Escondido deserves leaders who make informed decisions and listen to the community, not career politicians.
ContactContact me with questions or concerns you have. I am here to serve our community!
We need new ideas and solutions for issues ignored and neglected far too long.
DonateSupport our grassroots campaign with a donation. With your help, can we put district two’s council seat back where it belongs – in the hands of the people.
Early Life & Family
Escondido has been my home for thirty years, beginning in 1988 when my parents moved my sisters and I here to live closer to family.
During my early childhood at Rose Elementary I was an avid reader, something I credit to my parents who seemed to always carry a book in hand. I spent many hot summers at the Escondido Public Library, with books and librarians that would shape my life.
For a period of time I attended Palomar College before I married and started my own family in Escondido. Though we’ve now parted ways, we remain friends and committed to supporting our three children as they navigate through high school.
I love the uniqueness of our city and enjoy raising my family in our wonderful community.
I am currently controller for Tucker Sadler Architects, Inc., in downtown San Diego.
My prior experience includes six years as controller for the Rancho Santa Fe Association, a governing body of an unincorporated community southwest of Escondido. The Rancho Santa Fe Association works cooperatively with the County of San Diego and functions very much like a city, complete with planning and building departments, parks and recreation, and is managed by an elected board of directors.
Previously I was employed as assistant controller for the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo as well as a north county mechanical engineering firm. My diverse background includes solid understanding of municipal government, nonprofit and private sector experience, with fifteen years in finance and budgeting.
Why I Am Running
My decision to run for council was guided by my desire to see prudent, researched decision-making from our elected officials and a local government that is transparent and inclusive.
I strongly believe Escondido’s city council should have term limits and significantly reduced campaign contribution limits. A sharp increase in allowable limits was an early policy my opponent supported after his appointment in 2012.
John Masson continues to accept maximum contributions from developers whom have projects being reviewed by the Council. My opponent’s private business as a civil engineer and professional relationships are often sources of conflicts of interest. Regular recusals and abstentions keep an elected official from being part of important discussions.
Local Elections Matter
Lack of accountability has our city strapped for cash while top executives are still receiving hefty pay increases. Without proper checks and balances, Escondido will continue on a path of diminished services while accelerating fees.
This year’s election will be pivotal in determining Escondido’s direction and it’s place in the region for future generations. We need leaders with fresh perspectives who are willing to listen to the community and take time to problem solve. I will work to find long term financial solutions and restore Escondido’s quality of life.
Together, we can make our city a place where residents and businesses thrive. Please join our efforts in giving a voice back to residents!
VOTE ~ VOLUNTEER ~DONATE
Vanessa Valenzuela Escondido City Council Candidate, District 2
Unfunded Pension Liability
For six years, city officials have ignored an oustanding pension liability of $244 million dollars. Inadequate planning has us scrambling to find immediate solutions to solve our pension crisis.
We need a pro-active council seeking to identify new sources of revenue to give Escondido it’s best chance at economic security. I support Commnity Choice Energy, one potential solution I intend to pursue when elected.
Highly Compensated Executives
Our city has been in the spotlight for our unbelievably high salary increases and highly compensated executive staff. In 2016, Escondido employed the highest paid city attorney and second highest paid city manager in California. The new city manager (who is our former city attorney) now lands at number twelve on the list. In spite of the city’s financial difficulties, the Council voted to increase the annual salary of the Escondido City Manager by nearly fifty thousand dollars in June of 2017.
I support competitive salaries, however I do not believe the City can (or should) continue to maintain inflated compensation packages.
On several occasions I have publicly requested the current council consider implementation of a budget committee (something Escondido maintained, until recent years). I was unable to obtain necessary support from at least two council-members to allow it to be on a future agenda for further discussion. I will continue to advocate to revive a budget oversight committee to provide much needed transparency.
Road, Parks, & Infrastructure
Neglected Parks & Roads & Potholes (oh my)
It only takes a short drive around town to discover many of our roads and parks are in substandard condition. Large potholes and crumbling streets have become an all too regular occurence.
For the 2018/2019 fiscal year, Escondido is budgeting more than $6 million dollars of new income from SB-1 (the gas tax). This is an area of the budget we should be making sure is spent prudently.
Appropriating funds and ensuring quality of public services are fundamental purposes of municipal governments. Escondido residents deserve representatives who make city services a priority.
Escondido Public Library/East Valley Branch
Escondido City Council is steadily moving further away from public service. City officials closed a vital library branch in 2012 actively serving tens of thousands of residents. In 2017 they followed the closure with the outsourcing of the city’s main library branch.
I opposed the closure of the East Valley Branch and the privatization of our public library. I support returning EPL to local control and exploring the formation of an independant library district to protect our assets from future chopping blocks.
Water Filtration Plant/MFRO
Escondido’s outfall pipeline for wastewater is nearing capacity, requiring a $33 million water filtration plant to avoid a pipeline expansion (a potential cost of $1 billion dollars).
While the city owns suitable property in our industrial park, the council has instead chosen to grant itself permitting to build the thirty foot high MFRO plant in a residential/commerical area not zoned for heavy industrial usage. Prior to selecting this location, the council was considering building the filtration plant in an entirely residential area.
I pledge to make policy decisions only after thorough research and input from the community. I am committed to working for a better Escondido.
306N West El Norte Pkwy. #7 Escondido, CA 92026
Phone: +1 760 291-7689