Our last Christmas in Escondido.

If all goes according to plan, we will be moving to Warren, RI early in the new year. These last few years in Escondido have certainly been interesting and I will always be glad of the many friends we’ve made.  To everyone who has followed my blog, I want to say how much I have enjoyed the chance to discuss the issues facing our city and wish everyone the best for the future.  I will continue to post periodically at ESCONDIDO2014.COM and will let you all know when I leave.

Until then, click on the link below to see a holiday video created by a friend in Warren. aawarrenwaterfront http://eastbayimages.zenfolio.com/p486184060/slideshow

Mid-century modern now on the market.

If you or someone you know is interested in living in the heart of downtown Escondido, my house is now for sale.  It’s a single-story home that’s just a few blocks from the library, Farmers’ Market and Grand Avenue.  That means you can walk to shops, restaurants, movies, California Center for the Arts and yes, City Hall.  From the friendly front porch to the private brick courtyard it’s a sunny indoor/outdoor house with three bedrooms and two full baths.  The eat-in kitchen has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances as well as a two-sided gas fireplace that makes the whole house cozy on a chilly winter morning like today.

There will be an open house this Sunday from 10 until 4.  Complete information is available at realtor.com, but here’s a short preview:


Turnout, turnout, turnout.

In yesterday’s election, only 34% of Registered Voters cast their ballots.  In 2012, that number was more than double at 75%.  Mayor Abed’s voters — about 12,000 this year and the same when he was elected as Mayor in 2010 — turned out to give him the win. If every voter who had supported Olga Diaz in 2012 had cast their vote for her yesterday, she would have become the new Mayor of Escondido with a margin of about 3,000 votes.


After two years of daily blogging, adding up to 833 posts, ESCONDIDO2014.COM has come to an end. Though the blog will remain open for comments, I will not be posting there.  In its place is ESCONDIDO2016.COM. I’ll begin blogging once I’ve had a chance to rest up and recharge.  If you would like to notified when 2016 begins posting, please go to the new blog and FOLLOW it; you will get an email when I post. Otherwise, please check back at ESCONDIDO2016.COM.  Thank you to all who have followed 2014, I hope you’ll get to know 2016.

It’s a little after 11 pm on the 4th.

With less than a third of the votes counted in the Mayoral and District 1 races, the results won’t be known until the 5th.  In District 2, it is no surprise to see appointed Councilman Masson way ahead in his race with almost half the votes counted — with three competitors and the advantage of incumbency in a Republican district that’s hard to beat.  Proposition E, the school bond issue, is at 55.7%, which would look like a win except it needs 55% to pass so will have to wait and see what happens with the 65% of the votes not yet counted.  As the UT reported, it appears Propostions G and H have both gone down to defeat.

For Prop G — the Charter City proposal — this will be the second time that the voters have rejected the Council majority’s attempt to turn Escondido into a Charter City — in spite of the deletion of the districting language that the Council majority said lead to its defeat the first time around.  As the UT put it: Meanwhile, the apparent rejection of the charter city proposal is a blow to the city Council majority that supported it.  Mayor Sam Abed said he thought the vote would be closer.  I hope this is the last we hear about becoming a Charter City without a citizen-based discussion, but we shall see if it comes back in 2016 under the theory of “third times a charm.”

For Prop H — the Country Club/Lake initiative — this will leave the property in legal limbo. The lawsuit against the City will continue through the courts unless folks decide to sit down for some serious discussion.  I am curious to see how each side reacts to the vote and will revisit this at a later date.

As to the two big races — Mayor and District 1 — less than a third of the vote has been counted at the time I am writing.  Those that have been reported are basically all the mail-in ballots which traditionally skew Republican. (That certainly is true among my little group of close neighbors in District 3.  Six of us, all Democrats, voted at the polls on November 4 and all of us voted for Olga Diaz.)

Stay tuned.

If you want change in Escondido, here’s what you can do to make it happen.

Tomorrow is election day.  And each of us gets one ballot to vote for those candidates and measures that we think are best for our city, our county,  our state and our country.  But we also have the ability to make sure other people get out and vote.  So I encourage each of you to spend a few minutes making a list of family and friends that you could encourage to get out and vote too.

Here’s what you can do today.

1. Give them a call / send a text / write an email reminding them that tomorrow is election day.  Let them know that the polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

2.  If you know their address, tell them where their polling place is.  (You can look it up here.)  If they still have their mail-in ballot they can drop it off at any polling place.  If they lost their mail-in ballot they can still cast a provisional ballot at their polling place.

3.  Offer to give them a ride, watch their kids, make them lunch — whatever it takes to get them to the polls.

4.  Tell them who you’re voting for and why.

On election day.

1.  Make sure you get out and vote — do it early to avoid a problem later in the day.

2.  Call/text/email again, reminding your people that they need to vote today between 7 am to 8 pm.  Ask them to let you know once they’ve voted.

3.  If you hear nothing by say 5 pm, contact them again.  (Yes, I know you’re now becoming a pest but there’s an election at stake.)  Offer to come over and give them a ride, watch the kids, get dinner ready — whatever it takes to get them to the polls.  (As I’m writing this I just got an email from Scarlett Johansson telling me the same thing I’m typing right now.)

If you think elections here in Escondido can’t be close, you’re wrong.  In 2012, City Treasurer Huggins won his race by just 27 votes.  In 2010, Ed Gallo won his seat by just 43 votes. In 2004, Sam Abed won his Council seat by just 619 votes (exactly 1% more than the closest challenger.)

Most of my friends are political junkies like me, so I know they’ll be voting.  But I also have contacted half a dozen friends who lead “normal” lives and will be checking in with them to make sure they’ve voted.  We each have our part to play in this election — please do what you can.