e-news masthead
February 2019
Hello February graphic

In this Issue:

City Manager's Message
Community Survey
ZeroTrash RSM
Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic
Income Tax Assistance 
Crime Prevention
Splash Pad Coming to Central Park 
Senior Activities
Recreation Highlights
Tutoring Program
Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control News
RSM Chamber of Commerce
Golf Tournament for Veteran Services
Connect with the City of RSM

City Manager's Message

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita received Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding to prepare a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP).  The federally mandated plan will present a strategy for reducing the City's vulnerability to the impacts of natural hazard events such as earthquakes, drought, and wildfire.

Public participation in the LHMP process is important because it helps raise awareness of the hazards we face in Rancho Santa Margarita and the actions needed to mitigate those hazards.  By taking a short survey, you'll help our planning team identify hazards and conditions that are of the greatest concern to the community.  As the plan is drafted, additional opportunities for the community to provide input, ask questions, and review/comment on draft documents will be provided. I hope you'll take a moment to complete the survey below, and I thank you in advance for your valuable input!

Jennifer Cervantez

ZeroTrash Volunteers

ZeroTrash RSM

*Saturday, February 2nd

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.

*ZeroTrash will cancel in the event of rain.

Dog and cat valentines

Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic

Wednesday, February 6th
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


The Healthcare & Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) provides vaccinations, de-worming, microchipping, flea and tick control and, if time allows, nail trims for dogs and cats at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center on the first Wednesday of each month. Please visit their website or click here to view a detailed flyer for more information. Cash or credit card ($3 additional processing fee per pet) only; checks are not accepted. Those who have a cat or have pre-paid for vaccines do not need to wait in line and may proceed directly 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).


Vaccines for dogs include:
Rabies - $7.00
DHP/DHPP - $22.00
Bordetella - $17.00
Lyme - $24.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet
Vaccines for cats include:
Rabies - (killed virus) Purevax - $22.00 (1 yr) $49.00 (3 yr)
FVRCP "3-in-1" - $22.00
FELV - $24.00
Microchip - $30.00
$2.00 hazardous materials disposal fee per pet

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.

"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.

Vita Tax graphic

Income Tax Preparation Assistance

If your household income was less than $60,000 in 2018, you may be eligible to file your taxes for free. Assistance is available by appointment in Rancho Santa Margarita and throughout Orange County.

The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is now into its 5th year in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. Tax preparation is done for lower-income individuals (threshold $60,000) under the auspices of the United Way of Orange County and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While the primary sponsor is San Francisco Solano Catholic Church and the majority of trained volunteer tax preparers are members of the parish, the services being provided serve all members of the community, regardless of religious affiliation, at no cost to the individuals. The program is periodically audited by the IRS as well as the United Way.

Please call (949) 589-7767 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

OCSD Badge

Crime Prevention

Stay Informed and Connected

The County of Orange uses AlertOC to notify residents of voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders. Register your landline, cell phones, and email addresses to ensure you receive official emergency notifications and alerts. Follow Rancho Santa Margarita Police Services on social media for the latest in crime prevention and safety news. 

Twitter - @OCSDRanchoSM

Facebook - @OCSDRanchoSM

Instagram - ocsdranchosm


Orange County Sheriff’s Department Non-Emergency (949) 770-6011
Emergency 911

OCSD Crossing Guard reminder

RSM Monument

Splash Pad coming to Central Park

The Rancho Santa Margarita City Council approved a design contract award for the first -ever splash pad recreation feature in the city at its regular meeting on January 23, 2019.

David Volz Design Landscape Architects, Inc. will submit designs for City Council's consideration for a unique water-themed play space adjacent to the existing playground at Central Park. The Splash Pad’s interactive water features will provide children an opportunity to explore and interact with each other while cooling off and having fun.

"Thanks to former Mayor Mike Vaughn for his efforts bringing this idea forward" commented Mayor Jerry Holloway. "Thanks to city staff for their work on this project. The entire City Council is very excited for what the Splash Pad will provide for our young residents!"

The Splash Pad will feature first-class amenities, including restrooms and a shower/dressing area in a safe, secure environment for kids. This highly-anticipated facility is made possible by the City Council’s approval and authorization of the expenditure of Local Park Trust funds, thereby eliminating the use of any taxpayer dollars. 

"RSM's City Council and city staff have been working on this project for quite some time, and I'm very pleased to see all this hard work pay off!" said Mayor Pro Tempore Brad McGirr. "Not only will our residents enjoy the Splash Pad for years to come, the addition of this new amenity in our city should prove beneficial to our housing values and to the surrounding business community."

The Splash Pad will be operated seasonally. Updates on the timeline and opportunity for community input will be made available in the near future at cityofrsm.org.

Splash Pad graphic

Seniors enjoying Valentine lunch

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.


Visit the Senior Activities webpage for more information, follow Age Well RSM on Facebook or call (949) 709-7592.

Children with Valentines

February Recreation Highlights

Mark your calendars, registration for these classes starts February 19th!
My Gym Parent & Me - NEW
$48/ 4 Classes

This fun-filled, interactive program leads parents and their little ones through a variety of songs, dances, beginning stretches and exercises, beginning tumbling as well as fun rides, games, and puppet shows! Ages: 6 mos.-1.5 yrs.

Instructor:  My Gym Staff
110252 01  T            Mar 5 - Mar 26       9:30 - 10:20 am
NEW! Montessori & Me 
$105/ 6 Classes

Join us for a 5-week introduction to the Montessori method. ln this class, you and your child will explore practical life, math, sensorial, language, geography & more.  There will be a take-home from each class based on the lesson given that day. This class is taught by a Montessori teacher with over 25 years of experience. Ages: 14 mos.-3 yrs. Adult participation required. What to bring: $30 cash materials fee

Instructor:  Li Mai Montessori Academy
110756 01 M          Mar 4 - Apr 1          9:30 - 10:30 am
NEW! Little Brushes by Pinot’s Palette – Spring Break Camp
$185/ 5 Classes

At Little Brushes, we offer a fun-filled, party atmosphere where your little artists can have a blast creating their own masterpieces. From painting to collaging and everything in between, Little Brushes fosters a friendly and collaborative environment your little artist will need to bring out their creative spirit. Led by our instructors, all kids will paint with acrylics on canvas and create a cute whimsical painting each day.  All supplies included. Make sure to dress your artists in clothes that are acceptable to get a little messy! We'll have aprons for everyone, but accidents do happen. Please send a small snack for your child. Ages: 6-12 yrs.

Instructor:  Pinot's Palette
121124 01 M-F       Apr 15 - Apr 19       9 am - 1 pm
NEW! Robot Explorers 
$150/ 4 Classes

This class will inspire the participant’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge through topics, challenges, and activities.  STEAM topics include programming, robot building, digital media production, playing games and singing while developing linguistic, logic, creative, scientific and communicative skills. Ages: 6-8 yrs. What to bring: $33 cash materials fee

Instructor:  Magikid Robotics
120780 01 Th          Mar 7 - Mar 28       4:45 - 6:15 pm
Zumba with Tania
$43/ 4 Classes

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
140206 01 M          Mar 4 - Mar 25       7 - 8 pm
NEW! Organizing an Ideal Lifestyle 
$65/ 4 Classes

This course will cover quick and easy home and office organization strategies, Feng Shui design, decor, and home staging tips. Goal setting and increasing productivity and increasing communication skills for improved relationships. Ages: 18 yrs. & up

Instructor:  Marla Stone
140834 01 T            Mar 5 - Mar 26       10:30 am - 12 pm
Click here to access the City's online registration system.

Tutor and student

Tutoring Program Thrives in RSM

Launched in the fall of 2017, AARP Foundation Experience Corps is an intergenerational volunteer-based tutoring program offered at the Boys and Girls Club site in Rancho Santa Margarita. Volunteers 50 and older help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. 

The Experience Corps model is a proven intervention with measurable benefits for students, as well as positive mental and physical health benefits for volunteers who participate. By helping young students become better readers, Experience Corps seeks to ensure a lasting legacy of strong futures, supported schools, community partners and empowered volunteers.

AARP Foundation Experience Corps Orange County is hosted by Parentis Health Foundation. 

For more information contact Karen Banse, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist at (949) 214-5294 or Karen.Banse@parentishealth.com.

Tutor with student
Student reads to tutor
Tutoring program participants

OC Mosquito and Vector Control District logo

Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Meet Orange County's most annoying resident... the invasive Aedes mosquito! These aggressive mosquitoes will impact the way you enjoy life. Orange County residents are urged to help control the mosquito population by taking responsibility for their own yards. Search around your property for any standing water and remove it. Your small actions will make a big difference. Check out this informational video with tips and suggestions to reduce the opportunity for mosquitoes to breed near your home. 

The District services all Orange County Cities and Unincorporated Areas. Use this form to report a specific problem (Mosquitoes, rats,  Red Imported Fire Ants, or flies) or to request services at no cost. 

RSM Chamber logo

RSM Chamber of Commerce

Membership Benefits

The RSM Chamber of Commerce' mission is to promote and enhance the business community of Rancho Santa Margarita by assisting members through Joining, Connecting, and Growing a vibrant local economy.

For more information, visit rsmchamber.org or call (949) 667-3776.

4 the Fallen logo

Tournament will Provide Support Services for Veterans

4 the Fallen invites the community's participation at their 3rd Annual Orange County Golf Tournament at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita. Registration is now open for golfers and sponsors, and the organization is seeking sponsors big or small to be a part of this year's event. Individuals are also welcomed and encouraged to get involved.  

4 the Fallen is a 100% volunteer, direct impact non-profit organization in support of our country's heroes. Given a 501(c) (3) designation by the IRS in September 2015, the organization's goal is to partner with corporations, foundations, and others to create funds necessary to operate critical programs and services. The Advanced Prosthetic and Service Dog programs were established to ensure that America's heroes receive services at no cost to them. 4 the Fallen is committed to growing these programs which directly impact the lives of injured American heroes who volunteered to serve our great nation.

Visit www.4-thefallen.org for more information.

We want to hear from you graphic

Connect with the City of Rancho Santa Margarita

Planning Commission meetings take place on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and the City Council meets on the second and fourth Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Meeting agendas are posted 72 hours in advance, and cancellations occur occasionally due to holidays. There are several options to comment and participate in City Council and Planning Commission meetings:

  • Written material may be submitted in hard copy to the City Clerk, who will copy it and provide the statement to the Council or Commissioners.
  • Comments may be submitted via the City's website The eComment will be emailed directly to the City Clerk. eComments are accepted up until 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
  • Comments may be submitted by e-mail message to the City Clerk who will provide them to the City Council or Commissioners.
  • Comments may be delivered orally at a meeting. There is a three-minute time limit per speaker. 
  • A statement can be submitted by proxy on a resident’s behalf at a meeting by reading it aloud. The three-minute time limit applies.  

For more information, please contact Amy Diaz, City Clerk, at (949) 635-1806.

City Hall/Bell Tower Community Center at night

Rancho Santa Margarita

City Council

Jerry Holloway, Mayor

Brad McGirr, Mayor Pro Tempore
L. Anthony Beall, Council Member
Anne Figueroa, Council Member

Carol Gamble, Council Member

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