyman Randy Voepel Invites You to Attend

Age Well, Drive Smart

The California Highway Patrol’s Senior Driving Course Thursday, April 11 5:30PM–6:30PM Ronald Reagan Community Center 195 E. Douglass Aveneue El Cajon

Receive Instruction on driving safety basic road courtesy, information on the impact of visual or hearing impairmenton driving ability and tios to avoid hazardous roadconditionsand improve driving performance. Some insurance companies offer discounted premiums with a certificate of course completion. Check with your insurance provider to confirm if this program is eligable for a discount. Come learn what the Legislature is doing to change the rules of the road and vecicle equipment. This FREE course is designed for drivers age 55 AND OLDR To RSVP, visit ASMRC.ORG/CA/DRIVESMART or call 619.258.7737

Profile for Jay Renard

East County Community Times April 4, 2019  

East County's Only Photojournalism Publication

East County Community Times April 4, 2019  

East County's Only Photojournalism Publication

Profile for jayrenard
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