Commentary

Dick Daniels

Dick Daniels has been a public relations practitioner the past 34 years and presently operates a regional firm bearing his name and based in Escondido. He has been in leadership positions with several community and business organizations, including as a former chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the 200-member Escondido Rotary Club. In November 2006, Daniels was elected to the Escondido City Council where he served as mayor pro tem and a member of the council’s Economic Development and Budget subcommittees before leaving office in 2010 after an unsuccessful bid for mayor. Daniels was named one of The Daily Transcript’s Top Influentials in 2008.

Around North County

The political travails surrounding the future of the fenced-in Escondido Country Clubhouse and its abandoned golf course continue into the second year this month. Its owner is now circulating a petition to allow an initiative on the November ballot that would free up the property for residential development.

California State University San Marcos celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, but the North County institution isn’t waiting until then to boast its accomplishments since opening its doors to 600 students in a furniture store annex.

North County’s home values increased a little more than 10 percent in 2013 after a year in which the prices of homes sold both sputtered and soared among the region’s 35 ZIP codes.

The owner of the former Escondido Country Club property seems to need a lesson on how to make nice in order to make things happen as a land developer. Michael Schlesinger, whose Beverly Hills-based company Stuck in the Rough LLC bought the 110-acre country club and other area distressed properties nearly a year ago has done little, if anything, to endear himself to the community in which he’d like to build a couple of hundred homes.

Last week's action by the Escondido City Council to forever preserve the 110-acre Escondido Country Club as open space has transferred the issue from the court of public opinion, where community relations activities created resounding support for the decision, to a court of law, where law suits and judges' opinions prevail.

The major news in North County thus far this summer is a continuing willingness on the part of buyers to select homes from a shrunken inventory, pay more, and take less time to do so than in recent months.

The big news in North San Diego County this past month is there is now little North County news to read. What once was U-T San Diego’s daily North County section, meager as it was, is now a couple of pages in the back of the Metro section and a small separate section on Sundays. All of which are filled by just a handful of reporters who are trying to cover eight cities and several hundred square miles.

Several recent events have helped brand Escondido as the haven for anything with wheels. While its new-car dealerships are second only to San Diego, its city-of-wheels image extends beyond how many vehicles are for sale.

Growing numbers of voters will have fewer local elected officials to complain to and about, thanks to a broad-swathed California law that is chopping cities and school districts into political fiefdoms.

For longer than anyone can remember, there have been chambers of commerce in place to protect and promote business enterprise within their areas of influence.

The man’s tired and in a hurry. Pushing one or two grocery carts, laden with food and other stuff out of the local Vons, his singular task is to get to the car, load up and leave. Nothing’s going to get in the way; he’ll be homeward bound in a couple of minutes.

For some, the election season didn’t come to an end Nov. 6 when most people thought — or wished — it had. In North County’s two largest cities, political activism, in one form or another, seems to reign eternal.

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