The Coast News Group

Escondido council swears in newest members, one incumbent

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido City Council met on Wednesday, Dec. 9, to certify the November election results and swear in two new councilmembers, one incumbent councilmember and the incumbent city treasurer.

Councilmembers Tina Inscoe (District 2) and Joe Garcia (District 3) were sworn in along with incumbent Councilmember Mike Morasco (District 4).

City Treasurer Doug Shultz, who ran unopposed for a new four-year term, was also sworn in at the meeting.

Councilmember Olga Diaz was present to certify the results, which was officially the last meeting she would participate in. Diaz decided not to run again this election season after serving 12 years on the council.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work alongside you and work with city staff and to represent the citizens of Escondido,” Diaz said at the meeting. “It was not a path I never anticipated in my life, it’s one that found me … it’s been an honor. I wish the best for our new council leaders and our old council leader,” Diaz said.

Inscoe then took the oath of office, followed by Garcia, Morasco and Shultz.

“It is an honor to have been chosen by the voters of District 2, and I’m grateful for their confidence in me. … I am encouraged for what we can accomplish to make our city even better for all … thank you for this opportunity, for which I will give my best,” said Inscoe after taking the oath of office.

“We are at a critical juncture in the history of our city … we must follow a new course that relies on the best within us,” Garcia said after he was sworn in. “Today, I call on us to dream together, to see a beautiful, prosperous and united Escondido that will face its challenges and work together to overcome them.”

Morasco, who has served on the council since 2010, said he is looking forward to what is to come for businesses, families and the community.

“My prayer is that we will be brave, we will be courageous, and we will be the ones that are showing our neighbors what needs to be done for a community such as Escondido to be on the cutting edge of normalcy in particular with … schools, our families in their neighborhoods and homes and our businesses throughout the community,” Morasco said.

The council also voted to make Morasco the deputy mayor, the position previously held by Councilmember Consuelo Martinez.

This marks the first time since the passing of Councilmember John Masson in March that Escondido has had a full council. The council will also now have a conservative majority once again after a two-year liberal swing.

The new council will soon have the task of hiring a new city manager after Jeffrey Epp officially retired in July. It also faces a massive budget gap, a forecasted $8 million deficit in Fiscal Year 21/22.