Annual Retreat Meeting Minutes
Present: Fred Woods, Jim Schafer, Rick Paul, Jerry Harmon, Dick Althouse, Colleen Mackinnon, and Rick Mercurio
Minutes & Treasurerís Report: Fred opened the meeting at 10 a.m. at the home of Rick M. The minutes from the November meeting were compiled from the efforts of Su Scott, Rick P, Fred, Colleen, and Rick M. They were approved by acclamation. Rick P delivered a printed treasurerís report, and collected new donations and cash from the iron ranger. The Board thanked Dick for his generous donation of $448.62.
The following reimbursements were brought forward: $290 to Fred for Word Press web hosting services, $184.73 to Rick M for postage and newsletter printing, and $676 to Dick for building restoration expenses. Colleen moved to approve all three reimbursements, Jim seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P said he has obtained a software program that will hopefully aid in his preparation for tax preparation.
Budget: Thanks to the work and preparation of Colleen and Rick P, the Board fleshed out a new budget spreadsheet and system for 2016. By determining how much money we planned to spend on various projects, and how much volunteer labor is involved, the Board will be able to monitor our progress as the year unfolds. Colleen will provide budget worksheets for each separate project. The categories in the new budget will include school trips; building restoration; signage, including the three informational panels, plant signposts, and Stanley Peak panels; newsletter; membership outreach; annual picnic; interpretive displays; habitat preservation; and miscellaneous and administrative costs. Rick M moved approval, Jim seconded and the budget was adopted unanimously.
School Visits: Fred reported that he and Rick M met with Dan H and Ranger Jose to suggest a modest change to the field trip program. We will be adding a ranger-led hike as one of the three ďstationsĒ at the ranch house area. This new hike will integrate information on native plants as well as other natural features of the landscape. School buses will bring the students to the ranch house area, enhancing the time allotted for the hike and other two stations there. Students will continue to hike down the hill, however. The three stations at Dixon-Hilltop will remain unchanged for this year. Thanks to Fred for all the preparation in lining up the visits at all five middle schools and arranging the details for the trips.
Country Grant Update: Jim is working on the three informational panels. Ranger Jose has provided the name of a retired San Diego ranger who has expertise with such signs. Fred said we could re-apply for funding in the April cycle.
Dick said that so far $3523 has been used from the county grant toward the restoration of Building 3. He listed a number of additional materials that he could purchase before the January 31 deadline for the current grant. The Board is grateful for all of Dickís planning and hard work for this ongoing program.
Plant Signs & Stanley Peak Signs: Some Board members have observed that many of the plant signs along trails are in need of repair or replacement. In some cases the specific plant is no longer present in that location. Colleen agreed to spearhead the effort to address this problem, along with Jimís help, and hopefully working with Sunrise Rotary. New materials were suggested to reduce the threat of vandalism. The Board budgeted funds for this project.
The two vista panels atop Stanley Peak have apparently been badly vandalized. Jim agreed to look into making necessary repairs and/or new materials. The Board budgeted funds for this.
Membership, Outreach & Second Sundays: The Board discussed ideas for the next annual picnic, including honoring special people with a nice plaque and featuring a guest speaker. We could bring in new volunteers by including them in project committees. Colleen has advertised for a new marketing director and has other ways to attract folks, including through university channels. Colleen suggested a regular FODR presence at Second Sundays, where we could provide a goodwill welcome for the public. The Board budgeted funds for bottled water and possibly snacks for this purpose. Colleen volunteered to provide this service in February, and Rick M in March. Fred asked for more help with ranch house docent duty at Second Sundays. The Board will make this a regular agenda item at monthly meetings. Rick M will prepare a one-page information sheet to assist new docents. Bruce Swanson has prepared a front-to-back flyer for the dispenser at the utility buildings.
Annual Elections: Per the FODR by-laws, an election was held for officers, and re-appointment of Board members. The following slate was presented: Fred, president; Jim, vice-president; Rick P, treasurer; Rick M, secretary; and Jerry, Dick and Colleen as other Board members. Colleen moved approval, Dick seconded, and the slate was approved unanimously.
E & O: The Board agreed not to renew the Errors & Omissions (E & O) insurance policy at this time.
Next Meeting: The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido.