e-news masthead
March 2019
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In this Issue:

City Manager's Message
E-Comments and Public Record Requests
ZeroTrash RSM
Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic
Crime Prevention
Senior Activities
Recreation Highlights
RSM Chamber of Commerce
RSM Cares Food Pantry
Income Tax Assistance 

City Manager's Message

Spring is in the air in Rancho Santa Margarita! Longer days mean more time outside, where you may observe something in need of service or repair. Our Citizen Request Tracker allows residents to conveniently report the need for repairs and maintenance around the City from their computer or mobile device. It is easily accessed using the My RSM mobile app or the City's website (cityofrsm.org). Whether it's a pothole, a malfunctioning traffic signal, or a leaking sprinkler, residents can easily submit a request and receive status updates on the issue. Users can even upload a photo of the subject from their mobile device, allowing City staff to locate the site of the problem through GPS coordinates quickly. I hope you'll bookmark the Citizen Request Tracker, or download My RSM for future use.


Jennifer Cervantez

ZeroTrash child volunteer

ZeroTrash RSM

Saturday, March 2nd - Cancelled

*Saturday, April 6th

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.

Heart pet vaccination clinic technician holding puppy

Low-Cost Pet Care Clinic

Wednesday, March 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.

OCSD Badge

Crime Prevention


To further enhance public safety, Orange County law enforcement and fire dispatch centers, including Rancho Santa Margarita Police Services/Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orange County Fire Authority, are now equipped with Text-to-911 to allow the hearing impaired, speech impaired, or those in an emergency situation who are unable to make a phone call reach emergency services dispatchers by text message. 

Residents are reminded that voice calls are always preferred, as making a voice call will provide a faster response by allowing information to be relayed to responding public safety personnel as quickly as possible. A voice call also allows dispatchers to hear background noises or conversations and gather additional information. If a situation arises when you need to use Text-to-911, you should first provide your location and whether you need law enforcement, fire, or medical aid services. Some tips for using text-to-911 include:
  • Ensure location services on your mobile phone are turned on and be prepared to provide your location in the text;
  • To get started, type “911” in the “to” field of the text message and, in addition to your location, provide the type of emergency services you need (police, fire or medical);
  • Use plain text and refrain from abbreviations;
  • Dispatchers cannot accept pictures, videos, or icons;
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot be used in a group text;
  • If your text does not go through, you should receive a message to make a voice call; and
Calling or texting 911 when it is not an emergency is a crime punishable by up to a year in County jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

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

St. Patrick's Day seniors

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 wearing green

March Recreation Highlights

NEW! My Gym Parent & Me 
$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 02 T            Apr 2 - Apr 23         9:30 - 10:20 am
Paint, Paste & Pour
$48/ 5 Classes
Watch your little ones explore and discover paint, glue, crayons, dough, bubbles and much more. They'll enjoy developmentally appropriate hands-on experiences with manipulative art and sensory materials. Put on your play clothes and share this special time with your little one. Each session has new and exciting activities. Parent participation required. Ages: 1.5-6 yrs. No Class on 4/3. What to bring: $20 cash materials fee
Instructor:  Paint Paste and Pour Staff
110302 01 W          Mar 6 - Apr 10        10 - 10:45 am
NEW! Drama Kids – KinderKids 
$136/ 9 Classes
The KinderKids program is an excellent way to introduce the long-term benefits of dramatic arts participation to children attending Pre-K, or Kindergarten. Each KinderKids student is highly involved in creative drama activities that develop speaking skills, builds confidence, and enhances early social skills and creative learning. Our Drama Kids instructors make sure all students feel comfortable and recognized so they will stretch and grow in a very positive environment. New scenes and activities are held in each class. Don’t miss the fun! Ages: 3-6 yrs.
Instructor:  Drama Kids Staff
110833 01 F            Apr 5 - May 31        10 - 10:45 am
NEW! Beginning Irish Dance 
$58/ 4 Classes
Leapin’ Leprechauns!  Participants will learn proper technique, terminology, and a beginner reel.  Dancers should wear shorts, a t-shirt, white socks and soft-soled shoes such as ballet slippers or jazz shoes. Ages: 6-15 yrs.
Instructor: Thistle Academy of Irish Dance
110424 01 W          May 1 - May 22      5:30 - 6:30 pm
NEW! Balboa/Bal Swing
$153/ 12 Classes
$83/ 4 Classes
$123/ 8 Classes
This is an original Swing Dance invented right here in SoCal on the Balboa Peninsula and will cover both Balboa & Bal-Swing fundamentals.  No partner required. Ages: 18 yrs. & up. No Class: 4/3
Instructor:  Retro Rhythm
140423 01        W               Mar 6 - May 29       8-9 pm
140423 02        W               Mar 6 - Mar 27       8-9 pm
140423 03        W               Mar 6 - May 1         8-9 pm

Click here to access the City's online registration system.

Summer Camp registration begins April 1st . Check out the Spring issue of the Rancho Santa Margarita Community Living Magazine for our Summer Camp Preview!

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.

Rancho Family Fest Save the Date

RSM Cares Bell logo

RSM Cares Food Pantry

The RSM Cares Food Pantry is supported solely on private donations from generous private donors, local churches and businesses. There are no minimum or financial qualifications required. Stop by between 2 - 5:00 p.m. and get a box for you, your family or for a neighbor in need. 

Email RSMCares@belltowerfoundation.org for more information on how to donate or for volunteer opportunities.

RSM Cares Food Pantry dates

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.

OC Free Tax Prep banner outside City Hall

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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