Friends of Daley Ranch Minutes

August 20, 2009


Present: Board members Fred Woods, Jerry Harmon, Mike Whalen, Irene O’Neill, Carol Stanford, and Rick Mercurio. Joining us was Tony Smock from the City.


     Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the train depot. Minutes from the July meeting were approved by consensus. There was no treasurer’s report, but the Board congratulates Rick Paul who yesterday was named to the new committee to create Escondido’s general plan update. Fred collected a total of $15 from the two iron rangers. Rick M took down the renewal information from two members who mailed checks, which will be given to Rick Paul.

     Tony discussed news from Daley Ranch. He said the work on the existing garage is almost done. Sprinklers are being installed both inside and outside. He said when the new bathroom is constructed on the east side of the road it will only require two or three pump outs per year. After the garage work is complete the City will begin work on the ranch house itself, starting with the substructure of the foundation. Tony said a new volunteer training session is coming soon. The new patrol members receive four weeks training, while the docents take an eight-week course. The instructors are volunteers. Tony added that an Eagle Scout project is being approved for a memorial bench on the trails. Jerry will ask the scout to attend the October FODR meeting to meet him and learn more about his project.

     Jerry said that the Council Ridge fundraiser was a big success in June. It raised over $10,000 and money is still coming in. These initial funds will go toward the “due diligence” tasks such as appraisals and background checks on the 400-plus acres located west of Daley Ranch. Once that is done the lead agency, TECC, will search for “deep pockets” for grants and other funding sources. The Deer Park monastery is willing to designate about 100 of the acres for permanent open space from its holdings. Jerry said other fundraisers will be scheduled, possibly tied in to a “grand opening” event for TECC’s new office in downtown Escondido. Rick M. moved to donate FODR funds for the Council Ridge project. Irene seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. The exact amount and the timing will be determined after discussions with Rick Paul. Irene suggested that when FODR’s contribution is given that we seek publicity and press coverage.

     Fred will contact Bob McQuead to schedule a breakfast meeting, hopefully Tuesday, to go over specifics on the utility building project. Jerry will join them. The Board agreed that we need to be looking for someone, hopefully with construction experience, to serve as a “coordinator” of the restoration. Rick M suggested Dick Althouse as a possibility. Wendy Barker and the History Center could be a great source of skilled volunteers.

     Fred presented some options for a new FODR mission statement sign at the Daley Ranch entrance. He estimated the cost at $35-40. Rick M moved to approve this expenditure. Irene seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Fred will pursue this.

     Fred also noted that we need more of the large map pamphlets for Daley Ranch hikers and for our community outreach. The City already has the set up for this print job. Rick M moved to approve funding of up to $100 for the printing of 500 maps, plus the machine folding. Irene seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

     Fred said that visiting schools sometimes do not know how to prepare for a ranch visit. He agreed to write a brief “how-to-prepare” statement for schools to be ready for this field trip. Fred also noted that we all need to be looking for new FODR members. Carol suggested that we “tap” the Daley Ranch volunteers, perhaps by attending one of their meetings, since volunteers already have made a commitment to the cause.

     Sally had sent us a copy of the new Sempra grant application. We realize the potential value of such grants, but we need someone to actually be able to write them.

     Rick M explained that EDCO is proposing a green waste composting facility in Valley Center, not far north of Daley Ranch. It could bring with it substantial environmental impacts, including potential agricultural pests and added traffic. Many steps remain in the approval process, so we need to keep an eye on this project.

     FODR will participate in the Grape Day parade on Sept. 12, as well as hosting a booth that day in the park. We encourage all board members to help out that day.

     The next FODR Board meeting will be September 17. Fred will not be able to attend, so we will ask Rick Paul to arrange a place for that meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary