December 7, 2009



North County 2009 Year in Review
Supervisor Bill Horn

This has been one of the most challenging years in our county’s history. Thankfully, we have been spared the outbreak of major wildfires thus far; however, we are being attacked on many sides, including budget cuts, increased unemployment, lower property values, and the outbreak of H1N1.

December offers a chance to look back on the year’s events and, while we will remember difficult times, we can also point with pride to positive strides for North County.


We enhanced public safety in 2009 with agreements by our Unified Disaster Council resulting in the Aerial Fire Protection Program. We also made significant progress in vegetation management planning to reduce the danger of wildfires and reached an understanding with our volunteer fire departments that bolstered our County Fire Authority.

Due to a lack of a strong financial foundation, Sacramento has been hard pressed to fund many programs that are mandated locally, especially in the area of public health. For instance, in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program, the number of applications has increased more than 35% since last year. As a way to make the SNAP program more efficient, I brought forward a recommendation with Supervisor Ron Roberts to streamline the eligibility process and decrease wait times.

2009 was the year for completing a major upgrade of facilities at Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport. The $24 million expansion came from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant funds and user fees and involved no County tax dollars. There is a brand new 18,000 square foot state-of-the-art terminal, special baggage distribution area, a new Customs & Border Patrol facility, expanded long term parking, and a new restaurant. Now 50 years old, Palomar Airport is the crown jewel in the county’s airport system and a significant part of our region’s economic engine.


We are better serving our local Veteran with the creation of a comprehensive website www.sandiego.networkofcare.org. This website provides information on services as well as a peer support component and employment opportunities. We also put into place a special county Veterans internship program.

This year we completed the Valley Center Road widening project and we are closer to breaking ground on Phase 2 of the Highway 76 widening project, which will take us all the way to Interstate 15. The County reached new agreements with Caltrans and purchased four parcels of land totaling 234 acres along the San Luis Rey River to eventually build the largest park in the County. Those purchases bring the amount of land owned by the County for that project to about 500 acres. We continue to work closely with community groups for their input on the park’s alignment and features.

We broke ground in 2009 for a new 20,000 square foot library in Fallbrook, approved the Heritage Trails project for Valley Center, and we made our voice heard in Sacramento as we work together to solve the region’s water crisis.

We also took action to protect democracy at the polls following the ACORN scandal.
Long range, I will continue to advocate and interact between the owners and government agencies for the preservation of the huge Rancho Guejito land grant northeast of Escondido.

Lastly, I encourage every citizen to participate in the public process as we work on the General Plan Update for unincorporated San Diego County. Information for that is at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/pcnext.html.

I am honored to be your North County Supervisor. I value your comments and look forward to working with you in the New Year. Together we can bring the very best to our families and neighborhoods.



Local agribusiness has trading partners all over the world. A terrorist attack, or even a hoax, could cause serious economic consequences and risks to human and animal health.

The Office of the County Veterinarian provided Agroterrorism information to more than 50 Terrorism Liaison Officers from San Diego County and surrounding areas. The County Veterinarian gave information and guidelines for agribusinesses to understand local and national economies and their vulnerability to terrorist attacks.

For additional information, please contact Nikos Gurfield at nikos.gurfield@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 694-2838.

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Another enemy to agriculture is the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) that is being fought in the Borrego Springs area. Our Agriculture, Weights and Measures team is now enforcing quarantine restrictions for this pest due to an expansion of the existing quarantine.

The ACP quarantine expansion impacts citrus growers in the desert region through increased restrictions on the harvest and movement of fruit and, in turn, will increase the cost of bringing their fruit to market. It’s something that has to be done to protect our $64 million citrus industry. For additional information, please contact Karen Melvin at karen.melvin@sdcounty.ca.gov or (760) 752-4710.




New Fallbrook Library Update


We are making progress on our new branch library in Fallbrook. A month after the groundbreaking ceremony, our partners demolished the old library during the first week of November.

EDCO, which is managing the construction, demolition, and inert recycling program, is diverting debris from the landfill in an environmentally friendly way.
Library services are continuing just east of the construction site at a temporary location at 113 South Main Avenue. Dave Timber at david.timber@sdcounty.ca.gov or (858) 694-3381 can provide additional information.




County Honors

We are proud of our County team. Recent honors include:

  • San Diego County Library Director Jose Aponte named California Library Association (CLA) “Member of the Year.” The award was given for “exemplary leadership, dedication and commitment to the vision of the California Library Association.” Under Jose’s leadership, in the past three years program attendance has increased by more than 200,000 (112%) and circulation has more than doubled from 4 million to 8.3 million.
  • “More” magazine named the County of San Diego among the top employers of women in America. The award came after the magazine conducted a national poll to find out what women over 40 are looking for in a job, followed by a search to find organizations that provided those opportunities. The magazine noted that about 36 percent of the County’s jobs belong to midlife women. The article is in the November issue of “More” magazine. For information about the County’s workforce, visit www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hr.
  • Terry Cunningham, Chief of the HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch of our Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) received two prestigious community awards honoring his nearly 30 years of work in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation received a Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation for restoration work performed in partnership with IS Architecture and the Vista Irrigation District on the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House and Barn in Warner Springs.




Toys for Tots


On Saturday, December 12 at the Fallbrook Airpark, local Marines will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to collect new unwrapped toys in the annual Toys for Tots campaign.

Marines in “cammies” and full dress uniform will collect toys and we hope to fill trucks with toys for less fortunate children. Last year in Ramona and Fallbrook, despite miserable weather, Marines filled two nine-ton trucks with toys that brought Christmas cheer to youngsters who might have gone through the holiday without a new toy.
Marine Corps vehicles and several aircraft will be on display at the Fallbrook Airpark. As has happened in the past, we encourage pilots to fly in with toy deliveries.

The Fallbrook Airpark is two miles south of Fallbrook at 2155 South Mission Road.




Saluting Veterans

It was an honor to be part of the 23rd Annual 2009 San Diego County Veterans Day Parade in downtown San Diego. This year broke last year’s record-setting attendance and also had what might be the highest number of participants.

Our local military commands rallied to give full support for the parade and units from all over the county were in step and on key. The theme of the parade was “Welcome Home Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans.”

The parade featured veterans from the Korean War to the present day, including many members of the San Diego Carnation Chapter 3 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, the largest chapter in the United States.

I appreciated the number of young people who marched in the parade; boys and girls from high school bands, boy scouts, drill teams, and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. It is nice to see how their parents and teachers are instilling in them a spirit of patriotism and how the young people themselves reflect pride in our nation and its military.




Moving Memories


As a history buff, I enjoy connecting with the past in several ways. One of my hobbies is restoring vintage automobiles. In my barn I have several cars from bygone eras, some in good running condition and others that need a lot more than TLC.

Recently the North County Times came to my home where I had a chance to share my hobby and cars, including the first one I bought as a 14 year old kid for $143. The story can be found at http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/valley-center/article_bbbd3c16-c69b-5f02-806c-5537b79baad0.html?mode=story


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North County office: 325 S. Melrose Ave., Suite 5200, Vista, CA 92081 tel: (760) 806-2400 fax: (760) 806-2404

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