e-newsletter masthead
May 2017
Hello May graphic

In this Issue:


City Manager's Message
Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic
ZeroTrash RSM

Transit Survey
Dog Park Closure
Crime Prevention - Vandalism Update
Public Works - Refuse Container Guidelines
Chamber of Commerce News
Meet the Mayor

RSM Cares - The Belltower Foundation
Senior Activities at the Belltower Regional Community Center
May Recreation Highlights
5K Run/Walk for Horses
SMWD Water Awareness Festival

City Manager's Message

Budget season is upon us once again, and City Staff has been working diligently to align priorities and develop a working budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18. The budget will be presented to Council this month, and it is anticipated that it will be adopted in June. Under the direction of the City Council, my staff and I will continue to focus efforts on solidifying our community’s fiscal foundation while providing quality services to our residents.  As with all activities conducted at City Hall, we are committed to maintaining an open and transparent process throughout the budget cycle. This year’s Budget Workshop will take place on Saturday, May 20th in the Council Chamber. 

Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful month of May!


Jennifer M. Cervantez

Civic Center atrium
Dogs and cats

Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic

Wednesday, May 3rd
Bell Tower Regional Community Center
22232 El Paseo

6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Cats only)
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (Dogs & Cats)

INFO: (714) 993-9193
Healthcare & Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) provides vaccinations, de-worming, microchipping, flea and tick control and if time allows, mail trims. Please visit their website for detailed information. Cash or credit card ($3 processing fee) only; checks are not accepted.

If you have a cat or have pre-paid for your vaccines, you do not need to wait in line and can go immediately to the cashier table. All others will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis (with the exception of those who are physically unable to stand in line).
Important Rabies Information
Please bring a prior Rabies Certificate and other vaccination records with you. A 3-year Rabies Certificate can only be issued if you provide a prior Rabies Certificate. Otherwise, you will receive a 1-year Rabies Certificate.
Vaccines for dogs include:
Rabies - $7.00
DAP/DHPP - $20.00
Bordetella - $15.00
Lyme - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet
Vaccines for cats include:
Rabies - (killed virus) Purevax - $20.00 (1 yr) $48.00 (3 yr)
FVRCP "3-in-1" - $20.00
FELV - $22.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet

"HEART" (aka "SCVVC") is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving lives and improving pet and wild animal health, safety, and welfare.
Prices are subject to change; clinic will cancel in the event of rain.

ZeroTrash volunteer

ZeroTrash RSM


ZeroTrash Rancho Santa Margarita is a volunteer group that meets on the "Zero T First Saturday" of each month to rally together to rid the community of litter. All are welcome; parents, children, students, friends, neighbors  – anyone interested in keeping RSM clean! 

Volunteers meet in front of Cinepolis/ Panera at 10:00 a.m. and fan out from there. ZeroTrash provides the pickers and bags; volunteers are asked to closely supervise young children at all times, stay on trails and to keep a look out for snakes!  Return pickers and trash at noon behind the Bell Tower Community Center and obtain sign-offs for certification of community service hours or badge requirements.

Follow ZeroTrash RSM on Facebook for more information.

Survey icon

Public Works - Local Transit Survey

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita's Transit Feasibility Survey is designed to identify opportunities, challenges, demand for public transportation service and local mobility issues.  Whether you are a resident of RSM or visit the City for work, school, recreation, dining and shopping, we want to hear from you!

Please click here to take the survey through May 31st.
Boxer at large dog park

Dog Park Improvements Underway


The Rancho Santa Margarita Dog Park  at Canada Vista Park is closed to the public this month for renovation. The improvements, which began in April,  will include all new natural grass with irrigation, relocated and additional drinking fountains, new dog agility equipment, shade structures, and new fencing with snake deterrent mesh. The renovations are expected to be completed by June 5, 2017. Contact Public Works for more information at (949) 635-1800.

Dog Park closure sign
OCSD Badge

Crime Prevention - Vandalism Update

Posted by Lt. Luke South, RSM Chief of Police on Nextdoor.com:
May 1, 2017 - As most of you know, RSM had a series of vandalism incidents occur in which a subject was puncturing tires and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. During the course of the investigation a Facebook page was created, with the title “RSM Slasher.” This page and its followers were trying to help law enforcement by continually putting out the whereabouts of the possible suspect. While I can appreciate the community coming together and trying to help apprehend the subject, I would like to address a couple of issues with this type of social media use:

• The page was set up anonymously – so law enforcement could not correct misconceptions or inaccurate information that was posted.

• The subject in question did not have a warrant for his arrest which meant that he was within his rights to travel within the community, and we were not able to arrest him on site when his whereabouts were reported. We were attempting to build a case. So the calls to law enforcement dispatching us to the subject’s current location were only keeping him from his normal routine and delaying the arrest.

• We obtained a warrant to track him and his vehicle(s), so we knew where he was at all times and when he was entering the city. He was essentially under constant surveillance, which was compromised when people were taking pictures of him and sending deputies to his location while no crime was occurring.

• There were even threats of vigilante justice on the Facebook page. I feel it necessary to advise everyone that taking the law into your own hands is never the answer. You turn the suspect into a victim and the wrong person (or people) could end up in custody.

• This crime, at face value, is a misdemeanor. A cursory arrest (like was done in November) would have resulted with him being cited and released or bailing out, if he was kept in jail at all. The extensive investigation and compilation of evidence ultimately resulted in felony filings and an enhanced bail amount. Because of this, the subject to date is still in custody and is facing felony counts of vandalism.

There were comments made by some who felt that law enforcement wasn’t doing anything about the problem. When in reality, we took 25 reports from 35 victims and invested over 400 hours of time into this case. I hope the citizens of RSM can understand that putting out too much detailed information can compromise a case from arrest through prosecution.

There is a sanctioned way that law enforcement requests help from the public and an approved streamlined way of getting that information back to us. The OCSD utilizes Nextdoor.com, our Public Information Office, and our City’s designated website and social media platforms. I am grateful that the residents are willing to help law enforcement and come together when we need them – I only ask that should the need arise in the future, you please do it through the channels listed above.

Thank you so much,

Lt. Luke South
Chief of Police Services 

Always call 911 in the event of an emergency. For more information on crime prevention, call Rancho Santa Margarita Police Services non-emergency number at (949) 770-6011. Join Nextdoor.com for crime updates from Lt. Luke South, Chief of Police Services.

Dumpster in front of house

Public Works - Refuse Container Guidelines 


Spring is in the air! As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we start thinking about Spring cleaning our homes, purging unwanted household items, and giving our homes a refresh.  

Roll-off dumpsters must be completely on your driveway and out of the public-right-of-way. An Encroachment Permit is required to place a container on the street in front of your home.    Encroachment Permits are issued for a specific period of time; upon receipt of the application, an inspector will visit your property to verify that the dumpster is supported by wood and is not directly placed on the street, that the dumpster does not impair the ability of motorists to navigate the roadway, or obstruct driveways or sidewalks.  The application and additional information can be found here.

If you have further questions, please contact Sandy Norman in the Public Works Department at (949) 635-1807 x6504 or email  snorman@cityofrsm.org.

RSM Chamber of Commerce Logo

Chamber of Commerce News


The RSM Chamber is committed to supporting business growth by providing trusted resources, networking opportunities and local connections. The RSM Chamber takes great pride in being a strength and support for the business community by organizing monthly mixers, educational forums and community events to promote commerce throughout Rancho Santa Margarita and the surrounding area.

May Events


2nd  - Evening Mixer at Dr. Auto -  5:30 p.m.
4th  - Meet the Mayor at Tijeras Creek Golf Club -  5:30 p.m.
9th  - Modern Professionals Mixer at Cinepolis -  5:30 p.m.
19th  - Ribbon Cutting at Pinot's Palette  - 6:00 p.m.

22nd  - China Trip Information Meeting at the Chamber Office - 5:30 p.m.

25th - Chamber Social at M&C Grill - 4:30 p.m.

For more information about Chamber of Commerce membership and events, please contact Suzanne Singh at info@rsmchamber.com or (949) 242-3660.

RanchoFest Information
RSM Cares logo

RSM Cares 

RSM Cares seeks to enrich the quality of life for residents of Rancho Santa Margarita by inspiring local philanthropy, engaging stakeholders in community service and embracing the local nonprofit network through collaborative partnerships. Visit their website for more information on events and volunteer opportunities.

RSM Cares ad
Age Well logo

Senior Activities at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center

The mission of Age Well Senior Services is to promote and improve the quality of life and independence of the senior community.


May Activities at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center

 Visit our Senior Activities webpage for more information, or contact Lindy Kehler at (949)216-9700, ext. 257.

Play in May graphic

May Recreation Highlights


Summer Camp registration is now open! Check out the  Summer Camp Preview online and in the print edition of the Community Living Magazine.


ABCs with Toddlers
$100/ month
Is your child ready for more social interaction but not ready for preschool?  ABCs with Toddlers will introduce you and your child to a taste of ABCs with Tiny Tots with loving experienced teachers participating alongside and guiding you as your child explores with art, music, story time, play and much more in preparation for the next step with confidence.  Parent participation required. Ages: 2-3 yrs. 
Instructor:  SoCal Tiny Tots
110772 02       T,  Th   May 2 - May 25          9 am - 1 pm
Tunes & Tales
$45/ 4 Classes
Let’s get the wiggles out! Tunes & Tales is a Music and Movement class for children ages 2 to 4 years. Sing-a-longs and finger play songs start off this fun-filled class followed by musical activities using bean bags, rhythm sticks, instruments, a parachute and more. Children have a great time while developing their listening and social skills. Parent/adult participation required. Ages: 2-4 yrs.  No Class: 5/18
Instructor:  Vivian Stapleton
110913 02       Th        May 11 - Jun 8            9:45 - 10:30 am
Little Ninjas
$53/ 5 Classes
This class will cover the basic development of skills, structure, and coordination of a Karate class. Ages: 4-5 yrs.
Instructor:  Robert McDonough
110235 03       T          May 2 - May 30          4 - 4:30 pm
Paint, Paste and More!
$78/ 6 Classes
Encourage your child's creativity and imagination through hands-on exploration of a wide variety of manipulative and sensory materials. Different activities are introduced each week, so come for fun and dress for a mess.  Activities are adaptable to suit all ages; older siblings are encouraged to enroll. Ages: 1.5-5 yrs. 
What to bring: $20 cash materials fee
Instructor:  Wendy Rault
110302 02       T          May 16 - Jun 20          10 - 10:45 am
110302 04       F          May 19 - Jun 23          10 - 10:45 am
Hula with Hana Hou Polynesia
$75/ 4 Classes
Have you ever watched Polynesian dancers perform at a Luau and wished you could dance just like them?  Participants will learn the basic technique and authentic dance routines of the graceful Hawaiian Hula as well as the vigorous hip shaking action of the Tahitian Otea & Aparima!  You will build strength, flexibility, and balance while exploring the various postures.  Everyone is welcome no matter what your current dance experience level is. Ages: 18 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  Hiyas Bennett
140228 03       W         May 3 - May 24          9 - 10am
Zumba with Tania
Zumba Fitness is a fusion of Latin and international music-dance themes creating a dynamic, exciting, effective fitness system. Appropriate for any fitness level. Try the first class of a session before you register. Ages: 18 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  Tania Villalbazo
$85/ 8 Classes
140206 09       M,W    May 1 - May 24          7 - 8 pm
$45/ 4 Classes
140206 07       M         May 1 - May 22          7 - 8 pm
140206 08       W         May 3 - May 24          7 - 8 pm
Creating Your Retirement Paycheck
$23/ 1 Class
In this class you’ll learn ways to determine how much income you’ll need in retirement; Identify income sources that you can combine to create your “retirement paycheck”; help make your savings last. Ages: 18 yrs. & up.
Instructor:  Jeffrey Halbreich, CFP®
140771 03       W         May 24            6:30 - 7:30 pm

Click here to access our online class registration system.


Hanaeleh logo

Hanaeleh 5K Run/Walk for Horses


Saturday, May 6th
Central Park, Rancho Santa Margarita

All proceeds benefit Hanaeleh, a non-profit horse rescue in Trabuco Canyon. Deadline for discounted early-bird registration is April 15th. Click here to register.

Hanaeleh is a 100% volunteer-run organization that rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected horses in Trabuco Canyon. Founded in 2004, Hanaeleh adopts out rehabilitated, healthy horses and is a sanctuary for horses who need more care.

Follow Hanaeleh on Facebook or visit their website for more information.

SMWD logo

Water Awareness Festival

Saturday, May 20, 2017
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
SMWD Headquarters: 26111 Antonio Parkway


Each year, Santa Margarita Water District hosts its Water Awareness Festival, a family-friendly event where adults and children are able to learn more about water use efficiency and local supply reliability. SMWD customers are invited to enjoy a day of fun and learning with a hands-on tide pool exhibit, water efficient irrigation and native plant displays, water presentations, games and crafts, and music and face painting.  Tours of the Chiquita Wastewater Treatment Plant are also offered.The event is held in the spring to celebrate the state of California’s recognition of May as “Water Awareness Month.”

Questions? Please contact Nicole Stanfield at (949) 459-6548 or nicoless@smwd.com.

Rancho Santa Margarita

City Council


Carol Gamble, Mayor

Michael Vaughn, Mayor Pro Tempore
L. Anthony Beall, Council Member
Jerry Holloway, Council Member

Brad McGirr, Council Member

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus