Articles by Richard Riehl

Remembering my Lake San Marcos neighbor

Our next-door neighbor died last night. But he was much more than a neighbor. He was a best friend, a father figure, and a 103 year-old icon of a life well-lived. Karen and I met him when we moved in to this retirement community two years ago. He stopped us as we passed on the sidewalk in front of our new home. He was pushing…


The San Marcos City Planning Men’s Club

All three male members of the San Marcos Planning Commission, whose two-year terms expired in December, were reappointed by the mayor and city council in January. The only woman on the seven-member commission, Wendy Matthews, was also reappointed. There are no term limits for commissioners, allowing for the growth of the good old boys network. Kevin Norris begins his eleventh year on the council, while…


Mismanagement plagues Palomar College

After a campus visit, a state-funded agency, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistant Team (FCMAT) issued its November 8, 2019 report, describing Palomar College’s financial position and management practices. The news wasn’t good. The report gave the school’s Fiscal Health Risk Analysis a 44.5% rating, indicating its probability of insolvency in the near future. According to FCMAT, in two years the school will have drained all…


Climate Action Plans: A Tale of Two Cities

A funeral was held last month at the site of Iceland’s Okjökull glacier. A century ago it covered nearly six square miles, measuring 164 ft. deep. Today, it’s less than one square mile, 49 feet thick. The shrinking sheet of ice can no longer be called a glacier. A tombstone plaque was placed at the site. A Letter to the Future  This monument is to…


Owning San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones

According to her 2018 campaign disclosure statement, mayoral candidate Rebecca Jones received $50,965 in donations from 180 individuals. Only 53 have San Marcos addresses. Seven of ten of her cash supporters were, like me, not eligible to vote in the election. Jones’s opponent, Chris Orlando, raised $29,000 in donations from 139 individuals, 94 of whom have San Marcos addresses. I was disappointed to learn that…


Finding Jim Desmond: My supervisor search

After discovering Karen and I cannot vote in city elections because our home is located in an unincorporated area of San Marcos, I’ve found we do live within the San Marcos School District, so we can vote on school bond measures. And, as County residents, we can vote in District 5 Supervisor elections. Jim Desmond, former two-term mayor of San Marcos, won his seat in…