Minutes of the Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting

April 19, 2012
Members present: Fred Woods, Jerry Harmon, Rick Paul, Irene OíNeil, Mike Whalen, Dick Althouse. Also in attendance: Don Piller FODR Webmaster, and Steve Berrol of the Eureka Springs HOA

Steve Berrol, from the Eureka springs HOA attended the meeting to present an overview of the proposed plans for El Caballo Park.

The minutes from the February FODR meeting were presented for approval. The February minutes had been previously submitted by Dick Althouse and have been posted on our website. There was no FODR Board meeting in March due to a conflict with the Escondido Utilities Department Community meeting that had been scheduled at the same time, and the FODR Board wanted to attend that meeting.

Treasurerís Report: Official report was not presented. Mike turned over $258.41 to Rick P. that had been collected from the Iron Ranger, ($113.41), and from shirt and hat sales at the Save the Caballo event, ($145). Mike submitted a receipt from the USPS for 6 months rent of the mailbox. Mike also turned over all the mail from the USPS mailbox to Rick P. Rick P. suggested that FODR apply the $145 to cover attorney fees related to the Save the Caballo event. Jerry made the motion to approve and Irene seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The need to reorder more plants guides had been brought up at the February Board meeting, and Mike had notified Fred 5 days before this meeting that the quantity of available plant guides was getting low and suggested that we submit a reorder request. Fred then contacted the printers and presented the cost of the next order at $1577 to print 2,500 guides. Jerry made the motion to approve the expenditure and Irene seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

The topic of the USPS mailbox rent was brought up and it was suggested that the payment be converted to automatic to avoid any future access issues. Jerry moved and Mike seconded to have Rick P. apply for the automatic payment for the mailbox. The motion passed unanimously. Rick P. will look into what is needed to setup the automatic payment.

Fred presented the Grant Proposal and provided copies for the Board to review. He and Rick M. did a great job of writing the proposal and it was very well put together. The Grant is directed at the Escondido Charitable Foundation 2012 Grant Cycle and requests an amount of $17,500, which will be used to cover some of the costs related to sponsoring school outings to the Daley Ranch. The goal is to cover up to 2400 students through the spring of 2013. The purpose of the grant is to generally focus on bringing 7th grade students to Daley Ranch.

Mike brought up the plant signs and presented a brief summary of his last sign audit. Sign #14 is missing, #7 needs rework due to concrete breakage, an old post needs to be removed, and #12 had been reported to be loose on previous audits, but now it has been successfully stabilized.

It was suggested that all official correspondence from the Board of FODR should be sent from the email address of FODR@yahoo.com. This will eliminate any misunderstanding by the recipients as to the official origin of the email.

The utility building project was brought up and our current status has not changed. We are not able to proceed with the proposed creek wall repair plan until the City agrees to provide the much needed assistance with the complicated permit process. The City has approved the plan FODR presented to rebuild the creek wall, but the permit process involves multiple agencies, and that is why our progress has stopped. Barbara Redlitz, who has supervision over the Planning Dept. has notified the FODR Board that the City does not presently have the staff time or resources to pursue the needed permits for shoring up the creek bank just west of the buildings. We discussed moving forward with another building in the approved plan; probably the Foremanís Residence building would be next because, for one issue, it is located further away from the creek to not be such of a critical problem. Mike mentioned a possible solution to the creek wall repair issue; he mentioned a suggestion that was brought up during the meeting with senior City staff, specifically from Barbara Redlitz. She suggested moving the utility buildings that are too close to the creek a short distance away to relieve the proximity issue. Mike had measured the distance from the established edge of the roadway to the first building at approx. 11 ft. And the last building was measured to be approx. 26 ft. from the roadway. If we moved the line the 4 buildings are on to be parallel to the existing roadway and leave the Foremanís Residence at the same location, we would effectively move the three buildings that are currently affected by the creek to be a more manageable distance from the creek. This could possibly provide a workable alternative to having to repair the creek wall prior to rebuilding the structures that are currently too close to the edge of the creek. Mike also presented a printout from Google Maps that clearly shows how the line the buildings are on could be moved in an easterly direction to be parallel to the existing roadway.

Mike was then asked to present an overall summary of the hike to the Ranch House with City staff. Mike and Fred had hosted a hike with 3 senior City staff members from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Thursday 19 April. City staff members Chris McKinney, Director of Utilities, Barbara Redlitz, Director of Community Development, and Ed Domingue, Director of Engineering Services were present, Charlie Grimm, Assistant City Manager was not able to attend due to a scheduling conflict. James Dillane was on the hike as well, and he was able to provide specific detailed information related to the various plants that were affected by the last brush clearing efforts. The City staff appreciated the valuable information that James provided. The main focus of the hike was to address the most recent brush clearing efforts along the Ranch House road, which was performed to comply with the Escondido Fire Department and the Daley Ranch Master Plan, which require periodic brush clearing. The last time the brush was cleared the crew went beyond the required limits in some areas, and that had caused some concern and as a result FODR Board members, Mike and Fred have had separate discussions with both the Escondido Fire Chief and senior City staff. The hike was to allow the staff an opportunity to see the results first hand of the last clearing and to visualize a plan to direct the efforts going forward. We also discussed the utility buildings project as well as the creek wall repair issue. Mike felt that the members of the City staff who were on the hike were very open to hear input from the FODR and had a genuine desire to discuss options and to hear suggestions to reduce unnecessary damage during future brush clearing efforts.

Steve Berrol of the Eureka Springs HOA spoke about the El Caballo Park overall plan proposal. He described a proposal to add favorable improvements to the land just south of the Caballo trail head and just east of the Dixon Lake dam. The Charros de Escondido will retain the current lease of the property that they have held since 1972 and the Charros will host events that will benefit disabled veterans as well as providing a well-structured experience for those who would want to be introduced to this historic equestrian group. Another topic was discussed that FODR has been asked to initially be responsible for the El Caballo Park 501c3 on a temporary basis until the El Caballo Park is able to take that on internally. After the discussion a motion was made and approved for FODR to initially take ownership of the 501c3 on behalf of the El Caballo Park.
The Charros de Escondido have asked FODR to write a letter of recommendation on their behalf. Jerry made a motion to approve and Mike seconded that motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The issue of a possible future FODR mobile interpretive center was briefly discussed.
Rick P brought up that there are two additional forms related to our 501c3 that the State of California requires us to file. One is from the CA Tax Franchise Board and the other is from the CA Attorney General. Rick P. will submit both forms for 2011.

Don Piller presented a well prepared demonstration of various changes/improvements that he would like to see applied to the FODR website. Don had presented some positive options at our last Board meeting at the Train Station where he outlined several areas and techniques that he suggested we incorporate on our current website. The purpose of the presentation at this meeting was to provide a visual display of some of the suggested changes and improvements. The Board agreed that all the proposed changes would be a positive improvement and that Don should proceed to incorporate them into the present website.
The next meeting will be at the Train Station on 17 MAY at 7:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted in the absence of Board Secretary Rick Mercurio
Mike Whalen - Board Member