Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

July 16, 2009

Present: Board members Fred Woods, Jerry Harmon, Rick Paul, Mike Whalen, Sally Thomas, and Rick Mercurio. Joining us was Wendy Barker of the Escondido History Center.

     Fred opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Jerry. No minutes were written for the June 18 meeting because there was no quorum. At that meeting the members discussed some proposed changes from the City regarding the restoration of the ranch house. These include a new placement of the bathroom facility and different materials for the exterior of the house.

     Rick Paul said he would email his treasurer’s report. He said the investment fund balance is presently $14,683. Mike moved to reimburse Rick M. $40 for stamps and printing of thank you post cards. Sally seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Fred twice collected from the iron ranger with a total of $28. We also garnered $46 from our participation in the “Green Scene” event at Grape Day Park in June.

     The Board welcomed Wendy, who brings a wealth of experience and energy to the community. We hope she will continue to stay involved with us. Fred mentioned three others who expressed some interest in FODR but were unable to attend tonight: Bill Fujikawa, a retired science teacher from Del Dios Middle School, and Maury and Tena Scruggs, long time community activists who live on the west boundary of Daley Ranch.

     Yesterday the City Council approved staff’s proposed changes to the ranch house restoration. Fred, Mike and both Ricks were present. Fred addressed the Council, thanking them and reminding them of our efforts to renovate the utility buildings. The four council members present were all quite positive and even enthusiastic in their support for Daley Ranch in general, and the ranch house restoration specifically. Sam Abed even referenced his attendance at the fundraiser for Council Ridge and his pleasure that Stanley Peak was preserved.

     Jerry reported to the Board about that fundraiser. He said it was one of the most successful grassroots fundraisers ever, with about 120 in attendance. Others who did not attend sent money. More fundraisers will be planned, and FODR will give its full support to these efforts. Jerry said the next event that is related to Council Ridge is the Deer Park’s annual neighborhood meeting on June 26. The Buddhists will provide food and will lead a walk to Council Ridge at 11:30. All are welcome, and Fred will man a table that day to make connections with neighbors.

     The Board discussed membership. With Wendy’s input the Board decided to print remittance envelopes with all the checklists and information on the flap, as many other groups do. This will make it much easier to solicit donations and memberships. Sally moved to appropriate funds for this purpose. Rick M. seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

     Sally attended the Conservation Resource Network meeting recently as FODR’s representative. She said they are attempting to create a large database of potential properties that are prime for preservation. The Alliance for Escondido Creek is also aware of the need for land acquisition, and with Transnet funds potentially available, the Board expressed an interest in FODR making a pitch for funds for such projects as Council Ridge. Rick P. agreed to look into the paperwork to get FODR on board. Sally also mentioned that she believes the Daley Ranch master plan requires permission from wildlife agencies before any new, potentially disruptive uses may be approved on ranch lands. The Board encouraged Sally to question the City on this matter, because the Council did discuss the possibility of group usage at the restored ranch house.

     Fred and Rick M. visited the utility buildings at the ranch house in June, taking measurements and photographs. These will be provided to Bob McQuead at a breakfast meeting within the next two weeks. We hope that Bob can guide us with more specific plans and next steps. The Board asked Wendy if the History Center may be able to supply volunteers for this project, and she was quite optimistic. She also suggested that when the time is right FODR ought to entice monetary donations as well as volunteers with a presentation that includes the “story” of the ranch, including photos, to humanize the appeal

     The next FODR Board meeting will be August 20 at 7 p.m. at the train depot.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary