The City of Rancho Santa Margarita amenities include access to the Santa Margarita Lake and Beach Club, many parks and sports fields, community swimming pools and spas, access to miles of hiking and biking trails, golf, tennis and more! This wonderful master-planned city also includes a community center, huge central park that plays host to a summer concert series, and repeatedly finds itself at the top of the FBI’s list of “safest cities in America”.

Mayor Delivers Good News About the State of the City

On December 1, 2011, at the Dove Canyon Country Club, Mayor Tony Beall delivered the annual State of the City address to an audience of community leaders during a breakfast meeting hosted by the RSM Business Alliance and South County Bank. Below is a summary of the Mayor’s remarks:

“At a time when our nation, state and many local government agencies are drowning in debt and deficits, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita continues to thrive.”
Mayor Tony Beall

Financially Sound

  • Despite the economic challenges facing our nation and state, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita finished the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year with a budget surplus of $1,002,174 and $19.4 million in reserve.

Safest City in the State

  • For ten consecutive years, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita has been ranked as one of the safest communities in California.
  • This year, for the second year in a row, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, Rancho Santa Margarita was ranked as the #1 safest city in the State of California for cities with a population greater than 20,000 residents!
  • In fact, in 2010 Rancho Santa Margarita experienced its lowest crime rate since becoming a City in 2000!

Transparent and Open Government

  • Especially during these challenging times, when so many in our country have lost faith in their government officials, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita has promoted openness and transparency by redesigning the City’s website to make it more user-friendly. For example, we’ve added:
    • Audio streaming to allow residents to listen to meetings
    • E-comment feature allowing electronic submission of comments on all agenda items
    • Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr
    • Mello-Roos Information Search Tool

Innovative Leaders Achieve Success

  • One of the first cities in the State to adopt a two-tiered Pension Reform Plan to ensure future solvency and sustainability.
  • Successfully negotiated the sale of Rancho Santa Margarita’s total allocation of “Rule 20A funding credits” with the City of Laguna Beach and Southern California Edison, converting those seemingly worthless credits into nearly half a million dollars cash for Rancho Santa Margarita.
  • Successfully completed an update audit of every Mello-Roos tax district in the City and confirmed Rancho Santa Margarita is entitled to receive more than $500,000 in reimbursement for infrastructure costs previously paid for with City funds.
Business Friendly Environment and Commitment to Economic Development
  • Despite the challenges posed by the national and state economic situation, many existing local businesses have expanded or have plans to further expand their operations, including Verizon, Applied Medical, Selma’s, Hanna’s, Tilly’s, and Cinnamon Productions.
  • Numerous new businesses have opened to become part of Rancho Santa Margarita this past year, including BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Ulta, Sears Home Appliance Showroom, Academic Learning Labs, LNF Home Creative Transformations, Marque Urgent Care, Togo’s and Embarcadero Restaurant.
  • In-n-Out Burger has also made a commitment to invest in Rancho Santa Margarita and plans to open a location on Santa Margarita Parkway next year.
  • The City is seeking to engage a project manager for development of the “Chiquita Ridge Property,” a project that would include the largest regional sports park in O.C. and significant new commercial/retail business opportunities.
Promoted Quality of Life Through City Sponsored Community Events and Programs
  • New Year’s Eve “Celebrating Family and Friends” – Brings together thousands of children and adults to enjoy good food, low-cost activities, and free entertainment in an alcohol-free setting.
  • Summer Concert Series – Thousands gathered in Central Park to relax and enjoy the evening, and their city, to the sounds of their favorite bands.
  • Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K – The City partnered with Hyundai to bring back to Rancho Santa Margarita this signature community event which was entirely underwritten by the generous support of Hyundai Motor Corporation. Best of all, the event raised $50,000 to benefit CHOC Children’s Hospital to fund pediatric cancer research!
  • Support for the City’s Adopted 2/5 Marine Battalion – The City partnered with Santa Margarita Ford to host a 2/5 Ooh-Rah! Car Wash to assist families during the long periods of deployment.
  • Solemn Patriot Day Ceremony – This year’s event was a special observance of the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, as well as a special tribute to Corporal Jordan Stanton, a hometown hero who gave his life defending freedom in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Flag Retirement Ceremony – The City partnered with the American Legion to retire worn flags in a sacred and honored ceremony.
  • Community Emergency Preparedness Academy – The City sponsored program provides residents with critical information and skills to sustain themselves and their families for up to 72 hours without the support of emergency responders.
  • Student Recognition Program – The City Council recognizedoutstanding students from virtually all Rancho Santa Margarita public and private schools for their academic and citizenship achievements.
  • Programs and Classes – More than 200 programs were offered for preschoolers, youth, adults and seniors with topics ranging from arts to fitness and guitar to sewing.
  • Summer Camps – Nearly 30 different camps engaged children in learning about engineering, cheerleading, art, animation, cooking and magic.

Welcomed the Prime Minister of Latvia to Rancho Santa Margarita

  • Prime Minister Dombrovskis and a trade delegation of 40 business and political officials were welcomed at City Hall to celebrate the opening of a Latvian Honorary Consulate in Rancho Santa Margarita and the appointment of Honorary Consul Dr. Juris Bunkis, to promote political dialogue and economic development between the business communities.
Award Winning City
  • Recipient of the prestigious Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
  • Named the “Best Family-Friendly City” by Parenting OC Magazine.

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